Early Childhood Special Education

Department of Special Education

Two boys playing on a playground

The Department of Special Education offers hybrid master’s (M.Ed., M.A.) and in-person doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). This concentration will prepare you to be a leading scholar through

  • intensive mentoring from ECSE faculty,
  • core content in ECSE and early language development, and
  • rigorous training in research methods.

Our training focuses on the use of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions for supporting young children with autism and developmental disabilities and their families, instructional methods for young children with disabilities, and classroom models in early childhood special education.

The master’s program in Early Childhood Special Education has a course sequence that can be completed in 12 months and is Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved. The program prepares individuals to be Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and practitioners of evidence-based practices for young children with disabilities developing in natural environments. View the BCBA Exam Pass Rates for Verified Programs.

The Ph.D. program combines coursework and an intensive research component. As a doctoral student, you will have the opportunity to assist with ongoing intervention research with families of young children with social communication delays, young children with disabilities, and young children with challenging behavior. Competitive funding packages are available for highly qualified applicants.


Photo of Lauren Hampton

Area Co-coordinator
Lauren Hampton

Laura Estep

Area Co-coordinator
Laura Estep