Early Childhood Special Education

Graduate Certificate Program Summary


The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) graduate certificate is a 12 credit hour program designed to provide educators and others with specialty coursework focused on young children birth to age 5 years who have developmental disabilities. This graduate certificate does not result in a teaching endorsement in ECSE.

The graduate certificate program is well-suited for educators who desire additional training for their current jobs as well as graduate students in related fields whose professions serve young children with disabilities. Non-teachers in fields such as physical, occupational or speech therapy,and psychology can enhance their work with young children and their families, further developing their professional skills and improving their marketability.

Teachers interested in adding ECSE specialization to their current teaching certificate should contact the ECSE Certificate Advisor who can provide information on an appropriate program of study leading to an ECSE endorsement.

Distance education opportunities

All courses are completed online.
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This graduate certificate is offered by the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.

Graduate Chair

Professor Karen Hux

Certificate Advisor

Associate Professor Christine Marvin


Graduate Secretary

Ms. Jill England



Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by the department for this certificate

Application deadline
Rolling Admission


The Early Childhood Special Education graduate certificate is a 12 credit hour program. To earn the Certificate, participants must complete the requisite coursework with grades of B- or higher in all classes.


  • SPED 860: Issues in Early Childhood Special Education
  • Select one of the following two courses:
    • SPED 861: Infants with Disabilities
    • SPED 862: Preschool Children with Disabilities
  • SPED 960: Family-Centered Services
  • Select one of the following two courses:
    • SPED 863: Medically Fragile Infants
    • SPED 882: Severe Disabilities (for preschool and schoolage)

More course information

The Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin provides course descriptions and prerequisites, grouped by subject area.

The Schedule of Classes specifies dates, times, locations, and instructors for courses being offered in current and near-future terms.

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Stacy Dam.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.