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Option in Early Childhood Education

The Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science, option in Early Childhood Education, emphasizes theory, research and application of child development in professional education of children from birth through age eight. The program prepares graduates for careers as early childhood teacher educators, child, family and educational advocates, administrators and more. Students may pursue the program as a traditional master’s degree or as a dual-degree program, earning both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree consecutively.


The traditional master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 or 32 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, depending if you chose the thesis or creative component option. The bachelor’s and master’s dual-degree program requires 151 total credit hours and is designed to be completed in five years, including two summers


Coursework areas of emphasis include:

  • Child Development, assessment and intervention
  • Program Design
  • Instruction
  • History and theory
  • Curriculum issues
  • Observation and assessment
  • Diversity

Course information

Graduate Student Handbook

100%of master's students

are employed in the education field with salaries consistently higher than those with only a bachelor's degree.

Research and Faculty

Program faculty have expertise in the areas of inclusive classrooms, assistive technology, how relationships among teachers, parents and children influence children’s learning and development and working with immigrant and multilingual families. Our students have research, observation and learning opportunities in our on-campus Cleo L. Craig Child Development Laboratory (CDL), which serves children age one through five. 


Meet our faculty

College research initiatives

Assistive technology research

Cleo L. Craig Child Development Laboratory



Applications to the program are considered twice per year with the following deadlines:

Fall Semester - April 1

Spring Semester - October 15

Students interested in the dual degree must apply to the MS program during their third year of the undergraduate program. 


To apply, submit the following:

  • Graduate College applicationTeacher and student in the classroom
  • Official academic transcripts (3.0 minimum GPA required)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Resume or CV

Graduate student resources


Cost & Assistance

Currently enrolled students are also eligible for scholarships offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences. 


Assistantships and support


Financing graduate school 


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