Oct 04, 2023  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education

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The major in early childhood education offers focused study to strengthen and broaden the professional preparation of teachers and other professionals who work with young children, birth through eight years. In addition to the basic requirements, course work will be determined on the basis of the individual student’s undergraduate preparation, experience, and professional goals. Students pursuing this M.S.Ed. may also choose course work to meet Early Childhood Illinois Type 04 Licensure requirements to teach children from birth through grade 3 in Illinois public schools. Students may also elect course work to fulfill special education approval requirements for teaching exceptional children, birth through age six. Advisers evaluate students’ prior course work, professional experience, and previous licensures to determine individual programs leading to Type 04 licensure and/or early childhood special education approval.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


Programs of study must include a minimum of 33 semester hours, of which a minimum of 18 semester hours must be chosen from courses in early childhood education. Students elect either the non-thesis or thesis option.

Additional Requirements

A focus area selected to provide a broader base of knowledge, a supportive skill, or more sophisticated research competencies. The focus area requires a minimum of 9 semester hours, approved by adviser, selected from the following: administration of early childhood programs, emergent literacy, movement development, pedagogy in early childhood education, research in early childhood education, and special education.

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is conducted in conjunction with the oral defense of the master’s project.

Thesis Option

Students electing the thesis option will select research in early childhood education as their focus area. Six of the 9 semester hours required for the focus area must be taken in TLEC 699, Master’s Thesis. Students electing the thesis option are still required to take TLEC 598.

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