Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs in Kansas

Kansas is a U.S. state located exactly in the geographic center of the country. It is named after a Native American tribe, the Kansa or “people of the wind.” Although it is often known for its severe weather, especially tornados, Kansas is actually as sunny as California and Arizona.

Liberty University
MAT in Special Education – Adapted Curriculum
Purdue University
Online MSEd in Special Education
George Mason University
Master's and Graduate Certificate Programs in Special Education
Capella University
100% online MS in Special Education Teaching
Winthrop University
Online Master of Education (M.Ed) In Special Education Intervention

There are numerous public and private opportunities for higher education in the state. As the first state to offer coeducational universities, Kansas continues to strive for innovative, groundbreaking master’s degree programs.

Note: Those interested in distance learning programs should consult our recommendations for Online Master’s in Special Education.

Baker University, KS

School of Education

The School of Education at Baker University has established a mission to develop assured and proficient educational leaders. By providing quality programs geared toward academic excellence, graduates will acquire the skills needed to be successful educators.

Numerous advanced degree programs are available in education such as: Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Special Education, Master of Science in School Leadership plus several licensure programs in administration and leadership. All degree series are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Master of Science in Special Education (M.S.S.E.)

The Master of Science in Special Education degree is among the high-demand programs in education today. This program is designed to prepare teachers to work with K-8 or 6-12 students with disabilities. Each special education licensure requires 33 credit hours of coursework and field experience. A 36-credit hour program is available for K-12 licensing.

The standards-based curriculum includes:

-Adaptive learning characteristics and needs.
-Instructional methods and strategies for adaptive needs.
-Collaboration and communication skills with parents and professionals.
-Learning environment and curriculum development for special needs children.
-Negotiation and conflict resolution strategies.
-Practicum field experience in a special education setting.

The master’s degree can be completed in an accelerated or individualized format for convenient scheduling for the adult learner.

Master of Science in Special Education: Adaptive Needs (K-8) (M.S.S.E.)

This Master of Science in Special Education degree prepares students to work with elementary and middle school-aged children (grades K-8) with physical, psychological or learning disabilities. The program requires 33-credit hours of online or campus-based coursework and a field experience and leads to special education licensure.

Learning outcomes include: Introduction and assessment of young children with adaptive needs, creation or modification of general education curriculum to accommodate special needs, inclusion practices for learning and behavioral disorders, and communication and collaboration skills for working with families and special needs professionals for young children.

Master of Science in Special Education: Adaptive Needs (6-12) (M.S.S.E.)

The Adaptive Needs M.S.S.E. degree is designed for teachers to work with middle school and high school-aged children (6-12) with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, high-functioning autism and other mild to moderate adaptive needs. The program can be completed on an accelerated track for working professionals who desire advanced special education endorsement.

The Adaptive Needs educator is skilled in transitioning middle and high school children and youth with disabilities to perform to their optimum abilities. Graduate students of this program structure their lesson plans for adaptive learning for disabled children and youth to ultimately be productive members of society.


National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Kansas State Department of Education

Contact Information

618 Eighth St.
Baldwin City, KS 66006
(785) 594.6451

Fort Hays State University

College of Education and Technology

The College of Education and Technology at Fort Hays State University is poised to provide cutting-edge instruction to the educators of the future. Education and technology are blended to prepare students for leadership roles in classrooms, schools, communities and corporate settings.

Advanced master’s degree programs are available in early childhood, elementary and secondary teachers, special education teachers, counselors and administrators. All programs offered through the College of Education and Technology as well as the Virtual College are fully accredited and graduates are eligible for licensure upon completion of the program.

Master of Science in Special Education- Gifted (M.S.S.E.)

The Master of Science in Special Education with a Gifted Education specialization is an online graduate program designed for flexible scheduling for adult learners. The focus of the degree program is to teach classes appropriate for exceptional children and youth. The program requires 36 credit hours of coursework and practicum experience. There are no campus requirements and most students complete the program in 18-24 months.

Acquired skills in Gifted Education include: Legal issues in Special Education, behavior management techniques, assessment methods, technology for exceptional children, educational strategies for gifted children, and vocational and transition strategies. Application for licensure is available upon completion of the program.


National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact Information

232A Rarick Hall
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601-4099
(785) 628-4283

Kansas State University

College of Education

The College of Education at Kansas State University prepares knowledgeable educators to provide ethical decisions in a diverse world. Challenging programs utilize the latest technologies designed to inspire life-long learning. This is the largest teacher preparation program in the state of Kansas and is accredited by the NCATE. The Professional Development Schools partnership program has been selected as the top program in the United States.

