Why combine degrees in early childhood and special education?

Application Deadlines
Aug. 16
Dec. 15
May 1

Students seeking the accelerated degree may apply to the School of Graduate Studies after completing 60 credits.

Graduate Application Deadlines
July 1st
Nov. 1st
April 1st

With the accelerated online program, you'll gain a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Special Education minor, and master’s in Special Education with specialization in Early Childhood Education. Upon degree completion, you will be eligible for licensure in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

As you earn your early childhood education degree online, you'll focus on children in the context of family, culture and community. You'll explore developmentally appropriate practices, emergent curriculum, descriptive assessment, and problem-solving approaches to resolving conflict and choices for children. You will learn online from an interdisciplinary group of faculty members with extensive experience as practitioners, professors and researchers.

How does an accelerated online education program work?

Early Childhood Education B.S. + Special Education Minor + Special Education M.Ed. with a specialization in Early Childhood Education

The online degree programs M.Ed. in Special Education or M.S. in Early Childhood Education allows those with an associate’s degree in education or currently enrolled undergraduate students at UND an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at an accelerated pace. Undergraduates with 60 credits or those currently in an Education degree program are eligible for consideration for the accelerated degree program.

All requirements for the undergraduate and graduate degrees must be met. You may double count up to 12 graduate-level credits towards the requirements for your undergraduate degree and your M.Ed. degree. You must obtain your M.Ed. degree within 12 months of completing your undergraduate degree, provided that the degree requirements can be completed in that time frame.

Article: Teacher Education meets the moment

"My goal was to pursue early childhood special education, and I’ve been able to do that and more – faster – through this program.”

Janie Schroeder, UND Early Childhood Education Graduate

Accredited Online Special Education Degree

Teacher education programs at UND are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The online program follows the guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Online Early Childhood Education Program

  • Enjoy the affordability of in-state tuition, regardless of where you live.

  • Interact in a virtual classroom with online learning that fits your schedule.

  • Join the Early Childhood Education Student Organization (ECESO).

  • Students have direct involvement with children in more than 60% of the courses.

  • The degree emphasizes scholarly application for practitioners, and students may continue their education and pursue a Doctor of Education.

Careers in Special Education


Graduates employed in positions related to their UND early childhood education degree



Median annual wage for special education teachers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher's License

You'll be eligible for licensure to teach in North Dakota after successfully completing a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) with an overall grade point average of at least 2.75, passing state licensure exams and meeting the state's legal requirements with a satisfactory background check.

If seeking a license, you should apply to the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board prior to graduation. If you're interested in a teacher license from states other than North Dakota, contact the Advising Office for the College of Education & Human Development.

When You Earn a Degree in Early Childhood Education - Special Education

An Early Childhood Education degree gives you the strategic skills you need, including:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Lesson Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Child Development

You'll graduate with limitless career opportunities and a solid foundation for working with children ranging in age from 0-8 years old. Students with a special education degree can teach and be a leader in:

  • Public schools (PreK and kindergarten through third grade)
  • Early Head Start
  • Child care and education centers
  • Administration/Director

Online Special Education Courses

Teacher helping young student write

Top Program

UND has one of the best online education programs in the Upper Midwest.

US News Rankings
Best Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Badge
UND Education Building

Leaders in Quality Education

“You can tell this accelerated program has been well-planned. The courses all seem to flow together so well and build on each other. In talking to my college friends who went on to become teachers, comparing what they learned versus what I’m learning shows that we’re in a totally different world."

Teaching Education meets the moment