Master's in Early Childhood Education

About the Program

The Master of Education degree program in Early Childhood Education prepares professionals for teaching and administrative positions in child care and preschool settings, elementary schools, early intervention special education programs, and colleges. The program is based on knowledge and developmentally appropriate practices for the teaching and learning of young children (birth through eight years of age). An interdisciplinary program, it focuses on the connections of children, family, educational settings, and community so essential to a young child’s total developmental and individual diverse needs. The program addresses early childhood issues and principles using sound research practices and includes a focus on the graduate student’s individual professional needs.

These programs are available in a blended format.  Fully online options are available for eligible students.


Admission to the program is open to those applicants who possess baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university. Applicants must submit supporting documents as required for general admission to a graduate program. Applicants must possess Pennsylvania Instructional I Certification in elementary education, early childhood education, or special education. Applicants who have not earned certification in one of these fields may satisfy Instructional I Certificate requirements concurrently. Applicants must have earned a 2.75 or better undergraduate cumulative average.

For more information regarding graduate admissions, visit the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning


For course descriptions and more information, visit the Graduate Catalog

I. The Professional Studies Core (9 s.h.)
     EDFN 601 Methods of Research (3)*

     Choose one:
       PSYC 525 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3)
       EDFN 545 Advanced Educational Psychology (3)
       PSYC 625 Human Growth and Development (3)

     Choose one:
       EDFN 511 Comparative Education (3)
       EDFN 603 Philosophy of Education (3)
       EDFN 604 Education and Public Policy (3)
           *These courses are required.

II. Required Courses (15 s.h.)
     ECHD 611 Current Practices and Research: Affective and Psychomotor Emphasis (3)
     ECHD 612 Current Practices and Research: Cognitive Emphasis (3) Or
     ECHD 519 Seminar in Early Childhood Education (3)
     ECHD 613 Early Childhood Education: Home, School and Community (3)
     ECHD 614 Advanced Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (3)
     SPED 618 Early Intervention for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers with Developmental Delays(3)

III. Electives (Select One Option - 12 s.h.)
With prior approval of graduate program coordinator:
     Research Option:
      ECHD 699 Thesis (3)
      Other Electives (9)

    Non-Research Option:
      Other Electives (12)

IV. Exit Exam
A written comprehensive examination, written and evaluated by the graduate faculty, is required of all students at the end of the program, and is to be scheduled during the final semester.