Special Education and Child Development: Special Education, M.Ed.

33 Credit Hours
Admits: Fall, Spring & Summer
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Program Tabs


Ready to take your expertise in special education to the next level and make a lasting impact? UNC Charlotte's Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education and Child Development with a concentration in Special Education program is designed for experienced teachers like you.

Empower yourself as a leader:

  • Develop critical skills: Master effective instruction, collaborative leadership, and responsive practices to promote equity and diversity in your classroom.
  • Advance your career: Earn the M-level North Carolina Professional Educator's License and qualify for leadership roles in special education.
  • Enjoy flexibility: Pursue your degree 100% online with a schedule that accommodates your busy professional life.
  • Deepen your knowledge: Gain in-depth understanding of child development and specialized approaches for diverse learners.

Why Choose UNC Charlotte's M.Ed. in Special Education and Child Development program?

  • Accredited program: Recognized for its quality and commitment to preparing exceptional educators. All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The M.Ed. in Special Education and Child Development with a concentration in Special Education has been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education.
  • Experienced faculty: Learn from dedicated professionals who understand the challenges and rewards of your field.
  • Supportive learning community: Connect with fellow educators and build a valuable network.
  • Affordable tuition: Invest in your future with competitive tuition rates and financial aid options.

What Can You Do With The M.Ed. In Special Education and Child Development From UNC Charlotte?

UNC Charlotte M.Ed. in Special Education graduates go on to work as special education teachers or other roles in organizations. They can be found in school districts and educational providers such as:

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg School
  • Iredell-Statesville Schools
  • Gaston County Schools
  • McDowell County Schools
  • Newton-Conover City Schools
  • Henderson County Public Schools
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Strong salary expectations

Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics research, collects job and salary data from UNC Charlotte graduates. Lightcast sampled graduates of our M.Ed. in Special Education and Child Development program and found the average annual estimated wage to be approximately $78,600.

Request More Information

Connect with an Enrollment Specialist today to learn more! Complete the For More Information box on this page or contact us using the links below.


Application Deadlines: 

  • August 1 (fall)
  • December 1 (spring)
  • May 1 (summer first half term)
  • June 15 (summer second half term)

Admissions & Requirements:

  • Complete the Graduate School Admission Application.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a university accredited by a US Department of Education-recognized institutional accreditor, with a major in special education.
  • An A-level Professional Educator’s License in Special Education from North Carolina or its equivalent from another state.
  • All previous work beyond high school documenting an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale).
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts from all academic coursework beyond high school.
  • Official agency reports of satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) test scores (30th percentile or above).
  • At least 6 months of documented experience working with individuals with exceptionalities.
  • Three recommendations from professional educators familiar with the applicant’s personal and professional qualifications. Applicants will provide reference contact names and email addresses through the application portal.
  • A copy of resume, listing the applicant's professional experience.
  • An statement of purpose of no more than two pages describing the applicant’s experience and objective in undertaking graduate study in special education.



The courses are delivered in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modes. Synchronous online learning involves live, online teaching in recurring weekly time slots.

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

  • EDUC 6254: Individualizing Instruction for Diverse Learners
  • SPED 6502: Advanced Classroom Management
  • SPED 5200: Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • or SPED 5203: Ethics, Compliance, and Professionalism in Behavior Analysis (for candidates who selected the Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialty Track as electives)

Introductory Research Course (3 credit hours)

  • RSCH 6101: Research Methods

Research Courses (9 credit hours)

  • RSCH 7113: Single-Case Research
  • SPED 6692: Research Proposal
  • SPED 6693: Research Implementation
  • SPED 6694: Research Dissemination and Leadership

Specialty Track Courses (12 credit hours) 
Select elective courses within a single specialty track:

  • Adapted Curriculum (add-on license) Specialty Track
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (graduate certificate) Specialty Track
  • General Curriculum (add-on license) Specialty Track
  • Or other graduate level courses offered in the Cato College of Education, as developed with approval of advisor

The program’s rigorous courses are designed to support candidates in developing the skills, knowledge, and competencies to be excellent educators, leaders and professionals. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, classes provide an environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Students will learn how to design effective instruction and develop strategies that will help promote the social behaviors of students with disabilities.


*Rates are subject to change*


  • $288.82 per credit hour

Outside of NC Non-Resident:

  • $536.98 per credit hour

Non Resident:

  • $1,098.21 per credit hour

Find more information regarding tuition and fees here ».