Master of Arts in Teaching / Special Education (K-12)
Western Governors University

Program Details

WGU’s Master of Arts in Teaching–Special Education (MATSPED) degree program prepares students to meet the workforce development needs and requirements to earn initial teaching licensure in special education (mild to moderate) in elementary and secondary schools.
The MATSPED program is a self-paced, competency-based, online program designed to meet CEC and CAEP standards in preparing teachers to work with students with exceptionalities. The program is intended to lead to initial licensure in special education in all 50 states as well as prepare graduates for the edTPA Special Education assessment. Ideal candidates for this program include paraprofessionals seeking licensure, educators or professionals with undergraduate or graduate degrees seeking initial licensure in special education, and educators seeking to specialize in SPED.
WGU offers low, flat-rate tuition charged per six-month term, independent of the number of courses taken. With no set log-in times, our online programs allow for unparalleled flexibility, so students can complete coursework whenever and wherever works best for their schedules. Students also benefit from our competency-based learning model, which makes it possible for them to potentially graduate faster by completing courses as quickly as they can prove mastery of the required material. Additionally, faculty mentors work one-on-one with WGU students, providing dedicated coaching, guidance, and support from enrollment through graduation.

% Online

100% Online

Program Accreditation & Licensing

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

School Accreditation & Licensing

Western Governors University is the only university to have received simultaneous accreditation by four regional accrediting commissions. Currently, WGU's "home" accrediting commission is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the same organization that accredits such leading institutions as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and other public and private colleges.

Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Application Requirements

Criminal Background Check, Official College Transcript(s)

Additional Info

  • Students who are seeking initial teacher licensure in a bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s program must pass a state-specific basic skills test for the state in which they live as a prerequisite to Demonstration Teaching (student teaching). Registering and paying for the test is the student’s responsibility. This requirement can be met either prior to admission or before beginning the Foundations of Teaching subject area once you are in your WGU program.

The WGU Teachers College is the first competency-based online university to receive accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). 

Additionally, the teacher licensure programs offered through the WGU Teachers College have been awarded full accreditation by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) through June 30, 2026.