Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations - NIU - College of Education

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M.S.Ed. in Special Education, Specialization in Early Childhood Special Education


Does working with young children with special needs sound like your dream career? The Master of Science in Education in Special Education with Specialization in Early Childhood Special Education degree from Northern Illinois University will prepare you by teaching you the best practices for working with young students with disabilities. This program also can prepare you to apply for an early intervention credential to work with infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. (Work with your advisor on the specifics!)

What will I study?

Students will learn best practices of teaching young children with special needs in early childhood (ages 3 to 6) settings. Courses include Working with and Supporting Young Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education, and Issues and Recommended Practices in Early Childhood Special Education. 

When/where are classes offered? 

Most classes are offered in person at the DeKalb, Naperville, or Hoffman Estate campuses. Some classes may be offered in a hybrid online/in-person format. Online class sessions may occur weekly with the number of in-person meeting determined by each professor. Classes are available during fall, spring, and summer sessions.

How can I customize my degree program?

In addition to the core coursework, students can take up to five elective courses that are approved by their graduate advisor. Students also have the option to choose from select research courses.

Where are grads working?

Graduates of the program may teach in school districts throughout Illinois and beyond, in states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Arizona, and California. Ninety percent of our graduates find employment within one year of graduating from the program. 

How do I apply?

Read about admission requirements; then apply!