Early Childhood Special Education Students and Teachers

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%. The number of graduates from ECSE preparation programs does not yet satisfy this need, which is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.

Our nationally-accredited graduate program is designed to meet 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 will work closely with you to design an individualized program plan aligned with your professional interests and career goals. Course are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

What Our Graduates Say

"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

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.

Community-Based Learning in Inclusive Settings

Field-based experiences enable our students to put theory into practice within supportive, high-quality environments that value inclusion. Student teaching internships with our community partners provide the 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 needed to access research-based evidence and to judge its value to serve children and families with diverse needs. 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. We also have opportunities for students to get involved with exciting research projects.

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Contact Us

Email: ecse_grad@uvm.edu

Apply to UVM Graduate College


Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester Deadline: March 15
  • Spring Semester Deadline: November 1

Candidates Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field that includes at least 30 hours of course work in a specific content area
  • GPA of at least a 3.0 in this course work

Preference is given to candidates with two years of teaching and/or related experience in special education.

Attending Graduate College at UVM

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