Nov 27, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education

The M.S.Ed. in early childhood education program 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 candidate’s undergraduate preparation, experience, and professional goals. Candidates pursuing this M.S.Ed. may also choose course work to meet Early Childhood Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) requirements to teach children from birth through grade 2 in Illinois public schools. Candidates who meet the PEL requirements will be automatically eligible to receive the Gateways to Opportunity Level 5 Early Childhood Education (ECE) credential. Candidates may also elect course work to fulfill early childhood special education approval requirements for teaching children with disabilities and special needs in pre-kindergarten. Advisers evaluate candidates’ prior course work, professional experience, and previous credentials to determine individual programs leading to PEL with Early Childhood endorsement and/or Early Childhood Special Education approval, as well as the Gateways Level 5 ECE credential.

Check departmental information for additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at


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. Candidates elect either the non-thesis or thesis option.

One graduate-level course in research, such as the following, or approved by adviser (3)

Focus Area

A focus area will be 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 must occur in conjunction with the master’s project.

Thesis Option

Candidates 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 SEEC 699, Master’s Thesis. Candidates electing the thesis option are still required to take SEEC 598.