Early Intervention (Certificate)

The Interdisciplinary Certificate Program in Early Intervention was developed in response to state and national needs to prepare personnel to serve infants and toddlers with disabilities, or who are at risk for developmental delays, and their families. The program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the lead agency for Part C services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as meeting the requirements for provisional certification with advanced standing as an Early Intervention Specialist.

Program Overview

The interdisciplinary concentration in Early Intervention (EI) is designed for students who enjoy working with very young children and their families. Through coursework and practicum experiences, students are prepared to work with infants and toddlers with known disabilities or those who are at risk for developmental delay.

The EI specialization may be pursued as an independent certificate program, or integrated into a graduate program in speech-language pathology and audiology, school psychology, counseling psychology, or physical therapy. In addition, it can be integrated into the psychology undergraduate degree program. Personnel who work in the EI field may pursue the certificate program in the context of their employment.

Northeastern’s EI program is the only higher-education program approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) that is interdisciplinary in its faculty, students, and curriculum. Courses are team-taught by faculty from the following disciplines: school, counseling, and developmental psychology; speech language pathology and audiology; physical therapy; special/education; and nursing. As a result, students experience the team approach that is current practice in the field. Completion of the program leads to the required state certification for early intervention personnel at the advanced provisional level.

Application Due Date

May 1st

Program Contact

Karin Lifter, PhD
Program Director
424 International Village
Tel: 617.373.5916
[email protected]


The program of study consists of four courses and a practicum, which are integrated, as much as possible, within the curriculum of a student’s specific degree program. All academic courses are offered in a hybrid format that combines online learning with four classroom meetings per semester. Because the program is interdisciplinary, scheduling of courses is done in such a way as to make it available to as many programs as possible.

Experiential Learning

The practicum requires 300 hours of field experience in a MA DPH certified EI program. Field training usually takes place over two semesters, unless it is embedded into one semester of a discipline-specific degree program.

Sample Schedule

  • Fall Semester

    • CAEP 5150    Early Intervention: Family Systems
    • CAEP 5151    Early Intervention: Infant and Toddler Development, Risk and Disability
    • SLPA 5154    Early Intervention: Practicum 1

  • Spring Semester

    • CAEP 5153    Early Intervention: Assessment and Intervention
    • SLPA 5152    Early Intervention: Planning and Evaluating Services
    • SLPA 5155    Early Intervention: Practicum 2

Curriculum subject to change

Admission Requirements

In order to be accepted for admission into the Early Intervention Certification Program at Northeastern University, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field, unless taken during senior year in a Northeastern University degree program
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Completed application to the Bouvé College of Health Sciences (which may be integrated with application to a degree program)
  • Completed application to the Certificate Program in Early Intervention
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 preferred
  • The program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for certification as an Early Intervention Specialist, and is the only approved interdisciplinary program in the state.

Apply to the Early Intervention Certificate Program.