Format Credit Hours Tuition Application Deadline Test Requirements
100% Online 33 credits $550/cr. in-state and out-of-state* Rolling Admission

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*This special e-tuition rate applies to out-of-state students enrolled in a UMaineOnline degree or certificate program. Tuition rates for those not enrolled in a program/non-degree students can be found on Tuition & Fees.

**Check the Department of Education requirements for your state to determine if testing is required.

Master of Education in Special Education: High Incidence Disabilities Concentration

The University of Maine’s online Master of Education in Special Education with a Concentration in High Incidence Disabilities prepares you to provide high-quality education to students with mild to moderate disabilities such as learning disabilities and/or emotional/behavioral disorders. You’ll learn how to use the latest evidence-based strategies to adapt general education curriculum and create safe, inclusive, and culturally-responsive classrooms. By understanding how to apply best practices, you can provide students with the proper attention, assistance, and instruction to help them succeed.

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 #108 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.


Our curriculum explores every element of the special education environment. Throughout your coursework, you’ll work closely with a faculty advisor to ensure the program meets your needs.

Note: You must be working with PK-12 students with disabilities in a public school setting in order to complete course requirements.

Core Courses

The following core courses are required (30 credits):

  • SED 520: Law and Policy Affecting Individuals (3 credits)
  • SED 532: Behavior Management and Intervention (3 credits)
  • SED 543: Program Planning and Curriculum Access (3 credits)
  • SED 544: Math Methods in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SED 545: Intervention for Reading Difficulties (3 credits)
  • SED 553: Assessment in Special Education I (3 credits)
  • SED 564: Assistive Technology for Universal Design for Learning in Pre-K-12 Classrooms (3 credits)
  • SED 546: Intervention for Writing Difficulties (3 credits)
  • SED 598: Transition and Collaboration (3 credits)
  • SED 605: Seminar in Special Education: Critical Issues (3 credits)


You will choose one elective (3 credits). The elective can be another special education course or other education course approved by your advisor.


Students complete a capstone in lieu of a thesis. Generally completed during your final year of study, the capstone can be an internship in a special education setting or a project showcasing the skills you’ve gained over the course of the program. You’ll work with an advisor to choose which option is best for you (6 credits):

  • SED 610: Internship in Special Education Teaching (6 credits)

Printable Program of Study

Course Schedule

Student Handbook

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 students with disabilities. 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 a professional educator.

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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 May): 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 its 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
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (waived if not required by the state where the applicant will be teaching)
  • A “B” or better in SED 302, SED 500, 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 students with disabilities in a K-12 classroom. 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 (candidates 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)
  • A 400 to 500-word essay describing your motivation for obtaining a concentration in High Incidence Disabilities 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
  • CV or résumé

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

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The need for well-trained and knowledgeable special education teachers 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 teachers 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 (K-8 or 7-12) (282E or 282S). 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.

Contact Us

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

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Out-of-State Certification and Licensure

Out-of-state Students: Once completed, graduates can apply for professional special education teaching certification through the department of education in the state they are seeking certification in. 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.

*A criminal record may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure, certification, or employment in this field of study.