Early Childhood Education Master's Degree

Get an overview of master's degree programs in early childhood education. Read on for details about online learning, prerequisites, the curriculum and the job outlook for teachers at the preschool through third grade levels. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education Online?

Master's degree programs in early childhood education are available in online as well as on-campus formats. Online courses often feature interactive discussions and group assignments. Lessons may be administered through Internet discussion forums, Web-based classroom software or recorded lectures. Professors and students communicate through e-mail, chat rooms and message boards.

Online AvailabilityFully-online programs available
Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree, transcripts, standardized test scores, statement of purpose, and possibly teaching experience or letter of recommendation
Common CoursesHuman development, student assessment, curriculum design
Possible Careers Preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school teacher

What is Required for Admission?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for master's degree programs in early childhood education. Some programs only admit students with a teaching credential or teaching experience; for this reason, you may be required to submit letters of recommendation and a resume. Additionally, expect to turn in standardized test scores, college transcripts and a statement of purpose.

What's the Curriculum Like?

Coursework in master's degree programs in early childhood education surveys pedagogical models and provides training in student psychology and research methodologies. This program typically culminates in a comprehensive exam, or a research-oriented thesis that is overseen by an advisor. The following are classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Literacy for young children
  • Inclusive education models
  • Instructional technology
  • Early education principles
  • Human development
  • Drawing and painting for learning
  • Curriculum development
  • Student assessment

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

As a graduate of a master's degree program in early childhood education, you could work as a preschool teacher or elementary school teacher. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the educational levels that are considered early childhood are usually preschool through the third grade (www.bls.gov). Payscale.com reported a median annual salary of $28,529 for preschool teachers, $39,198 for kindergarten teachers, and $41,706 for elementary school teachers in January 2016.

Additionally, the BLS projected an employment growth rate of 6% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers and 7% for preschool teachers from 2014-24. Growth in this profession is expected to be driven by higher levels of student enrollment and increases in classroom size, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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