Online Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education

You can earn a master's degree in early childhood education online, but there are often some in-person requirements. Learn more about how online programs work, and explore the degree requirements and curriculum. Get career info for the early childhood education field, including the typical salary for teachers. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn an Early Childhood Education Master's Degree Online?

You can find a number of online early childhood education master's degree programs that lead to a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Education. You can also enroll in an online curriculum and instruction master's degree program with a concentration in early childhood education. Many programs require you to attend occasional on-campus classes or seminars, and you typically need to complete a student teaching experience if you're not certified to teach. Some schools require you to be a resident of the university's particular state, and you might need to take your tests on campus or at an approved learning facility.

Degree FieldsMaster of Arts, Master of Science, master's in curriculum and instruction with early childhood focus
Other RequirementsPracticum may be required, research project may be required, certification may be required
Career OptionsTeaching and leadership positions at public and private elementary schools, preschools, Head Start programs and child care centers

What Is the Program Like?

Early childhood education master's degree programs typically require you to take courses that focus on the development of children from preschool through the third grade. You'll learn how children acquire language and reading skills through play, exploration and structured learning. You also can gain insight into the effects of family, community and society on children's education, and some programs include topics on teaching special needs children.

Even if you hold a teaching certificate, some programs might require you to complete a teaching practicum that usually can be arranged near your home. This activity allows you to observe other teachers and implement the lessons you've learned in your courses. Additionally, some programs have you complete academic or research projects that require independent inquiry into an early childhood education issue. If you're seeking certification, you'll typically have more teaching requirements, and you'll spend a good deal of time in the classroom learning from teachers and practicing your skills.

What Can I Do with the Degree?

With an early childhood education master's degree, you might take on teaching and leadership positions at public and private elementary schools, preschools, Head Start programs and child care centers. If you're certified, you can gain endorsement in early childhood education, and a master's degree program might fulfill your state's teacher certification requirements.

You generally don't need a master's degree to work as a teacher, but it can enhance your career opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), teachers can often earn a salary raise once they've earned a master's degree ( The BLS reported that kindergarten and elementary school teachers made a mean yearly salary of $53,760 per year for 2014.

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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