Program Overview

Are you passionate about making quality education accessible to a wide range of diverse learners and setting children up for success in the classroom? As a Special Education major at UNE, you will not only learn evidence-based strategies to meet these goals, but you will also discover how to put your knowledge into practice in a successful career as a special education teacher. Through our flexible curriculum, the development of critical thinking skills, and an abundance of real-world experience with students in a broad array of educational settings, you’ll graduate with a Special Education teaching certification in hand, plenty of experience under your belt, and a desire to make a difference in your heart.

This major is available to students starting fall 2022.

A U N E student works with a special education student
Bri Walker

Thanks to the UNE Education Department, I had ample opportunities to implement and observe the impact of effective, research-based strategies with special education students in local schools. Engaging in special education coursework at UNE is immensely rewarding.

Elementary Education, Special Education

Why UNE for Special Education

UNE’s Special Education curriculum is designed for maximum flexibility, allowing for double majors, minors, and study abroad experiences. You’ll have regular field experience, beginning your very first semester, and UNE’s strong, collaborative relationships and excellent reputation with local schools give you a leg up on career opportunities after graduation.

  • Early and regular fieldwork in classrooms for maximum experience
  • Ability to double major and earn dual certifications
  • Close working relationships with faculty
  • Exceptional post-graduation employment rate
A U N E students reads to two elementary school special education students


Our Special Education major is designed to be flexible, allowing you, if you wish, to double major with a variety of our other degree programs, including Psychology; Social Work; Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies; and more. You may even double major in Elementary/Middle Education to earn dual certifications.

Examples of Available Courses

The following are just some examples of the exciting courses that the Special Education major offers:

  • Special Education Methods
  • Inclusive Classroom Management
  • Supporting Individuals With Autism and Significant Disabilities
  • Assessing and Remediating Challenging Behavior

Special Education Teaching Certificate

Successful completion of the major meets all requirements of the Maine State Special Education Teacher Certification Program.

We also offer a Minor in Special Education.

Meet our Faculty and Professional Staff


of graduates employed or enrolled in grad school within one year of graduation

(based on 2016-2020 graduate surveys)


in Maine for getting a job

(Zippia, 2021)

Student Financial Services

One of the most important considerations when committing to a college or university is cost. We work with you and your family to help make your education affordable by pricing our tuition competitively and offering financial assistance.

Experiential Education

Turn theory into practice. Take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations. Every semester, you’ll gain the skills and confidence needed to thrive as a professional in the field of special education by getting hands-on experience working with students who have a wide range of disabilities, including learning/intellectual/emotional-behavioral disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. 

Fieldwork in Schools

  • Work with students in resource rooms or general education classes
  • Conduct assessments
  • Observe and collect data for behavior plan development
  • Work in specialized classes for students with high support needs or behavior challenges
  • Attend IEP meetings
  • Collaborate with occupational therapists and social workers


Your hands-on learning culminates with a 15-week student teaching internship, during which you’ll strengthen school relationships and networking connections. Local opportunities exist at:

  • Local public school systems
  • Special purpose schools
  • Pre-school sites


As a Special Education teacher, you will be qualified for a variety of positions, including:

  • Resource Room Teacher
  • Life Skills Teacher
  • Emotional Support Teacher
  • Autism support Teacher

You will possess excellent employability amid a national special education teacher shortage. Within the Northeast, special education has been identified as a “hotspot” (Emsi Occupation Snapshot Report, 2019), offering higher than average median salary, number of job postings, and rate of employment.

Career Advising

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Global Opportunities

See the World

Study on the other side of the world by taking part in our Global Education Programs.
What better way to prepare for meeting the needs of diverse learners than experiencing diversity yourself? Expand your own horizons by gaining knowledge of other cultures, languages, and traditions during your choice of semester abroad in Spain, France, Iceland, or Morocco. Or choose from several shorter travel courses, including Comparative Education in a Global Context, which takes you to Ireland for eight days in mid-May.

Interested in studying abroad? Make a plan with your advisor.


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