Graduate Programs in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Applied Behavior Analysis

Located in Virginia. Serving the World.

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Flexible Online Programs

Part-Time Format

Outcome-Focused Education

Lifetime Access to Career Services

Online Programs That Foster a Lifetime of Inclusive Learning

Develop the educational talents to provide inclusive education through George Mason University’s online master’s degree and graduate certificate programs. You’ll learn evidence-based practices supported by the latest research so that you can enhance the learning experience for students with disabilities. After finishing your program, you’ll have the expertise and qualifications to support young and adult students in schools, private practice environments, and even homes.

Discover the rich online learning experiences available exclusively from Virginia’s largest research university. Plus, capitalize on the proven career and advancement achieved by graduates of Mason’s online programs.

Mason provides graduate programs that fit your career goals. Seek your Master of Education in Special Education degree with a graduate certificate track in Autism Spectrum Disorders or Applied Behavior Analysis, or pursue each certificate in a standalone program. No matter the option you select, you’ll take classes in a flexible online format that fits your busy schedule.

  • The employment of PK-12 special education teachers is projected to increase by 5% from 2021 to 20311
  • Placed among the Top 10 universities offering master’s degrees with the highest return on investment2
  • Ranked No. 7 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Online Master’s in Special Education Programs3
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Special Education Programs That Lead to Your Goals

Mason offers graduate degrees and certificates that enable you to make a difference in specialized areas of special education.

30 credit hours. 24 months.

Learn to create inclusive classrooms and provide lifelong support to learners with disabilities. You can take classes aligning with your desired education specialty by selecting a graduate certificate track in Autism Spectrum Disorders or Applied Behavior Analysis.

18 credit hours. 18 months.

Support the needs of learners with autism spectrum disorders in school, home, and community settings. This inclusive program equips you with the expertise to provide enriching education and services to individuals with ASD across their lifespans.

21 credit hours. 18 months.

Explore human behavior and empirically validated methods to help students with and without disabilities make behavioral improvements. While pursuing this certificate, you’ll take classes that prepare you to seek the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) credential.

A World-Class Education Within Reach

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. We welcome students from all walks of life, and we’ve designed our programs with that in mind. Our modern curriculum, responsive faculty, and innovative solutions combine to produce a six-year graduation rate that exceeds the national average, with no disparity based on ethnicity or economic status. We’re proud to be continuously recognized – and ranked – for offering an education that is affordable, accessible, and valuable.

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Rigorous Academic Standards. Flexible Online Format.

At Mason, we curate online programs that offer innovative experiences to further your ambitions in a way that works with your schedule. Like our on-campus students, you’ll benefit from our commitment to academic rigor and integrity while learning from the same renowned faculty.

We’ve been recognized as a top university for non-traditional learners, and our commitment to your success goes beyond graduation. After you’ve earned your degree, you’ll maintain lifetime access to our career services.

Student-Centered Special Education Courses

Discover graduate programs in special education that help elevate your capacity for empowering students with disabilities. You’ll take online courses led by distinguished faculty with extensive research and professional backgrounds, learning from their experience as you gain specialized expertise in autism spectrum disorders or applied behavior analysis.

Mason’s coursework delves into concepts you’ll apply during your career, including universal design for learning, interventions for individuals with autism, and conceptual issues in behavior analysis. While you can complete most of Mason’s special education programs online, the master’s degree may require field experience that provides valuable insights for your career.

Prepare to Make a Bigger Difference in Your Career

Educators and health professionals now identify disabilities earlier in children’s lives, which is expected to increase the demand for special education teachers. In fact, projections show that employers will need nearly 38,000 additional special education teachers each year from 2021 to 2031.1 With Mason’s online programs, you can experience advanced training aligning with careers in intervention, psychology, behavioral analysis, and school administration.

Rewarding Careers for Mason Graduates

  • Special Education Teacher
  • Child Psychologist
  • Interventionist
  • Speech and Language Pathologist
  • Behavior Analyst
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist

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  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Special Education Teachers: Job Outlook. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from
  2. OnlineU. Best Online Master’s Programs: Online Master’s Degrees with the Highest Return on Investment. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from
  3. U.S. News and World Report. George Mason University: Online Programs Rankings. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from

Professional Licensure Disclosure & Disclaimers

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool ( for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.

Autism Spectrum Disorder – This program is intended to provide advanced study of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). George Mason University is currently exploring autism-specific licensure opportunities that may exist in your state upon completion of the program; however, this degree program is not intended to fully prepare students for teaching licensure in any state. Students are strongly encouraged to be proactive and verify all licensure information.

Applied Behavior Analysis – Completing the George Mason University Verified Course Sequence, along with the appropriate master’s degree, supervised experience, and passing the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination™ would result in one earning Board Certified Behavior Analyst™ status from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board™. In addition to Board Certification, many states require state licensure for a Behavior Analyst to practice. Licensure requirements vary from state to state. Please check the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts’™ website to determine whether your state requires licensure, and what the exact requirements for that licensure are. This degree program is not intended to fully prepare students for teaching or ABA licensure in any state.

*At this time, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board™ is offering the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination™ only in English, and only in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Students residing in other countries are advised to check with the BACB™ as to specific procedures needed to qualify and sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Exam™.

**For Certificate Only – The BACB™ has specific degree requirements for eligibility to apply for the BCBA™ credential. Click here for more details.