Early Childhood Special Education Students and Teachers

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

Now is the perfect time to follow your passion for serving children with developmental delays and their families. Over the last decade, the demand for Early Childhood Special Education (birth - age 6) teachers and early interventionists increased by more than 100%. This need is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.

Our nationally-accredited graduate program meets the needs of both new and in-place early childhood professionals seeking an advanced degree. We offer licensure (cross-categorical) and non-licensure pathways leading to a Master's of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education. Our faculty work closely with students to design an individualized program plan aligned with professional interests and career goals. Online courses accomodate working professionals.

"I had the opportunity to work with both university and community professionals in holistic learning environments. My mentors challenged me to pursue my research interests, and now support me in my goals to become both a leader in the field of education and as an advocate for children and families."  -Winnie Looby G'17

Licensure or Endorsement Pathway

Successful candidates complete their program with a Master's Degree (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), leading to professional teaching licensure or added endorsement (birth through age six). If you are interested in our K through age 21 program, please visit our Special Education (M.Ed.) website.

Non-Licensure Pathway

If you are not seeking an initial license or added endorsement, you can pursue an individually-designed program leading toward a master's degree in special education suited to your career goals and personal interests.

Online Coursework: Begin Any Semester

Start taking coursework any semester (summer, fall, or spring) and apply for admission into the master's degree program. Non-degree students can take EDSP 5100 and EDSP 6130 in Fall 2023 and transfer credits into the master's program (Jump start degree).

Community-Based Learning in Inclusive Settings

Field-based experiences let students to put theory into practice in supportive, high-quality environments that value inclusion. Student teaching internships with our community partners provide opportunities to work with young children and families who are experiencing disability, fully supported by dedicated faculty and local professionals who serve as mentor teachers. 

Evidence-Based Practice

Scholars leave our program with the skills to serve children and families with diverse needs. Our professors have extensive experience in practice and research that contributes to the use of evidence-based practices in special education. We welcome students to get involved with research projects.

National Accreditation

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

Information Sessions (Online)

Meet our faculty and learn more about the program at one of our virtual information sessions:

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Application Information


Application Deadlines:

  • Fall semester deadline: March 15
  • Spring semester deadline: November 1

Candidates Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field with at least 30 credits in a specific content area (GPA of at least a 3.0 in this coursework).
  • Candidates with two years of teaching or related experience in special education receive preference.

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Attending Graduate College at UVM

Please visit the Graduate College website for more information about costs, funding/scholarships, and academic policies.