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  • Online BS in Special Education Program

    Drexel University's online bachelor’s degree in special education prepares you to support diverse learners to develop social, emotional, academic, and life skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Through a mix of online courses and in-person practicum experiences, you will learn the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in Pre-K to 12th grade.

    As a student in Drexel’s online BS in Special Education, you will learn the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) core competencies to become a special education teacher and will be prepared to apply for Pennsylvania’s special education certification. Through Interstate Reciprocity Agreements, you can become certified to teach in 48 states or U.S. territories. Specific state information is available through The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

    BS in Special Education Program Features

    • Online, part-time program
    • Small class sizes mean you receive personal feedback and support from your professors
    • Gain hands-on experience with the help of Drexel’s Field Placement Office, which is dedicated to helping students secure field experiences
    • Transfer up to 90 quarter credits (60 semester credits) from any accredited institution of higher learning as long as the grade is a C or better
    • Learn from faculty with extensive experience teaching and leading in PreK-12 schools
    • Graduates have access to two years of post-program support through the Early Career Practitioners Institute (ECPI) including classroom-based coaching, professional development and networking programs, and notifications of job openings

    Requirements for the BS in Special Education Program

    To be eligible for Drexel’s online bachelor’s degree in special education, you must have earned a high school diploma or GED. Along with your completed application, you will be asked to provide official transcripts from previous educational institutions. Additional requirements may be required depending on if you are applying as a transfer or first-year student. For a full list of requirements, please see the Admissions Criteria page.

    What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education?

    Drexel’s online BS in Special Education prepares you for a career as a certified special education teacher for students in Pre-K to 12th grade in various education settings, including public and private schools. You may also go on to graduate study or obtain a position in educational institutions such as non-profit organizations or the government.

    Special Education Certification

    Drexel’s online bachelor’s degree in special education prepares you to obtain Pennsylvania certification. Through Interstate Reciprocity Agreements, graduates can become certified to teach in 48 States or U.S. Territories. Some states may require additional coursework or exams prior to obtaining a teacher certificate. Since requirements are constantly evolving in most states, please be sure to confirm any reciprocity agreements with your home state's certifying agency. Specific state information is available through The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

    BS in Special Education Salary Expectations

    The national demand for special educators in Pre-K to 12th grade has been growing. Philadelphia is the fifth highest city in the U.S. showing an increased demand for special education teachers. Salaries for special education teachers can vary based on location and level of education. However, the average salary for a special education teacher is $61,420 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment is expected to grow about 3% from 2019-2029.

    Online Bachelor’s in Special Education Program FAQs

    Do I need to have my teaching certificate to apply to this program?
    No, a teaching certificate is not required to apply for Drexel’s bachelor’s degree in special education. This program prepares you to obtain your teaching certification.

    Do I need to come to campus during the program?
    You can complete all Bachelor of Science in Special Education program coursework online, and you do not need to come to campus at any point. The only in-person requirements for this degree are the field experiences, which can be completed close to your home.

    Do I have access to support services as an online student?
    Yes, as an online student, you have access to services like the Drexel library, the Drexel Writing Center, and the Steinbright Career Development Center. Learn more about tools and resources available to online students.

    Related Programs

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    You can transfer up to 90 quarter credits (60 semester credits) from any accredited institution of higher learning as long as the grade is a C or better. Most credits will fulfill liberal arts or general classes. 

