Master of Education in Special Education – Concentration in High Incidence


Program Description

General Overview M.Ed. in Special Education – Concentration in High Incidence

This program, which requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, leads to state certification as Teacher of Students with Disabilities (282) (K-8 or 7-12). The program prepares master’s level special educators to serve students in the areas of reading, math, writing, and challenging behavior. In addition to the UMaine Graduate School application criteria, applicants must demonstrate satisfactory scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and successful completion of an introductory course in special education or adapting instruction for students with disabilities. All courses require fieldwork so candidates must be working or volunteering in K-12 schools. PROGRAM BENEFITS

  • Earn an NCATE-accredited degree from the University of Maine
  • Learn from experienced faculty who are leaders in the field
  • Practice collaborating effectively with co-teachers, family, and other service providers
  • Experience multiple perspectives through case studies, simulations, and reflective exercises
  • Complete your coursework anywhere through our innovative online format

A Master’s degree in Special Education provides graduates with an understanding of the application of current evidence-based practices in K-12 classrooms for children with special needs. Understanding a child’s needs is essential to ensure that he/she receives the proper attention, assistance, and intervention to succeed in school. Our graduates apply their understanding of children’s needs and best practices to address the needs of their students in inclusive general education learning environments. Graduate programs are designed to enrich and extend theory, practice, and leadership. The hallmark of graduate work in the College is mentoring-working closely with a faculty advisor whose goal is to ensure that a student’s programs meet his/her unique needs. Small classes, led by widely recognized faculty, encourage debate, inquiry, and discussion based on real experiences and current issues. Flexibility is built into individual programs to allow the greatest impact in specific areas of need. This same commitment to individual growth and inquiry is ingrained in outreach and distance education.

Program Requirements (36 credits)

This 36-credit hour program leads to state certification as Teacher of Students with Disabilities (K-8 or 7-12) (282). It is designed for students who have a background in elementary or secondary education or have experience working with students with disabilities, and who can document competency and prior coursework in child/adolescent development and adapt instruction for students with disabilities (SED 302/500 or the equivalent). Applicants who have not met program prerequisites may be admitted for a part-time study if they are currently employed in work with students with disabilities. Prerequisite coursework must be taken prior to enrolling in courses for the M.Ed. Courses are delivered via distance education technology. Prerequisites

  • Grade of B or higher in SED 302, 402, SED 500 or the equivalent
  • Satisfactory performance on Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators AND on MAT or GRE
  • Satisfactory undergraduate GPA (3.0 for regular admission)
  • Recommendations indicate potential for success as a graduate student and special education teacher (academic background and positive dispositions)
  • Admissions essay demonstrates adequate writing skills, capacity for reflection, and commitment to the field of special education
  • Evidence of completion of fingerprinting and background check (Maine Dept. of Education)
  • Experience working in some capacity with students with disabilities. Candidates without prior experience may be admitted, but they may be required to complete additional credit hours of field experience concurrent with coursework.

Core Courses

  • EHD 510: Introduction to Educational Research
  • SED 510: Diversity in Development
  • SED 520: Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and Case Management
  • SED 532: Behavior Management and Intervention
  • SED 543: Program Planning and Management
  • SED 544: Math Methods in Special Education
  • SED 545: Intervention for Reading Difficulties
  • SED 553: Special Education Assessment I
  • SED 564: Universal Design for Learning in PK12 Classrooms
  • Electives: 6 credits – selected with approval of advisor; at least 3 credits must be in literacy, SED or ERL


  • Option A – SED 610: Internship in Special Education Teaching, K-8 or 7-12 (6 credits)
  • Option B – SED 6XX: Graduate Project in Special Education (3 credit


For admission to a graduate program in Special Education, students must meet basic standards of the Graduate School and special eligibility requirements of the program. Applicants may take either the GRE (no advanced test required) or the Miller Analogies Test. For students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, this testing requirement is waived. Applicants seeking admission to programs that lead to certification must submit scores on Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators with their applications ( Candidates who are already certified in Maine and have taken Praxis previously may submit a copy of their certificates to document that they have met state standards on the test. Applicants may be invited for a personal interview with the Special Education faculty. Students should request financial aid information from the University’s Student Financial Aid Office. Special Education scholarships are sometimes available for candidates with documented financial needs. To be eligible, applicants must have applied for financial aid through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid. When you are ready to apply, please first review the Application Instructions. Then, complete your online application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an M.Ed. in Special Education – Concentration in High Incidence? The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of Special Education is projected to grow by 6% during 2012-2022. Demand will be driven by special needs increasing enrollment and the need for services. As screening capabilities increase, so does the need for the services provided by Special Education teachers in K-12 classroom settings. Teachers in Special Education can also pursue employment opportunities in the private sector and as supervisors and administrators. How do I obtain information about the Graduate Record Exam or Miller Analogies Test, and Praxis I? Applicants must take either the GRE (no advanced test required) or the MAT. As a faculty, we have no particular preference. However, an arrangement to take the MAT can be made by contacting the Office of Student Records (207-581-1317) and normally can be made on relatively short notice, and the results are quickly available. Students who choose to enroll in a thesis program must take the GRE. You can register at the Educational Testing Service website. Information about Praxis I is available on the Educational Testing Service website. Does the M.Ed. program in Special Education require a thesis? No. What about certification? Teacher certification is granted by the Maine Department of Education, not by the University of Maine. Students who successfully complete ALL the requirements of our NCATE-approved, professional preparation programs (Teacher of Students with High Incidence Disabilities, Educational Specialist for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities) including documentation of passing scores on Praxis II in Special Education will be eligible for certification. Specific information regarding certification is available from the Maine Department of Education, Certification Services, State House Station 23, Augusta, ME 04333. If I have taken graduate courses at another university, can they be transferred to my program at UMaine? A maximum of 6 credit hours of previous graduate coursework from another institution can be transferred into the student’s program at the time of admission, or 12 credits from the University of Maine. In order to be transferred, courses must be approved by the Special Education faculty. Determination of transfer acceptability depends on factors such as how recently the course was taken and whether it is judged equivalent to an established course in the program. Decisions on the transfer of courses are made during the application/interview process. Graduate courses taken as part of one’s undergraduate program cannot be transferred into the M.Ed. program. How do I obtain a faculty advisor? A Special Education faculty member is assigned to serve as a student’s advisor during the final stages of the application process. The advisor’s name will be included in the Graduate School’s letter of acceptance to the student. If you are ready to take the next step, this online admissions area can help you with the application process. To begin, follow our helpful application guide here. Most common questions are answered in this section, but please contact one of our graduate admissions professionals for additional guidance. When you’re familiar with the process you can begin your online application to the University of Maine Graduate School!


36 credit hours

Cost & Fees

  • $418/cr. in-state and
  • $523/cr. out-of-state


Fall / Spring / Summer

Last updated Nov 2017

About the School

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered ... Read More

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered by leading faculty, in areas such as business, social work, bioinformatics, digital curation, and engineering. Read less