Master in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum & Instruction (Online)

Watch a recent program information session by early childhood faculty Ingrid Anderson and John Nimmo, and admissions advisor Elizabeth Synder. The next virtual information session will be Wednesday, February 6th at 5:00 pm (PST).

Watch a recent program information session by early childhood faculty Ingrid Anderson and John Nimmo, and admissions advisor Elizabeth Synder.

This is a fully online, non-licensure program focused on inclusive education for young children, birth through age 8. We believe that children and teachers construct knowledge, alone and in collaboration, through interaction with the social and physical world. Our early childhood courses reflect an inquiry-based, constructivist approach to teaching and learning in which field work with young children in group settings is essential to completing our program. 

We seek to support highly reflective and responsive early childhood teachers who have a deep understanding of the role of development, diversity, and culture in the lives of young children and their families. Graduates leave with a deep commitment to equity and social justice and a solid understanding of practical strategies and curriculum to support an inclusive approach – they are prepared to be leaders in early childhood communities.

This unique interdisciplinary, inclusive early childhood master's program combines the strength and expertise of two departments, and allows you to specialize in one of three critical areas: 

You can also combine classes from each area in the Distributed Pathway.

Key values

Respect ~ Honoring our diversity and welcoming multiple perspectives
Participation ~ Engaging all members of the community
Constructing knowledge ~ Inquiring, experimenting, theory building
Listening ~ Paying close attention
Reflection ~ Thinking deeply
Representation ~ Making learning visible in many possible languages
Collaboration ~ Having wonderful ideas together

Unique features

Online Learning: Learning is more accessible without the limitations of time and place! Students develop skills in virtual communication and collaboration with colleagues from around the nation and globe.

Action Research: Inquire into a question or problem in your professional work that you feel passionate about though the culminating action research sequence.

Innovative Practice. The program draws on the inspirational practice of educators at the PSU laboratory school, the Helen Gordon Child Development Center, focused on anti-bias and inquiry-based education. Internships and practicum experiences can be arranged.

Study abroad: Explore early childhood centers, preprimary schools, and infant-toddler centers in Reggio Emilia, Italy and other international sites. Optional study tour trips are arranged annually.

Summer Intensives: Learn about constructivist curriculum "big ideas": making learning visible, ecology, and reuse materials through our optional summer intensive opportunities at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center.

Interdisciplinary Faculty: Early childhood faculty in the Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education departments are grounded in practice in the field and committed to innovative instruction, research, and collaboration. Core classes are typically co-taught for greater interdisciplinary collaboration.

Whether you are already working in the field of early education, or looking to change your career path to focus on young children, our accredited Early Childhood master’s degree program will provide a strong background for your professional growth and development. You will engage with colleagues from a diversity of backgrounds and learn strategies and concepts to successfully prepare you to work with young children, their teachers, and their families in a variety of program capacities. Our graduates seek to advance to teacher leadership and to build inclusive early childhood programs, including preschools, infant/toddler classrooms, and Head Start centers.

Program costs, financial aid, and scholarships

Our fully online program currently offers all ECE degree students Reduced Differential Tuition (RDT), which is similar to in-state resident tuition. The estimated total degree program costs can be found at COE Estimated Program Cost. Information on COE and PSU Scholarships and financial aid is also available online. Federal student aid is available for degree programs.

For additional information contact