Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education

This program allows admission in the Fall. The next application cycle will be for Fall 2025. 

  • The Fall 2025 application cycle opens October 1, 2024 and the CSULB Cal State Apply Application closes for Domestic Applicants June 1, 2025

How to Apply:
Statement of Purpose prompt, etc., and MyCED Program Application Deadline

Request to be added to the prospective student list for the MA in Early Childhood Education program

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education (30-36 units) is designed to foster the development of diverse educators who apply research-based knowledge in designing developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum and assessment strategies for children ages birth through 8. Candidates develop strategies and approaches for building family-school-community partnerships.

The ECE program continues to develop teacher leaders and advocates of young children, families, and the field. We have revised the program to now offer more subject matter content, specifically candidates learn evidence-based practices that are culturally responsive in building skills and the knowledge for literacy development and learning, for integrated mathematics with STEM education, and for early intervention. 

Candidates will also develop a broader understanding of the diversity of family structures and child rearing practices and apply that expanded understanding into the curriculum and interactions with families. Given the challenges facing young children and families, candidates critically reflect on issues that impact young children’s behavior, learning, and development, and identify approaches that support their growth and development through instruction and early intervention. Finally, candidates critically evaluate policies that impact young children and their families.

  • Be part of a cohort model
  • Offers hybrid courses and evening classes
  • 2-year program
  • No GRE required
  • Mentoring by faculty and program graduates
  • ECE program specific scholarships for eligible candidates
  • Meets the California requirement of Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teachers needing to complete 24 early childhood education units for those who already hold a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

  • Analyze theoretical perspectives and current issues as well as evaluate and apply research in the field of early childhood education, both nationally and internationally.
  • Demonstrate competency in developing family, school, and community partnerships.
  • Develop reflective practitioners, leaders, and advocates for children, family and communities, who promote equity and excellence in diverse settings.
  • Apply educational theories and pedagogies to design and implement developmentally appropriate curriculum, programs, and academic content literacies (e.g., numeracy, digital, and language) for diverse early childhood populations.

In addition to teaching in infant, toddler, preschool, transitional kindergarten, and elementary school classrooms, our graduates obtain a host of leadership positions such as community college instructors and tenure track faculty members in private and public universities in the US and internationally; ECE curriculum specialists; ECE program directors; ECE consultants; mentor teachers; research/development specialists; and leadership positions in national organizations. Our graduates also open their own ECE programs locally and in international contexts, and pursue doctoral programs in various universities in the US and universities in other countries.

The purpose of the proposed PK-3 Early Childhood Education credential program is to prepare candidates to earn the PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for the State of California.

Through this program, candidates will develop skills and knowledge necessary for mastery of the PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential’s Teaching Performance Expectations (TPE), which will prepare them to successfully teach in PK-3 educational settings and pass the state-mandated Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA). A teacher with a PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential is authorized to teach Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade in self-contained classrooms.

Coursework may be completed as a full-time or part-time student.  

For more information, please review the flyer below or request to be on the PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential interest list


PK-3 Early Childhood Education Credential Program flyer. Please use URL link or QR code to add your name to the interest list for this proposed credential.

Are you seeking a teaching credential? This program offers a master’s degree only. If you’re interested in obtaining a teaching credential, please visit the Teacher Preparation Advising Center.