Format Credit Hours Tuition Application Deadline Test Requirements
100% Online 36-42 credits $461/cr. in-state and $576/cr. out-of-state* Rolling Admission

Recommended Dates

Passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test** and GRE/MAT if undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0

*This special e-tuition rate applies to out-of-state students enrolled in a UMaineOnline degree or certificate program.

** Waived if not required by the state where the applicant will be teaching.


Our curriculum explores every element of the early intervention environment. Courses supply the foundations of early intervention professional practice using advanced content in a variety of research areas. Throughout your coursework, you’ll work closely with a faculty advisor to ensure the program meets your needs.

Note: You must be working with young children birth to five years old in order to complete course requirements.

Core Courses

The following core courses are required (33 credits):

  • SEI 524: Supporting Play and Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Young Children (3 credits)
    OR SED 598: Early Childhood Mental Health (3 credits)
  • SED 505: Diversity of Development (3 credits)
  • SED 506: Assessment and Program Planning in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • SED 511: Planning Inclusive Early Childhood Programs and Environments (3 credits)
  • SED 514: Administration and Public Policy for Early Childhood Programs (3 credits)
  • SED 516: Seminar and Practicum in Collaborative Consultation (3 credits)
  • SED 517: Servings Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments (3 credits)
  • SED 521: Center-Based Practicum and Seminar in Early Intervention (3 credits)
  • SED 523: Home-based Practicum and Seminar in Early Intervention (3 credits)
  • SED 529: Language Development and Literacy for Diverse Young Learners (3 credits)
  • SED 598: Behavior Management and Intervention for Early Childhood (3 credits)


Students complete a capstone in lieu of a thesis. Generally completed during your final year of study, the capstone is a project showcasing the skills you’ve gained over the course of the program. This course will guide you through the project (3 credits):

  • SED 655: Graduate Project in Early Intervention (3 credits)

Printable Program of Study

Course Schedule

Student Handbook

Master of Education in Special Education: Early Intervention - Early Childhood Concentration

The University of Maine’s online Master of Education in Special Education with a Concentration in Early Intervention – Early Childhood gives you the skills to prepare children with a range of special needs 5 and younger and their families for success. You’ll learn how to use the latest evidence-based strategies and advanced teaching methods, support and nourish family relationships, collaborate with other professionals, and gain hands-on teaching experience. By understanding how to apply best practices, you can effectively provide young children with disabilities with the critical developmental and educational experiences essential to thrive.

Why UMaineOnline?

  • Earn your degree from anywhere. Our program is 100% online so you can learn when you want, wherever you are.
  • Learn from experienced faculty who are leaders in their field. Our faculty understand the challenges of special education professionals and conduct research in the areas they teach.
  • Same high-quality education as on-campus. Courses are designed and taught by on-campus faculty who are passionate about online teaching at Maine’s only public research university. Our program is also ranked #60 in Best Online Master’s in Education Programs by U.S. News.
  • Develop skills to collaborate effectively. You will work with co-teachers, families, and other service providers and advance your connections within the field.
  • Experience multiple perspectives. We use case studies, simulations, and reflective exercises to prepare you for diverse settings.

Students' Experience Earning Their M.Ed. in Special Education Online


Our faculty actively conduct research in effective special education practices giving them a depth of knowledge about the unique challenges experienced by those who work with young children with disabilities and their families. They are also leaders in institutions, such as the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research, dedicated to improving the lives of those with special needs. Their passion and expertise will help you develop practical skills and grow as an early intervention specialist.

View Faculty

Explore Research and Outreach


We have rolling admissions so you can apply and be accepted into the program at any time. However, the following dates are recommended:

  • Fall semester (starts in September): submit by August 15th
  • Spring semester (starts in January): submit by December 15th
  • Summer semester (starts in June): submit by April 15th

After these dates, your application will be considered for the next semester.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 6 credits of graduate coursework from another institution or 12 credits from the University of Maine can be transferred into the student’s program. Factors determining if credits can be transferred can include how recently the course was taken and it’s equivalency to courses in the program. However, graduate courses taken as an undergraduate cannot be transferred into the M.Ed. program. In order to be transferred, courses must be approved by the Special Education faculty during the application process.


  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university with a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • GRE/MAT* if undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (waived if not required by the state where the applicant will be teaching)
  • A “B” or better in CHF 450: Early Childhood Special Education or equivalent course. Applicants can still be accepted as long as they complete the prerequisite coursework prior to enrolling in M.Ed. courses.
  • Current experience working or volunteering with young children (birth-5 years old) and their families. Applicants without prior experience may be admitted, but may be required to complete additional credit hours of field experience concurrent with course work.

Application Materials

The admission evaluation process begins once we’ve received all your application materials. Before you apply, please review the application instructions. When you’re ready to apply, please submit the following:

  • An online application
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Official Praxis Core scores (applicants currently certified in Maine may have documentation on their teaching certificate stating they have met state Praxis) (waived if not required by the state where the applicant will be teaching)
  • Official GRE/MAT scores (if undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0)
  • A 400 to 500 word essay describing your motivation for obtaining a concentration in Early Intervention that demonstrates your writing skills and capacity for reflection
  • Evidence of fingerprinting and a completed background check
  • Proof of teaching certification if you currently hold a teaching license
  • Letters of recommendation about your ability to perform graduate level coursework and potential for success as an early intervention specialist
  • CV or résumé

Applicants may be invited for a personal interview with the Special Education faculty.

*Note: There is no preference to the GRE or MAT. To make arrangements to take the MAT on short notice and receive scores quickly, please contact the Office of Students Records at 207.581.1317.

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The need for well-trained and knowledgeable special education professionals has never been greater. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of special education teachers will grow 8% from 2016-2026. The demand for special education interventionists is rising as children with disabilities are increasingly being identified earlier and more are being enrolled in special education programs.

The concentration can lead to Maine certification in Teacher of Students with Disabilities (0 to age 5) (282B). Earning certification in other states through this program may be very simple. Please visit your state’s department of education for information or visit the United States Department of Education website. Specific information regarding Maine certification is available through the Maine Department of Education.

Graduates can also find opportunities outside the classroom as supervisors and administrators or in fields such as social work, health care, or therapy.


The CONTAACT-ME program will assist students in earning a master’s degree that leads to state-approved certification in early childhood special education (birth-age 5). The project is supported by a nearly $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, which will help 40-45 graduate students working toward master’s degrees in special education or communication sciences and disorders with an early childhood intervention focus.

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Contact Us

Have questions about earning a M.Ed. in Special Education online with UMaine? Contact Amanda Cupps, UMaineOnline Advisor, at 207.581.5858 or at

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scholarships available - click here to learn about scholarship opportunities

Out-of-State Certification and Licensure

Out-of-State Students: This online degree, when completed outside of Maine, does not lead to a Maine Teaching Certificate. Successful completion of this program by itself does not lead to certification or licensure in any state. It is the student’s responsibility to determine individual state requirements for teacher certification or licensure. Please refer to the U.S. Department of Education for the contact information needed to determine teacher certification or licensure requirements for each individual state. Please be advised that states change their policies from time to time and students are advised to check regularly with their state regulatory agencies’ policies and procedures relating to licensure. Further, a criminal record may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure, certification, or employment in this field of study.