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ONLINE certificate DEGREE

Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate / Special Education

ONLINE certificate DEGREE

Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate / Special Education


15 months

Approximate Program Length


Total Credits


Cost per Credit



Start when you're ready

Register by: Aug 9, 2023

Find your calling in special education. The program is a first step to teacher licensure if you don’t have teaching experience. The program combines academic theory and coursework with a clinical component made up of student teaching and field experiences. Credits from this certificate can apply toward a Master of Arts in Special Education.

  • Lesson Planning

  • Educational Policies

  • Learning Strategies

  • Differentiated Instruction

  • Teaching

  • Professionalism

  • Innovation

Download program and career details




Course at a time

4 to 6

Weeks per course


Courses per year


Attend class whenever it fits your life, day or night because our online classroom is available 24/7/365. Your academic counselor will help schedule your courses for a Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Special Education.

Plus, you’ll find support from our dedicated education program specialists who work with you 1:1 during your 100 required hours of clinical experience (or more if required by your state) and a minimum of 12 weeks of clinical practice (or more if required by your state). Our education program specialists also help you navigate your state licensure requirements for teacher certification, and can help with questions along the way.

What you'll learn

When you earn your online Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Special Education you’ll be equipped with a concrete set of skills you can apply on the job.

  • Design and implement effective instruction and behavioral plans in the P-12 classroom to positively impact student learning
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and ethical conduct in special education
  • Create innovative strategies and incorporate technology in a P-12 classroom setting

COE Central

College of Education students will find many helpful resources on COE Central. Program handbooks provide a wealth of information on topics such as professional expectations, clinical experiences, clinical practice, internships, edTPA and much more. Milestone roadmaps, technology and multimedia resources, and various toolkits are also available.

Licensure Requirements

The Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate – Special Education prepares candidates for initial teacher licensure as a special education teacher. Program requirements may change based upon state agency licensure requirements and they can be found on our teacher licensure page. Please check this list regularly prior to contacting your state agency for state-specific requirements.

Program Purpose Statement

The Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate is a graduate level certificate program intended to prepare students with no prior teaching experience for initial teacher licensure. The certificate program is designed for students who want to become special education teachers. Candidates for this certificate program have already earned a bachelor's degree. The certificate program includes a clinical component requiring field experiences and student teaching above and beyond program coursework.

Careers & Outcomes

Careers & Outcomes

What can you do with a Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate?

A Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate prepares you for:

  • Elementary Special Education Teacher
  • Resource Classroom Teacher
  • Middle School Special Education Teacher
  • Intervention Specialist


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for special education teachers is projected to be as fast as average between 2021 and 2031.

This data reflects the BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.



Paying for school

Tuition Guarantee

Affordable, Fixed Tuition


Cost per credit

Lock in the peace of mind that comes with fixed, affordable tuition. You’ll enjoy one flat rate from the moment you enroll until the day you graduate from your program. That’s your Tuition Guarantee.

Enrollment representatives are ready to help

Need some help?

Our enrollment representatives provide personal support while you make an informed choice about going back to school. Reach us by phone at 844-937-8679 or chat with us 7 days a week.

Student Experience

Student Experience

An education that fits your busy life

Balancing family, work and school

Work toward your degree without giving up what matters most. Start your degree year-round and take one class at a time.

Online learning

Enroll in online classes and attend class whenever it fits your life, day or night.

Around-the-clock support and resources

You have a support team available up to 20 hours a day, 5 days a week. And our academic counselors, who are with you every step of the way, have earned a 5-star rating from 90% of our surveyed students.[1]

[1] Transactional Survey, August 2021-22 (18,645 respondents)

Phoenix provides support and resources for busy students

Accreditation & Faculty

Accreditation & Faculty

Count on the quality of your education

Institutional Accreditation

University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

real-world faculty


Average years of industry experience




Of surveyed students would recommend their instructors

Doris Savron

Faculty Spotlight

As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader.

Doris Savron
Vice Provost of Colleges, University of Phoenix

You might also want to check out:

Continuing Education for Teachers


Master of Arts in Education/Special Education


Graduate Alternative Pathway/Elementary Education Certificate


The following program educationally prepares students to apply for initial teacher certification in select states:

        Graduate Certificate/Special Education (CERT/G-SPE)

Educator/Principal licensure requirements vary by state. Candidates located in a state that does not provide a direct path to licensure will be required to obtain Arizona certification first, prior to seeking licensure in their home state as an out-of-state prepared teacher/principal candidate. Arizona certification requires candidates to pass all Arizona-specific licensure requirements, including any Arizona-specific exams (or home state equivalents if recognized by Arizona Department of Education.) After obtaining an Arizona teacher/principal certificate, candidates can then apply for licensure in their home state and may be required to complete additional testing and/or requirements at additional cost. Program requirements may change based upon your home state’s agency licensure requirements. Please visit the teacher licensure page or the principal licensure page for state specific requirements prior to reaching out to your state agency.

*While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.