Special Education, Master of Education (M.Ed.), Specialty: Early Childhood Ages Birth-Age 5- (USG): Program Admissions


Responding to findings from the Kirwan Commission’s 2019 Interim Report* and reflecting the mission and vision of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Early Intervention & Preschool Special Education**….the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education now offers their Special Education in Early Childhood Ages Birth-Age 5 M.Ed. through outreach.  

This M.Ed. Specialty Program (30 credits) is taken part-time with early evening courses taken over 2.5 years to accommodate full-time professionals and those with families. The course sequence contains Face-To-Face, blended, and online courses. 

The program is designed for professionals with the following backgrounds:

  •  professionals who already hold an early childhood special education teacher license/certification, 

  • for professionals in early childhood interested in expanding their knowledge, skills, and abilities with those with special needs from Birth-Age 5,  

  •  or for those professionals interested in working in an early childhood special education context outside of the classroom.  

Graduate work will address the developmental and learning needs of our youngest ages birth-5 including those with physical, sensory (e.g., deaf-blindness, cortical visual impairment, etc.), and multiple disabilities.  The program focuses on providing the graduate student the knowledge, skills, and abilities that support efforts to “achieve equitable developmental and academic achievement for all”*.  

Program Goals: 

Graduate work will address the developmental and learning needs of our youngest ages birth-5 and includes coverage of the unique needs of those with physical, sensory (e.g., deaf-blindness, cortical visual impairment, etc.), and multiple disabilities.  

Graduate students can expect to: 

1. Develop and/or Expand their ability to support positive outcomes of developmentally diverse infants and young children and meet early childhood outcomes in the areas of:

a. positive social/interpersonal skills and relationships**; 

b. acquisition and use of functional knowledge and skills**; and 

c. use of appropriate behavior to meet needs**.

2. Build and Use research and evidence-based practices in the areas of assessment, instruction, and individualization that enable our youngest to be active and successful participants in their homes, in child care, in preschool, and the community.  

3. Ensure that families know their rights**, guide parents to effectively communicate their childs’ needs and desires::, and support families to provide care for their children and acquire the necessary supports and resources for their  families**.   

4. Enable those in the most challenged circumstances to achieve their true potential as they progress through the educational system and beyond”*.  

We expect this to be a competitive process and there will be a limited number of graduates admitted.  Decisions will be made on a rolling basis!  




Summer I&II 2023 ( 1 Course/session)

Summer I & II 2024 (1 Course/session)

Summer I & II 2025 (1 Course/session )

Fall 2023 (1-Courses)

Fall 2024 (1-Course)


Spring 2024 (1-Course)

Spring 2025 (1-Course)



*From Maryland Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education

**From Maryland’s Early Intervention & Preschool Special Education System Personnel Standards Guide

  1. 3.0 GPA from Bachelor’s degree 
  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.  Note: for admission purposes an unofficial transcript can be uploaded.  If accepted into the program an official will be required by the Graduate School by the end of the first semester of enrollment 
  3. Statement of Goals/Purpose, Interests, and Experiences (IMPORTANT - Include the following statement at the top of your Statement of Goals/Interests, and Experiences):
     "I am applying for the M.Ed.- Special Education - Early Childhood Off-Campus Montgomery County-USG"
  4. Three (3)  Letters of Recommendation
  5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae (IMPORTANT - Include one of the following statements at the top of your Resume):
    -  "I am applying for the M.Ed.- Special Education-Early Childhood Off-Campus Montgomery County-USG"

Application Information and Instructions


  • Summer Session I (Domestic) 2023 begins May 30, 2023 - Application deadline is May 11, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Semester (Domestic) begins August 28, 2022 - Application deadline is August 9, 2023
  1. To apply online go to: https://gradapply.umd.edu
  2. First, you must click on the tab to “Create Account.”  The website will guide you through that process, after which you can begin your online application.  Application Deadline: 
    • Summer Session I (Domestic) 2023 begins May 30, 2023 - Application deadline is May 11, 2023
    • Fall 2023 Semester (Domestic) begins August 28, 2022 - Application deadline is August 9, 2023
  3. Complete the Demographics and Contact Information Sections
  4. Application Fee $75.00 (non-refundable)
    1. Educational Intent Section:
           Application Type: Degree
           Level of Study: Masters
           Intended Program of Study: Special Education (M.Ed.)
           Term of Entrance: Fall, 2021
           College/School: College of Education (Prepopulated)
           Area of Interest 1:  Early Childhood Special Education (off-Campus)(MSPEC)   
  5. Upload your statement of Goals/Purpose, Interests, & Experience 
  6. Previous Education: Enter Institutions you have attended (with 9 credits or more) with degree conferred posted. If previous institution(s) are international, see instructions below.
    Note:  Copy of official transcript(s): Bachelor’s and Master’s and any institution with 9 credits or more must uploaded into your application.  If accepted into the program, official transcript(s) will be required by the graduate school by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Official transcripts should be sent to:
          University of Maryland College Park
          Enrollment Services Operation
          Room 0130 Mitchell Building
          College Park, MD 20742
  7. Complete the Personal Information section
  8. Upload requirements - Submit a copy of your Resume
  9. Recommendations:  Enter three (3) recommender name and email address (note: email address is required).
  10. One of the following basic skills tests meeting the cut-off score requirement must be uploaded and submitted as part of your application. 
    *Please make sure you upload all of the required documentation.

Information for International Applicants:
All applicants who have earned their Baccalaureate (4 year degree) from an international institution must ALSO meet ISSS admission requirements. It is recommended that applicants plan for additional time needed for IES processing. Visit the Graduate School International Admissions page and the International Student & Scholar Services page.

Required Materials for International Applicants:
• An official copy of original degree-conferred transcripts in original language with a literal English translation and a copy of the final diploma.
• All English translations completed by an ISSS approved service (for transcript and diploma/certificate) are required.
• TOEFL or IELTS or Pearson’s (PTE) is required for applicant with international credentials, whose native language is not English,  and who does not hold a degree from an institution in the US. United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean.
• Applicants on a Visa must submit a copy of Visa documentation

The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Maryland assists international students in the process of applying to the university, and once admitted.  ISSS may contact applicants by email, so please ensure email addresses listed on application is accurate.  

If you have any questions regarding the online application process, please contact Judy Foster at jfoster@umd.edu.  For all program related questions, please contact Dr. Agnesanne Danehey, Program Director, adanehey@umd.edu.

Please contact the Office of Student Services, ed-advising@umd.edu, or (301) 405-2364

Visit the College of Education Scholarship opportunities webpage. 

Visit the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship web page for additional funding opportunities 

For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website

Dr. Agnesanne J. Danehey- Co-Program Director, adanehey@umd.edu

Carol Scott- Graduate Coordinator CHSE, cscott18@umd.edu

Judy Foster-Program Coordinator in Student Services-Application Questions ONLYjfoster@umd.edu