Our special education program is designed to equip aspiring educators with the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals with diverse learning abilities.

Our curriculum is designed to prepare you to address the needs of your future students with a hands-on approach to learning. Starting as early as the first semester, you engage in immersive experiences within actual classroom settings, working with seasoned special educators, participating in community initiatives, contributing to committees, and connecting with professional organizations. This dynamic, experiential learning ensures our graduates are not just academically prepared but also ready to make a genuine impact in the field of special education.

Students who complete their special education degree at the University of Mary will meet the eligibility criteria to obtain North Dakota special education licensure, further enhancing their career prospects and impact within the field. 

Take the First Step

Get in touch with any questions or submit a simple application for admission. We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Job openings for special education teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Program Length

As few as 2.6 years, depending on transferred credits.


  • Online

Tuition Per Credit


A Generous Scholarship

The University of Mary offers a generous scholarship for students in our online elementary education program. Contact us for details and more information.

Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Prospective teachers looking to start their careers in teaching who have the support of an administrator
  • Para-professionals looking to learn about the different types of disabilities
  • Anyone who wants to remain in their community and support learning locally

Career Paths

  • Special Education Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • Human Services

What You’ll Learn

The curriculum is carefully designed to provide students with the expertise and capabilities needed to enter the field with confidence, grounded in genuine learning, practical application, and hands-on experiences.

Looking for Scholarship Opportunities?

Paraprofessional educators looking to get their North Dakota Teaching license can apply for a scholarship through the Paraprofessional-to-Teacher Pathway program. This scholarship is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI). To qualify for the scholarship, you need to work at least 50% of the school day as a paraprofessional in a North Dakota school. If you are interested in applying, please contact an admissions representative.

Program Details

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

If you are serving or have served our country, we sincerely thank you. Our military services office is here to work closely with active duty, retired, reserve, and eligible family members qualified for military benefits. Learn how we can help you with the application process and review the benefits you have earned.

For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The University of Mary is committed to putting your educational goals within reach. Learn what scholarships you qualify for.

We welcome students from various backgrounds, including transfer students from institutionally accredited colleges and universities recognized by the US Dept. of Education and those with military or career and work experience. 

How do I show my previous college, military, or work experience?

  • Official transcripts (if applicable) from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions.

    • Did you graduate from the University of Mary? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
    • At most other schools, you can request transcripts by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office. 
      • Have your transcripts sent to:
        Office of Admissions
        University of Mary
        7500 University Drive
        Bismarck, ND 58504
      • Or request to send electronic transcripts to registrar@umary.edu.
  • Students with previous career or work experience can earn credits for prior learning.
    • You can choose to test for prior learning credits — we convert your test scores into college credit.
    • You can request a portfolio review for prior learning credits. You’ll assemble documentation to show your experience, which will be reviewed and evaluated by an experienced faculty member.
  • Military experience can count towards a degree.
  • All of our programs require you to fill out the general application form in addition to submitting the application fee and your transcripts.
  • Any program-specific requirements you’ll need to submit in addition to the items listed above can be found in our catalog.

At the University of Mary, we review every application on an individual basis, ensuring that the materials you submit are evaluated with care and attention. Reach out to us if you have any questions in filling out your application.

Get Started Today

Apply Online