Through the major in early childhood special education, students learn about the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of young children, with and without special needs, and about their families. Students graduating with this major are eligible to be recommended for Alabama Class B certification to teach children with diverse needs (P-3) as well as Alabama Class B certification in early childhood education (P-3).

Experimental learning activities, assessment, and practicums are provided for students on and off campus through the Office of Clinical Experiences. On-campus facilities providing structured practicums include the Child Development Center and the Rural Infant Stimulation Environment (RISE) Program. These programs provide opportunities for students to work with infants, toddlers, and children who have a broad range of special needs. In addition, all students who major in early childhood special education will complete supervised practicum and internship experiences in diverse settings.

The undergraduate catalog is published annually. Program advising sheets are updated as policy changes are made and are thus likely to provide the most up-to-date information on degree and other requirements through DegreeWorks in myBama.

General Studies: 60 hours

Courses that are common to the teaching field and the general studies component may be applied to both. At least 120 hours are required for the degree.

In addition to the required general studies, students in this program must complete 9 additional hours of mathematics and 4 additional hours of science for a total of 12 hours in each area. Twelve hours in both English language arts and social science are required.

CAT 200 Computer Education Application is required.

See general studies requirements listed earlier in this section. The following exceptions apply:

  • Area II: Courses should be selected to meet teaching field or prerequisite requirements.
  • Area IV: Courses should be selected to meet teaching field or prerequisite requirements.
  • Area V: From those courses listed in option 2, CAT 200 Computer Education Application  and CAT 250 Computer Educ Curric Devel  should be selected.


General Studies
Complete 60 hours60
Credit Hours Subtotal: 60
Professional Studies
Students must earn grades of C or higher in each of the following professional studies courses. The University of Alabama GPA — and, if transfer work, the cumulative GPA — must be at least 2.75 in these courses:
BEF 362School, Culture, and Society3
BEP 305Educational Psychology3
SPE 300Survey Spe Accomd Stratg3
SPE 304Instructional Strategies In Sp3
SPE 479Intern In Early Childhood Spe *6
SPE 479Intern In Early Childhood Spe *6
Credit Hours Subtotal: 24
Dual Certification Teaching Field
The University of Alabama GPA — and, if transfer work, the cumulative GPA — must be at least 2.75 in these courses:
CD 226Lang & Speech Develop3
CEE 380Teaching Elem Math3
CRD 369Found of Rdg P-63
CRD 400Teach Readg Diverse Learn K-123
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
SPE 374Working with Families3
SPE 414Collaborative Consultatn3
SPE 435Behavior Management3
SPE 471Dev Persp Young Child W/ Disab3
SPE 476Assessment Of Young Children3
SPE 477Differentiated Acad. Instruct3
SPE 478Meth Teach Yng Child W/ Disb3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 39
Total Hours123

Types of Jobs Accepted

Birth–3rd grade special education teacher, prekindergarten–3rd grade elementary education teacher, early interventionist, case manager

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Lead teachers, instructional facilitators, cooperating master teachers, administrators (principals, special education supervisors, directors of non-profit organizations)

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center