BA Special Education

Teacher and Special Education Student

Bachelor of Arts Special Education (K-12)

For mild to moderate disabilities. Leads to teacher licensure

Degree Overview

Our online teaching degree leading to special education certification will prepare you to fill a vital need in your community. The B.A. in Special Education (K-12) teaches the content knowledge and effective teaching skills to become a special education instructor for students with mild to moderate disabilities. This degree is a cross-categorical model for initial certification. You’ll become a highly qualified educator prepared to make a difference with those who need it most. In some states, the program will lead to dual licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education.

Who the program is for:

  • Individuals who need a bachelor’s degree and want to become a certified special education teacher.
  • Unlicensed substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others who feel the call to teach.
  • Individuals who have completed some college coursework or have applicable work experience.
  • Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.

Note: WGU is the first exclusively online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure, a testament to the fact that WGU graduates "have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn."

This program will be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Click here to learn how your program works.

Your Program of Study

In this online special education degree, you’ll learn all the essential skills and knowledge needed. This program includes the following areas of study, supervised practice teaching in an actual classroom, and completion of a professional portfolio.

  • General Education
  • Teacher Education Foundations
  • Teacher Education Diversity
  • Special Education
  • Preclinical Experiences
  • Instructional Planning and Presentation
  • Elementary Education Methods
  • Demonstration Teaching (includes practice teaching)

Total Program: 137 Competency Units (credit equivalents)
Less: Any competency units waived through transfer of prior college credits.

Note: Your prior college experience may waive some degree requirements.

More details about your challenging course of study

View the program guide (PDF)

More info about becoming a teacher

Request More Information


Questions & Answers

Click a question, see the answer to the right.

Will I practice teach?

Yes, all WGU teacher licensure programs include practice teaching in real classrooms. This is part of your Demonstration Teaching domain of study. This is obviously not an online portion of your degree program. Exactly how your practice teaching occurs will depend on the specific school district in which you teach. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor who can explain this in more detail.

How will I complete my degree?

As a WGU student, you take and complete assessments. You’ll prepare for your assessments by engaging various learning resources including textbooks, web tutorials, and courses. You will determine what learning resources are best for you in consultation with your mentor using your personalized Degree Plan. You can learn more by exploring the WGU Experience. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor who can explain this program in greater depth.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, WGU offers federal financial aid. Loans are available to most students, regardless of financial need. Grants that don’t require repayment are also available for those with financial need. You can check into your financial aid eligibility at any time during the admissions process. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more or visit the Financial Aid section of the website.