Graduate Studies in Early Childhood Education

Master of Arts in Education
Early Childhood Education

Overview of the Program

The Early Childhood Education Concentration is designed to prepare professionals to work with children in preschools and community-based programs that serve children from birth to eight years old and to take leadership roles in the field of early childhood education. Required coursework focuses on working with diverse families and young children and advanced study of cognitive, language, social, emotional, and moral development. Improvement of classroom curriculum and assessment from infancy through the primary grades is another emphasis of the program.

Candidates need not possess a teaching credential; they may prepare for leadership and advocacy positions in a variety of settings. Program admission requirements include at least 45 hours of teaching or volunteering in an Early Care and Education setting. If this requirement has not been met at the time of the application, candidates may complete the hours before beginning the program. Details are available from the Early Childhood Education Program Advisor. The total number of units required for the program varies between 30 and 36 units, depending on the culminating pathway chosen.

Required ECE Core Courses in Concentration (12 units)

EDEC 531 (3) The Role of Play in Development and Learning (offered Fall of odd-numbered years)

EDEC 532 (3) Social-Moral Development in Childhood (offered Fall of even-numbered years)

EDEC 535 (3) Leadership and Advocacy on Behalf of Families and Children (offered Spring of odd numbered years)

EDEC 538 (3) The Development of Language and Thinking in Infancy through Middle Childhood (offered Spring of even numbered years)


Electives (6 units)

At least two courses in the areas of Special Education, Curriculum Teaching and Learning, Reading and Language, and/or special topics ECE-MA courses as offered will be chosen in consultation with the ECE Advisor.

Some examples of course options are:

Special Education:

  • EDSP 400 Foundations of Special Education
  • EDSP 426 Communication Development: Assessment and Instruction (Fall only)
  • EDSP 432 Designing Inclusive Environments in Early Childhood Education

Curriculum Teaching and Learning:

  • EDCT 585 Curriculum Development: Theory, Practice and Evaluation
  • EDCT 586 Teaching and Learning: Research and Application in the Classroom

Reading and Language:

  • EDRL 507 Research in Language and Literacy
  • EDRL 521A Language Development in First and Second Languages
  • EDRL 524 Literature and Literacy

Requirements for Admissions

In addition to general admission of credential programs, Early Childhood Education Master’s candidates must have:

  • One official transcript from each college or university attended.

    • With at least one 3-unit college-level course in child development (No internet printouts accepted).

  • Grade point average requirement: cumulative upper division/graduate 3.0; Education 3.0

  • A completed application form.

    • Program requirements include at least 45 hours of teaching or volunteering in an Early Care and Education setting.

  • No teaching credential is required for the M.A. degree but a B.A. or B.S. is required.

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (not more than a year old).

  • A narrative statement of approximately 750 words, in which you answer the questions listed in the application.

  • Documentation of University Admission or Application.

  • After your application has been received, an in-person interview may be required before the admission decision is made.

Please Note: Acceptance in graduate study in School of Education is dependent on acceptance to the University. Please submit your University application via CALSTATE APPLY.