    General Education/Content Requirements
    BIO 100 Applied Cells, Genetics & Physiology 3.0
    or BIO 161 General Biology I
    BIO 101 Applied Biological Diversity, Ecology & Evolution 3.0
    or BIO 162 General Biology II
    CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 4.0
    COM 111 Principles of Communication 3.0
    ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics 4.0
    ENGL 101 Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research 3.0
    or ENGL 111 English Composition I
    ENGL 102 Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing 3.0
    or ENGL 112 English Composition II
    ENGL 103 Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres 3.0
    or ENGL 113 English Composition III
    English (Literature) elective: Select course between ENGL 200 - ENGL 360 3.0
    ENVS 260 Environmental Science and Society 3.0
    HIST 275 History of Pennsylvania 3.0
    MATH 171 Introduction to Analysis A 3.0
    MATH 172 Introduction to Analysis B 3.0
    MATH 173 Introduction to Analysis C 3.0
    or MATH 107 Probability and Statistics for Liberal Arts
    MUSC 130 Introduction to Music 3.0
    NFS 100 Nutrition, Foods, and Health 2.0
    NFS 101 Introduction to Nutrition & Food 1.0
    PHYS 151 Applied Physics 3.0
    PSY 101 General Psychology I 3.0
    PSY 320 Educational Psychology 3.0
    PSY 330 Cognitive Psychology 3.0
    SOC 335 Sociology of Education 3.0
    Pedagogy Courses
    EDLT 325 Design for Learning with Digital Media 3.0
    EDUC 101 Foundations in Education I: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective 3.0
    EDUC 120 Child Development I: Typical Development 3.0
    EDUC 106 First Year Seminar: A Case of Schools and Cities 1.0
    EDUC 107 First Year Seminar: Exploring Pedagogies 1.0
    EDUC 108 First Year Seminar: Designing Learning Spaces 1.0
    EDUC 121 Child Development II: Atypical Development 3.0
    EDUC 205 Sophomore Pedagogy Seminar 1.0
    EDUC 216 Diversity and Today's Teacher 3.0
    EDUC 236 Early Literacy I 3.0
    EDUC 305 Junior Pedagogy Seminar 1.0
    EDUC 308 Creating a Positive Classroom Climate 3.0
    EDUC 312 Educational Policy, Law & Advocacy 3.0
    EDUC 314 Science Teaching Methods 3.0
    EDUC 316 Teaching in Urban Contexts 3.0
    EDUC 322 Evaluation of Instruction 3.0
    EDUC 324 Current Research in Curriculum & Instruction 3.0
    EDUC 336 Early Literacy II 3.0
    EDUC 355 Social Studies Teaching Methods 3.0
    EDUC 360 English/Language Arts Teaching Methods for the Middle Years 1.5
    EDUC 361 Middle Years Science Methods 1.5
    EDUC 362 Middle Years Social Studies Methods 1.5
    EDUC 363 Middle Years Mathematics Methods 1.5
    EDUC 365 Foundations in Instructing English Language Learners 3.0
    EDUC 405 Senior Pedagogy Seminar 1.0
    EDUC 411 Family and Community Partnerships 3.0
    MTED 417 Mathematics Methods and Content: Early Childhood 3.0
    MTED 418 Mathematics Methods and Content 3.0
    Special Education Courses
    EDEX 142 Special Education Foundations: Referral and Assessment 3.0
    EDEX 336 Special Education Law and Processes PK-12 3.0
    EDEX 344 Inclusionary Practices for Exceptional Students 3.0
    EDEX 348 Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3.0
    EDEX 349 High Incident Disabilities 3.0
    EDEX 350 Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities 3.0
    EDEX 352 Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement 3.0
    EDEX 355 Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders 3.0
    EDEX 368 Literacy and Content Skill Development PK-12 3.0
    EDEX 375 Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Environment PK-12 3.0
    EDEX 378 Special Education: Methods & Practices PK-12 3.0
    EDEX 388 Implementing Academic Interventions in Inclusive Educational Environments 3.0
    Student Teaching Experience
    EDUC 409 Student Teaching Seminar I 9.0
    EDEX 414 Special Education Student Teaching Seminar 9.0
    Total Credits 181.0-182.0

    Admissions Criteria

    • Transfer Students
      • A minimum of 24 previous college semester credits (36 quarter credits) from a regionally accredited institution, with a grade of C or better in content courses, or a grade of B or better in core pedagogy*
      • College GPA of 2.5 or above (cumulative GPA of 3.0 must be achieved by end of program to obtain Pennsylvania state teaching certification)
    • First-Year Students
      • Between 0 – 23 previous college semester credits from a regionally accredited institution*
      • Must have earned high school diploma or GED a minimum of 2 years ago
    • Non-Matriculated Option
      • Drexel University also offers a non-matriculated option, where you can take courses without being enrolled in a degree-granting program.

    *A transcript review will be conducted by a University advisor

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
      • Transfer Students
        • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
      • First-Year Students
        • Official high school transcripts
        • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
        • Personal Essay
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2021-2022 is $424 per credit. (A 52% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $883 per credit)

    Per credit tuition rates for the 2021-22 academic year will be charged at $424/quarter credit for the fall 2021 quarter; and $435/quarter credit for the winter, spring, and summer 2022 quarters.

    The 52% tuition savings applies only to new students starting in the fall 2021 or spring 2022 terms and cannot be combined with any other tuition benefits available through Drexel University.

    • The 52% tuition savings applies only to new students starting in the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 terms and cannot be combined with any other tuition benefits available through Drexel University.
    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2021-2022 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2021

    September 20, 2021

    December 4, 2021

    December 6, 2021

    December 11, 2021

    Winter 2022

    January 3, 2022

    March 12, 2022

    March 14, 2022

    March 19, 2022

    Spring 2022

    March 28, 2022

    June 4, 2022

    June 6, 2022

    June 11, 2022

    Summer 2022

    June 20, 2022

    August 27, 2022

    August 29, 2022

    September 3, 2022

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