Collage of special educators and students in educational settings

UVM is recognized as one of the Best Graduate Schools of Education by U.S. News and World Reports

Our nationally accredited program meets the needs of experienced and aspiring professionals through licensure and non-licensure pathways leading to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education. Each pathway offers scholarship opportunities and community-based internships supported by our nationally recognized faculty and local professionals. We work closely with students to design an individualized program plan aligned with professional interests and career goals. Courses are offered at convenient times to accommodate working professionals.

"For me, one of the highlights of the special education graduate program was forming relationships with my professors and colleagues. Being surrounded by people who are as passionate about education as I am was inspiring and definitely contributed to my growth as an educator. No matter where my future takes me, I'll always feel like I can come 'home' to UVM."  Lindsay Sanderson '16

We believe that all students have worth and dignity. Our program promotes the success of all students through inclusive education, collaboration, family-centered practice, a supports model approach to understanding disability. We focus on evidence-based practice, data-based decision making, and a strengths-based climate in which students, families, and school staff feel welcomed, respected, and supported. Students enhance their collaborative skills with families, teachers, administrators, service providers, and employers. Evening coursework is available to accommodate working professionals.

Licensure or Endorsement Pathways

Successful completion of the program leads to initial licensure or added endorsement in Special Education for grades K through age 21. For licensure or endorsement in birth through age 6, please visit our Early Childhood Special Education webpage.

Non-Licensure Pathway

For those not seeking an initial license or added endorsement, we offer an individually-designed non-licensure pathway leading to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education. This option is meant for licensed teachers and special educators seeking to extend their skills and knowledge, or other professionals planning to work with students who have disabilities in roles other than as a special educator (e.g., recreation, community living, or other employment).

Community-Engaged Learning

We are proud to provide authentic community-based learning. Local professionals and families of children with disabilities have a strong presence in our classes. Our students are welcomed into their field experiences by professionals dedicated to sharing their expertise with UVM scholars. Field-based experiences enable you to put theory into practice within supportive, high-quality environments that value diversity and inclusion.

Cultural, Linguistic and Economic Diversity

You will participate in field experiences and projects designed to increase cultural competence. Our faculty are intentional about ensuring field experience in schools that serve Burlington’s diverse community. You will get hands-on experience serving families and children who are experiencing disability, English language learners, refugees, and/or living with poverty. Given the diverse community characteristics of Burlington, our community is in the ideal setting for preparing teachers who are committed to equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Research-Informed Practices

Our professors have extensive experience in special education, both in practice and in research. Faculty research contributes to the identification and use of evidence-based practices in special education and informs our curriculum and teaching methods. There are always opportunities to get involved with research projects. Find out more by viewing our faculty profiles.

National Accreditation

UVM's Special Education Graduate Program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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This film, created by our UVM Special Education M.Ed. graduates Elizabeth King and Rachel Potts, looks at the experiences of three students involved with the Harwood Transition Team.


Contact Us


Phone: 802-656-2310

Apply to UVM Graduate College

How to Apply

  • Summer/Fall Semester Application Deadline: March 15
  • Spring Semester Application Deadline: November 1

Application Criteria

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Preference is given to candidates with two years of teaching and/or related experience working with people with disabilities.

Attending Graduate College at UVM

For more information about attending Graduate College at UVM, including funding opportunities and academic policies, please visit the Graduate College website.