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At a Glance: Early Childhood Specialization

A non-licensure advanced degree program that results in a master's in curriculum and instruction with an early childhood focus

The field of early childhood is dynamic and ever-changing. The knowledge base has expanded exponentially in recent years as early childhood educators and other professionals reconceptualize information about infants, toddlers and young children. As a member of the PSU Early Childhood Specialization, you will investigate contemporary issues in early education from birth through age eight. By completing this master's degree, you could go on to conduct research, be an administrator, policymaker, and leader in early childhood education.

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Program benefits

As a member of this program, you will:

  • Develop a strong research framework with faculty and colleagues
  • Put theory into practice around constructivism, equity, design, technology, child development, play, Reggio-inspired practices, and action research
  • Learn in the Graduate School of Education’s high-quality laboratory school, the Helen Gordon Child Development Center

Upon completion, you will:

  • Become a knowledgeable advocate for young children
  • Understand the latest trends in working with infants through early elementary years

Who is this for?

This program is intended for:

  • Policymakers, administrators, researchers, and advocates
  • Classroom teachers who wish to add a master's degree
  • Anyone wishing to acquire a greater depth of knowledge about early childhood issues

Program format

The Early Childhood Specialization is part of a master's in Curriculum and Instruction. This is a non-licensure program.

Get started

Getting started in the Early Childhood Education Specialization at PSU is easy! You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at least 3.0. You may take up to eight credits per term at PSU as a non-admitted student.

If you think the Early Childhood Specialization is for you, begin with the following:

  1. Make an advising appointment
  2. Meet with an advisor to talk about a focus area within the Early Childhood Education Specialization


Will Parnell
Program Advisor
1-800-547-8887 ext 53091