Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Best Special Education Schools

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Special Education Schools

641 Colleges
$43,879 Avg Salary
$28,500 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Special Education School for You

In 2018-2019, 30,639 people earned a degree or certificate in special education, making the major the #42 most popular in the United States.

With all the programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Course Advisor has created the Best Special Education Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. This report analyzed 641 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best programs for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Special Education Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Special Education Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools in Special Ed

#1

Lebanon Valley College

Annville, PA

Our 2021 rankings named Lebanon Valley College the best school in the United States for special education students. Located in the suburb of Annville, LVC is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Special Ed majors at LVC take out an average of $27,000 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

Read More…

Request Information

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means University of Delaware is a great place for special education students. Located in the suburb of Newark, U of Delaware is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Read full report on Special Education at University of Delaware

Request Information

The excellent programs at The College of New Jersey helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best special education schools in the United States. Located in the suburb of Ewing, TCNJ is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

Special Ed majors at TCNJ take out an average of $23,750 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $260, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Special Education at The College of New Jersey Report

Request Information
#4

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Brandman University. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Special Education Schools list. Located in the large city of Irvine, Brandman is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Full Special Education at Brandman University Report

Request Information
#5

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Hamline University. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Special Education Schools list. Hamline is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Saint Paul.

Read More…

Request Information
#6

Towson University

Towson, MD

Towson University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Towson is a fairly large public school located in the city of Towson.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at Towson accumulate an average of around $18,527 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $192.

Full Special Education at Towson University Report

Request Information
#7

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for special education students. It came in at #7 on the list. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Baltimore.

On average, special ed graduates from Johns Hopkins take out $36,435 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $425.

Read full report on Special Education at Johns Hopkins University

Request Information

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the small city of Champaign, UIUC is a public school with a very large student population.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at UIUC accumulate an average of around $21,499 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $223.

Read More…

Request Information
#9

Elon University

Elon, NC

Elon University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for special education students. It came in at #9 on the list. Elon is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize suburb of Elon.

Read full report on Special Education at Elon University

Request Information
#10

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA

With a ranking of #10, Central Washington University did quite well on this year’s best schools for special education students. CWU is a large public school located in the distant town of Ellensburg.

Read More…

Request Information
#11

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best special education programs. Located in the small city of Bethlehem, Lehigh is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#12

Providence College

Providence, RI

With a ranking of #12, Providence College did quite well on this year’s best schools for special education students. Providence is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Providence.

Special Ed majors at Providence take out an average of $27,000 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

Read More…

Request Information

University of Southern California landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best special education programs. USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles.

The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at USC take out is $84,878. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $989.

Read More…

Request Information

Illinois State University landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best special education programs. Illinois State is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Normal.

The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at Illinois State take out is $21,500. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $223.

Read More…

Request Information
#15

SUNY Geneseo

Geneseo, NY

SUNY Geneseo came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the distant town of Geneseo, SUNY Geneseo is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

Full Special Education at SUNY Geneseo Report

Request Information
#16

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA

With a ranking of #16, Western Washington University did quite well on this year’s best schools for special education students. Located in the city of Bellingham, WWU is a public school with a large student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#17

Dakota State University

Madison, SD

Dakota State University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Dakota State is a small public school located in the town of Madison.

Read More…

Request Information
#18

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best special education programs. Located in the suburb of Fairfield, Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

Read More…

Request Information

Catholic University of America came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the city of Washington, CUA is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

Read More…

Request Information
#20

Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for special education students. It came in at #20 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Lawrenceville, Rider is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Read full report on Special Education at Rider University

Request Information
#21

Baylor University

Waco, TX

With a ranking of #21, Baylor University did quite well on this year’s best schools for special education students. Baylor is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Waco.

Full Special Education at Baylor University Report

Request Information
#22

Hope College

Holland, MI

Hope College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for special education students. It came in at #22 on the list. Hope is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Holland.

On average, special ed graduates from Hope take out $27,000 in student loans while working on their degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

Read full report on Special Education at Hope College

Request Information
#23

Endicott College

Beverly, MA

With a ranking of #23, Endicott College did quite well on this year’s best schools for special education students. Located in the large suburb of Beverly, Endicott is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Read More…

Request Information

York College of Pennsylvania came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the medium-sized suburb of York, YCP is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Special Ed majors at YCP take out an average of $28,500 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $296, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Special Education at York College of Pennsylvania

Request Information
#25

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

University of Georgia ranked #25 on this year’s Best Special Education Schools list. UGA is a very large public school located in the city of Athens.

The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at UGA take out is $23,513. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $262, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Special Education at University of Georgia Report

Request Information

Rest of the Top 50 Best Special Education Schools

#26

University of Redlands

Redlands, CA
#27

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown, PA
#29

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
#30

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA
#31

National University

La Jolla, CA
#32

Manhattan College

Riverdale, NY
#34

Centenary University

Hackettstown, NJ
#35

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#37

Pace University - New York

New York, NY
#39

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, SD
#42

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY
#44

Mount Marty University

Yankton, SD
#45

Drake University

Des Moines, IA
#47

American University

Washington, DC
#49

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Special Education Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 641 different United States special education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
52 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
53 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
54 Kean University Union, NJ
55 Washington State University Pullman, WA
56 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
57 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
58 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
59 Martin Luther College New Ulm, MN
60 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
61 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
62 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
63 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
64 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
65 George Washington University Washington, DC
66 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
67 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
68 Bradley University Peoria, IL
69 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
70 Chadron State College Chadron, NE
71 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
72 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
73 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
74 CUNY Hunter College New York, NY
75 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL
76 Hood College Frederick, MD
77 CUNY Lehman College Bronx, NY
78 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
79 CUNY Brooklyn College Brooklyn, NY
80 Fordham University Bronx, NY
81 Minot State University Minot, ND
82 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
83 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
84 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
85 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
86 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
87 California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, CA
88 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
89 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
90 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
91 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
92 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
93 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
94 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
95 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
96 Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Special Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
97 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
98 William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne, NJ
99 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
100 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
101 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon, WI
102 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
103 New York University New York, NY
104 Assumption University Worcester, MA
105 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
106 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
107 Bank Street College of Education New York, NY
108 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
109 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
110 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
111 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
112 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
113 Boston University Boston, MA
114 Concordia University - Irvine Irvine, CA
115 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
116 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
117 Spalding University Louisville, KY
118 Wayne State College Wayne, NE
119 Seattle University Seattle, WA
120 Holy Family University Philadelphia, PA
121 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
122 Touro College New York, NY
123 Buena Vista University Storm Lake, IA
124 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
125 Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
126 Notre Dame de Namur University Belmont, CA
127 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
128 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA

Special Education by Region

View the Best Special Education Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Special Education is one of 14 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
General Education 31,066
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.