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Program Description

The program consists of a minimum of 30 units of upper division and graduate courses. The program is designed to be completed in 2 years. Each Fall and Spring semester, students typically enroll in 2 courses (6 units). Summer enrollment is optional; there is limited availability of summer courses. A program planner will be provided to each student upon admission.



The following are required for admission to the program:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Minimum 3.00 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 3.00 but meet the University minimum GPA requirement and who present compelling evidence of academic and professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be considered for admission at the discretion of the program admission committee.
  • EDP 301 or HDEV 307 or PSY 361
  • EDEL 420
  • EDEL 482A or one year of documented and approved teaching experience.
  • International applicants have additional university application requirements including meeting the English language proficiency requirement. Please visit The Center for International Education (CIE) website at for more information.

Prerequisite courses do not need to be completed prior to applying nor prior to being admitted. Prerequisite course completion does not impact an applicant’s eligibility for admission to the program. Prerequisite courses may be completed the summer session prior to admission or during the first year in the program at the discretion of the advisor.

Program Requirements

Research methods (6 units):

EDP 400 - Introduction to Educational Research (3 units)

Take one of the following (Students may choose either EDP 520 or EDP 595 irrespective of culminating activity):

EDP 520 - Quantitative Research Methods in Education (3 units)


EDP 595 - Qualitative Research Methods in Education (3 units)

Core courses (21 units):

Take all of the following:

  • EDEC 520 - Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment: Critical Perspectives (3 units)
  • EDEC 521 - Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood (3 units)
  • EDEC 522 - Parent Education and Involvement in Educational Environments (3 units)
  • EDEC 523 - Leadership, Advocacy and Supervision of Early Childhood Programs (3 units)
  • EDEC 526 - Advanced Study of Infant and Toddler Programs (3 units)
  • EDEC 621 - Research Seminar in Early Childhood Education (3 units)
  • EDEC 622 - Seminar in Early Childhood Care and Education: International Perspectives (3 units)

Culminating Experience- One of the following chosen with program advisor consultation:

EDEC 695 - Seminar in Early Childhood Education (3 units) and Comprehensive Examination


EDEC 698 - Thesis Study in Early Childhood Education (6 units) and Thesis

Course Descriptions

Please see the University Catalog for course descriptions.

Typical Schedule

Year 1 Fall:

EDEC 521

EDEL 420 (pre-requisite)

EDP 301 or HDEV 307 or PSY 361, or equivalent (pre-requisite, if needed)

Year 1 Spring:

EDEC 520

EDEC 522

Year 1 Summer:

EDP 400

EDP 520/595

Year 2 Fall:

EDEC 523

EDEC 526

Year 2 Spring:

EDEC 621

EDEC 622

Year 2 Summer:

EDEC 695 (if Comprehensive Exam)


 If Thesis, take EDEC 698 Fall and Spring of Year 2.