Early Childhood Education: Special Needs (M.Ed.)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.unh.edu.


The Department of Education offers the master of education degree in early childhood education with an option in special needs. When completed in conjunction with a degree, certification is available as an early childhood special education teacher (birth through eight years). Certification requirements are additional to the master's degree but may be completed as electives for the degree.

This program is an advanced course of study designed for teachers, administrators, and other early childhood practitioners who wish to improve their professional competence and broaden their career opportunities. The program emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and competencies in child development (birth through eight years), learning environments, developmentally appropriate curriculum, developmental and cultural diversity, and professional leadership. The coursework culminates in extensive field­-based experience.

Admission Requirements

All admitted students are expected to have had at least one course in child development at the upper­ division level and at least 200 hours of supervised classroom experience with children from birth through eight years of age, or the equivalent.

In addition to the early childhood core requirements described above, students choosing this option will concentrate on young children who are at risk for, or have, developmental difficulties and special needs. Coursework emphasizes an understanding of the role of the family, community, and social policy in early development and intervention. The program is non categorical in its approach to assessment and educational planning.

Admission Criteria

In determining admission of students to teacher education graduate programs, several criteria are used:

  1. The undergraduate record. The undergraduate overall minimum grade point average for admission is 3.0.  The undergraduate grade point average of students admitted to the graduate programs in teacher education is approximately 3.52 (based on 2016 admissions).
  2. Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) exam scores are required. Applicants must obtain, at a minimum, a qualifying score (as set by the state of New Hampshire at the time of testing) on all three (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) Core exams in order to be considered for admission. Current NH qualifying scores may be found at the ETS Praxis Website under the “Tests required for all licensure areas” page.
  3. Additional required application materials can be found at http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/php/pos.php under programs.

Credit Hours

The M.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate-­level credits. The exact number of credit hours will depend on the student's background, competencies, and professional goals, and will be determined by the adviser.

Core Requirements
EDUC 861Inclusive Curriculum for Young Children with Special Needs4
EDUC 941Diversity and Child Development4
EDUC 942Socio-cultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning4
EDUC 948Leadership and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education4
Internship Requirements
EDUC 900BInternship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education3
EDUC 901BInternship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education3
Additional Special Needs Requirements
EDUC 860Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs4
EDUC 862Curriculum for Young Children with Special Needs: Evaluation and Program Design4
EDUC 856Supporting Families of Individuals with Exceptionalities4
Selected in consultation with the program adviser based on interest and certification requirements2-8
Concluding Experience
A degree candidate must successfully complete two concluding experiences.
Select one of the following:
Comprehensive written and oral examination
Research thesis
Graduation Portfolio
Total Credits36-42