Master’s-level programs are available in the following specializations:

-Academic Advising.
-Adult and Continuing Education.
-Curriculum and Instruction.
-Educational Leadership.
-Special Education.
-College Student Development.
-School Counseling.

Master of Science in Special Education

The Master of Science in Special Education degree is a cross-categorical program with specialization in adaptive special education and functional special education. Students will demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate needs, skills in planning effective curricula, communication and collaboration skills, educational assessment and evaluation for special needs children and youth.

The graduate degree focuses on individual education plans and strategies for exceptional students at preschool, elementary and secondary levels. Interventions in emotional, behavioral disorders and academic disabilities are addressed from an inclusion perspective. A practicum in Adaptive Special Education is required with observation and participation in a exceptional needs supervised setting.

Master of Science in Special Education: Adaptive Special Education (M.S.S.E.)

the master of science in special education with emphasis in adaptive special education degree qualifies students for licensure in elementary or secondary education for special needs children. skills include: assessment principals, characteristics of cognitive disorders, characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders, intervention methods for children and youth with exceptionalities, behavior management, and transition techniques.

the degree requirements include 30 graduate-level credit hours and completion of a teaching portfolio. a supervised field experience in a special education setting is required prior to licensure endorsement.

Master of Science in Special Education: Functional Special Education (M.S.S.E.)

The master of science in special education with concentration in functional special education degree is designed to meet the needs of students with significant or multiple disabilities that cannot participate in a general education environment. strategies for teaching life skills and supporting the unique needs of low-incidence special needs children and youth are anticipated learning outcomes.

an endorsement in special education is available to those students who complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a supervised practicum and successfully present a teaching portfolio.


National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact Information

006 Bluemont Hall
1100 Mid-Campus Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-5525

University of Kansas

School of Education

The University of Kansas School of Education was founded in 1909 with the primary vision of educating future teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologist, health and sport professionals. Ranked as the #1 “Public Program in the Nation” by U.S. News & World Report, the School of Education has an extensive offering of degree and licensure programs including Master of Science in Education and Master of Arts in the following fields of study:

-Curriculum & Teaching.
-Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.
-Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences.
-Psychology & Research in Education.
-Special Education.

Master of Special Education (M.S.E.)

The Master of Special Education degree is offered in five concentrations: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Early Childhood Unified, High-Incidence Disabilities, Low-Incidence Disabilities and Secondary Special Ed Transition. Most are delivered in a traditional on-campus format with a few available through online coursework.

Master of Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders (M.S.E.)

The Master of Special Education with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prepares students for teaching careers supporting children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Specific skills achieved include characteristics, curriculum development, assessment techniques, social and behavior interventions, communication with families and professionals, sensory and motor skills.

Graduate students are exposed to methods for addressing the complex needs of ASD children and youth from individualized programs to less intensive general education environments. The ASD program does not lead to license or endorsement.

Master of Special Education: Early Childhood Unified (Birth-K) (M.S.E.)

The Early Childhood Unified degree program in Special Education prepares teachers to work with at-risk infants, toddlers and children (Birth-K) with learning and developmental disabilities. Holistic and functional activities are utilized with young children and families in early childhood special education for the best learning outcomes.

A general education license is not required. This is an initial licensure program but does not allow for a provisional endorsement unless the initial teacher license is already obtained.

Master of Special Education: High-Incidence Disabilities (Adaptive) (M.S.E. or Online M.S.E.)

The graduate degree in Special Education with emphasis in High-Incidence Disabilities (Adaptive) can be completed on-campus or online. The program focuses on teaching children and youth with learning and/or behavioral disabilities including mild cognitive disabilities to moderate attention deficits. Both general curriculum modification for inclusion and individualized support strategies are addressed.

Master of Special Education: Low-Incidence Disabilities (M.S.E.)

The Master of Special Education with specialization in Low-Incidence Disabilities prepares students to meet the challenges of teaching assignments with children and youth requiring a functional curriculum with significant intellectual or multiple disabilities. Children with low-incidence disabilities include autism spectrum with cognitive, sensory and physical impairments.

A general education license in early childhood, elementary or secondary school is needed to obtain a Special Education Low-Incidence Endorsement.

Master of Special Education: Secondary Special Education Transition (Online M.S.E.)

The master’s level Secondary Special Education Transition degree is delivered online with a focus on secondary special education and disabled young adults who are transitioning to adult life. Vocational and social skills are included in transition models and an individualized plan of action is established for post-secondary success.


National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Contact Information

208 Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Rd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-3101
(785) 864-3726