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2022 Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region

124 Colleges in the Great Lakes Region
5,757 Special Ed Degrees Awarded
$40,366 Avg Early-Career Salary
A degree in special education is more popular than many other degrees. In fact, it ranks #39 out of 368 on popularity of all such degrees in the nation. So, you have a fair amount of options to choose from when looking for a school.

In 2022, College Factual analyzed 124 schools in order to identify the top ones for its Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 5,757 degrees in special education to qualified students.

What's on this page: * Degree-Level Rankings

Choosing a Great Special Education School

Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region The special ed program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Special Education rankings. For our Best Overall Special Education School rankings, we roll up the results of our degree-level rankings, weighted by the number of degrees awarded at that level.

In order to find the schools that are the best fit for you, you may want to filter to one of the degree levels below.

Special Education Rankings by Degree Level

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region list, to help you choose the best school for you. More interested in schools in a specific area of the country? Filter this list by region or state.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Read more about College Factual's methodology.

Featured Special Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Best Schools for Special Education in the Great Lakes Region

The schools below may not offer all types of special ed degrees so you may want to filter by degree level first. However, they are great for the degree levels they do offer. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

18 Top Great Lakes Region Schools in Special Ed

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
189 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Illinois State University is one of the finest schools in the country for getting a degree in special education. Illinois State is a very large public university located in the medium-sized suburb of Normal. A Best Schools rank of #230 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Illinois State is a great university overall.

There were roughly 189 special education students who graduated with this degree at Illinois State in the most recent data year. Special Education degree recipients from Illinois State University earn a boost of around $2,234 above the average earnings of special education graduates.

More information about a degree in special education from Illinois State University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In WI
63 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Wisconsin - Madison is one of the finest schools in the country for getting a degree in special education. UW - Madison is a fairly large public university located in the city of Madison. A Best Schools rank of #69 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UW - Madison is a great university overall.

There were about 63 special education students who graduated with this degree at UW - Madison in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Wisconsin - Madison

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
39 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a great option for students interested in a degree in special education. UIUC is a very large public university located in the city of Champaign. A Best Schools rank of #68 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UIUC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 39 special education students who graduated with this degree at UIUC in the most recent data year. Students who receive their degree from the special ed program earn an average of $42,100 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduate Certificate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In WI
143 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire is a great choice for students interested in a degree in special education. UW - Eau Claire is a fairly large public university located in the city of Eau Claire. A Best Schools rank of #270 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UW - Eau Claire is a great university overall.

There were approximately 143 special education students who graduated with this degree at UW - Eau Claire in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

#5

Hope College

Holland, MI
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
$27,000 Median Student Debt

Hope is a small private not-for-profit college located in the city of Holland. A Best Schools rank of #281 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Hope is a great college overall.

There were about 14 special education students who graduated with this degree at Hope in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the special ed program state that they receive average early career income of $39,100.

More information about a degree in special education from Hope College

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
43 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the small city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #111 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means IU Bloomington is a great university overall.

There were about 43 special education students who graduated with this degree at IU Bloomington in the most recent data year. Graduates who receive their degree from the special ed program earn an average of $41,400 in the first couple years of their career.

More information about a degree in special education from Indiana University - Bloomington

#7

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
40 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the midsize city of Dayton, UDayton is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #232 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UDayton is a great university overall.

There were approximately 40 special education students who graduated with this degree at UDayton in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate with their degree from the special ed program report average early career wages of $38,100.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Dayton

#8

Ball State University

Muncie, IN
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,606 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the small city of Muncie, Ball State is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 9th out of 48 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There were roughly 1606 special education students who graduated with this degree at Ball State in the most recent year we have data available. Those special education students who get their degree from Ball State University make $3,584 more than the average special ed graduate.

More information about a degree in special education from Ball State University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
74 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Chicago, UIC is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 9th out of 102 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were approximately 74 special education students who graduated with this degree at UIC in the most recent data year. Special Education degree recipients from University of Illinois at Chicago earn a boost of around $19,834 over the average earnings of special education graduates.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Illinois at Chicago

#10

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In IN

Located in the small city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #106 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Purdue is a great university overall.

There were roughly 26 special education students who graduated with this degree at Purdue in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Purdue University - Main Campus

#11

Lewis University

Romeoville, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In IL
67 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Lewis is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Romeoville. This university ranks 17th out of 102 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were approximately 67 special education students who graduated with this degree at Lewis in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Lewis University

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
9th Most Popular In WI

Located in the town of Menomonie, UW - Stout is a public university with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Schools rank of #286 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UW - Stout is a great university overall.

There were about 23 special education students who graduated with this degree at UW - Stout in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Wisconsin - Stout

#13

Calvin University

Grand Rapids, MI
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
16th Most Popular In MI

Located in the city of Grand Rapids, Calvin is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. A Best Schools rank of #334 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Calvin is a great university overall.

There were approximately 12 special education students who graduated with this degree at Calvin in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Calvin University

#14

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
85 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Michigan State is a very large public university located in the city of East Lansing. A Best Schools rank of #157 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Michigan State is a great university overall.

There were roughly 85 special education students who graduated with this degree at Michigan State in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the special education program at Michigan State University get $5,834 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in special education from Michigan State University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
19th Most Popular In IL

Loyola Chicago is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Chicago. This university ranks 10th out of 102 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were approximately 8 special education students who graduated with this degree at Loyola Chicago in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Loyola University Chicago

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WI
60 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

UW Oshkosh is a fairly large public university located in the city of Oshkosh. This university ranks 16th out of 52 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There were approximately 60 special education students who graduated with this degree at UW Oshkosh in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
38 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #186 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Ohio State is a great university overall.

There were roughly 38 special education students who graduated with this degree at Ohio State in the most recent year we have data available. Soon after graduating, special ed degree recipients usually make around $35,800 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a degree in special education from Ohio State University - Main Campus

#18

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
$27,000 Median Student Debt

Bradley is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Peoria. This university ranks 11th out of 102 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were roughly 9 special education students who graduated with this degree at Bradley in the most recent year we have data available. Soon after graduating, special ed degree recipients typically earn an average of $40,000 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a degree in special education from Bradley University

Rest of the Top Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
19 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
20 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
21 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
22 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
23 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green, OH
24 University of Evansville Evansville, IN
25 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH

Best Special Education Colleges by State

Explore the best special education colleges for a specific state in the Great Lakes Region .

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Michigan 305 642
Ohio 303 1,279
Illinois 299 888
Indiana 283 1,390
Wisconsin 267 421

View All Rankings >

One of 14 majors within the Education area of study, Special Education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Special Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
General Special Education 2,962
Other Special Education & Teaching 1,278
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 400
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 252
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 193
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments 110
Education of the Deaf 104
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities 99
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 85
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 77

View All Special Ed Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 13,293
Teacher Education Subject Specific 7,188
Educational Administration 6,762
General Education 3,216
Curriculum & Instruction 2,600
Student Counseling 1,375
Instructional Media Design 1,000
Teaching English or French 601
Other Education 546
Multilingual Education 382

View All Special Ed Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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