EUGENE, Ore., March 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/  College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published a ranking of the 25 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Special Education for 2017.

Qualified special education teachers are in desperately short supply.  This fact has been well documented by the Center for Personnel Studies in Special Education. The U.S. Department of Education has additionally noted that approximately 50,000 special education teachers are professionally unqualified.

This new ranking from College Choice seeks to not only provide a guide to prospective students interested in special education, but also to highlight the need for more teachers in this field.

“It is not a job for the faint of heart, but it is a job with boundless rewards,” Christian Amondson, Managing Editor of College Choice, said of the ranking. “Special education teachers make a huge difference in the lives of kids with disabilities, which likely accounts for the findings of a University of Chicago study, in which special education ranks among the top ten most satisfying careers.”

To create this ranking, College Choice started with standard academic reputation rankings, then weighed net tuition, early career earnings, and acceptance rates to come up with a composite score that reflects academic excellence and return on investment.

The ranking for the 25 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Special Education finds Vanderbilt University in the top spot. University of Wisconsin - Madison is in second, and the University of Texas at Austin rounds out the top three.

The entire ranking, listed in alphabetical order, is as follows:

  1. Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD
  2. Boston University, Boston, MA
  3. Bradley University, Peoria, IL
  4. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  5. Clemson University, Clemson, SC
  6. College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
  7. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  8. Miami University, Oxford, OH
  9. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  10. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  11. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  12. SUNY – Cortland, Cortland, NY
  13. SUNY – Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  14. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  15. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  16. University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  17. University of Hawaii – Manoa, Manoa, HI
  18. University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
  19. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  20. University of Maryland, College Park
  21. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
  22. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
  23. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  24. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI
  25. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

College Choice is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. The site publishes rankings and reviews that make finding the best colleges for different interests easier and more fun, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.


Christian Amondson, Managing Editor, College Choice
Phone: (541) 255-3801