School of Education and Human Development

Graduate Programs

At the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Education and Human Development, we offer a broad range of graduate certificate and degree programs that are designed to advance your career while meeting your scheduling needs.

Flexible Scheduling & Online Program Options

  • Each program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Online course options are offered in all programs.
  • Our online programs offer reduced e-tuition for out-of-state students, and Maine residents continue to benefit from the lower in-state rate.
  • All on-campus courses are held in the evening and on the weekends.
    • On-campus courses are held on both the Gorham and Portland campuses, and some classes are held at off-campus practicum or internship locations.

Beyond the Classroom

Our ideal location in Southern Maine allows us to offer practicum and internship experience in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural schools, government agencies, mental health settings, and non-profit organizations.

With strong partnerships in diverse settings throughout the region, we work with students to select practicum and internship sites that align with their location, their schedule, and their career paths.

Distinct Program Offerings

Among our 11 graduate programs, we offer 8 graduate certificates, 15 master’s degree options, 5 advanced certifications, and 2 doctoral degrees. You can browse by area of study below.

Adult and Higher Education & K-12 School Leadership

Our Adult and Higher Education degree and certificate programs offer continuing study for education professionals.

  • Master of Science (MS) in Adult and Higher Education
    • Designed for: Professional adult-educators.
    • Career advancement: This MS can lead to positions a wide variety of sectors including public K-12 schools, higher education, large and medium-sized corporations, and not-for-profit agencies. Some specific positions include: academic advisors, adult education teachers or directors, college deans, corporate trainers, educational program designers, non-profit managers, public adult education directors, staff development specialists, and student affairs professionals.
    • Program format: Online.
    • Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and application information.
  • Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning
    • Designed for: Professionals who work with adults in educational settings. This includes administrators, counselors, K-12 teachers, policymakers, and program planners, among others.
    • Career advancement: In addition to expanding your skill set and experience for your current role, this program can lead to positions such as academic advisor, corporate trainer, educational program designer, non-profit manager, public adult education director, and student affairs professionals, among others.
    • Program format: Online.
    • Learn more: Read about our program requirements, course sequence, and application information.

Our Educational Leadership degree and certificate programs offer advanced study for practicing educators.

Educational Policy

The Public Policy program is administered through the Muskie School of Public Service in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Policy with a Concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy
    • Designed for: Experienced educational leaders who are employed throughout the duration of the program.
    • Career advancement: Graduates are prepared with the policy and research skills to influence educational policy and practice. Graduates typically work as higher education faculty or student affairs professionals, in K-12 teaching and leadership positions, as researchers, or leaders of education non-profits.
    • Program format: On-campus.

Human Development

Our Counselor Education degree and certificate programs offer both initial certification to begin work in the field of counseling as well as advanced study for practicing counselors.

Our Educational Psychology degree and certificate programs lead to certifications to serve as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or as a school psychologist.

  • Certificate of Graduate Study in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Designed for: Those with graduate degrees in areas such as education, psychology, social and behavioral sciences, or a related field, who would like to transition to a career as a behavior analyst. The program is also open to students studying in our Special Education master’s program.
    • Career advancement: Students who also pursue supervised practice experiences and pass the national certification exam will be qualified to serve as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in school and behavioral health settings.
    • Program format: Online.
    • Learn more about the Admission Requirements

  • Master of Science (MS) Programs

We offer master’s and doctoral level School Psychology programs for both initial credentialing to enter the field as well as advanced study for practicing school psychologists.

  • Master of Science (MS) in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in School Psychology
    • Designed for: Those with an undergraduate degree in areas such as psychology, social and behavioral sciences, or a related field.
    • Career advancement: Graduates are qualified for both state and national certification as specialist-level school psychologists.
    • Program format: On-campus.
    • Learn more about the admission requirements

  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in School Psychology
    • Designed for: Those with an undergraduate degree and those with a graduate degree. Students entering with an undergraduate degree can earn their MS while studying in the PsyD program.
    • Career advancement: Graduates are prepared for careers as professionally credentialed doctoral-level school psychologists, and are qualified to supervise other school psychologists. Graduates are qualified to apply for the following credentials: Certified School Psychologist, Licensure as a Psychologist, and Certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
    • Program format: On-campus –– some courses are offered in a blended format of online and on-campus class sessions.
    • Learn more about the admission requirements.

Literacy Education

Our Literacy, Language and Culture degree and certificate programs offer advanced study for practicing educators.

Teaching: Initial Certification

Below you’ll find master’s programs offering initial teacher certification in Special Education. Please note: Our Special Education program also offers certificates and a master's degree for practicing educators. Please see the Advanced Certification section for details.

  • Master of Science (MS) Programs

Our master’s program in Teaching and Learning is ideal for those seeking initial certification to teach.

Below you’ll find our TESOL program that offers initial certification. Please note: Our TESOL program also offers advanced certification programs.  Please see the Advanced Certification section for details.

Teaching: Advanced Certification

Below you’ll find our Special Education programs that offer advanced study for certified educators. Please note: Our Special Education program also offers master’s degree programs for initial teacher certification. Please see the Initial Certification section for details.

  • Teaching and Assessment Practices to Meet Learning Expectations
    • Designed for: Certified educators who wish to obtain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for Proficiency Based Education (PBE).
    • Career Advancement: Certificate completers are able to plan effective PBE instruction for their students.
    • Program format: On location at school districts.

Below you’ll find our TESOL programs that offer advanced study for certified educators. Please note: Our TESOL program also offers initial teacher certification through a master’s program – please see the Initial Certification section for details.