Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum & Instruction

Degree Details


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Earn a unique interdisciplinary master's degree in a convenient online format.

Portland State University's master's degree in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum & Instruction combines a master's degree core with a specialized focus on one of three critical areas of early childhood education.

Taught jointly by the Curriculum and Instruction and Special Education departments from Portland State's nationally ranked College of Education, our early childhood master's degree will empower you to advance into leadership roles in early childhood education.


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You'll choose one of three concentrations in our Early Childhood master's degree program:

  • Constructivism in Early Childhood: Grounded in the works of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, the Constructivist specialization explores how children's interaction with their world shapes their learning.
  • Infant/Toddler Mental Health: Examine the most up-to-date research and interventions related to children from prenatal to three years of age.
  • Early Childhood Special Education: Get the knowledge to provide services to children with special needs (ages birth through 8) and their families.

Regardless of which specialization you choose, you'll earn a respected master's degree from an accredited public university in Oregon that U.S. News & World Report lists among the nation's best graduate education schools.

Prepare for leadership positions with our online early childhood master's degree.

Portland State's early childhood education master's degree provides you with a high-touch, interactive experience that's nearly impossible to find in an online master's degree program.


  • Superior faculty. Both the Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education departments at Portland State in Oregon have won national recognition for their innovative approaches to instruction, research and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Collaborative format. You'll interact directly with faculty and classmates in real time, using simple Internet tools to share ideas and collaborate with fellow early childhood educators.
  • Constructivist model. Portland State encourages a constructivist approach. This perspective helps early childhood educators create effective teaching strategies for all types of learners, while cultivating trusting relationships with children and families from many different backgrounds, cultures and social conditions.
  • Practical, problem-solving approach. You'll develop applied skills that you can use immediately to solve specific challenges in your own classroom.

The online master's in early childhood education includes a six-credit independent research project. You'll design and implement a research inquiry on a subject that interests you, with one-on-one guidance from experienced faculty researchers.

Our online master's degree in early childhood education aligns with the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Division for Early Childhood (DEC).

Online Master's Degree: Early Childhood, Inclusive Education and Curriculum & Instruction Curriculum

The online program requires the completion of 45 quarter credits composed of:

Core + Research Courses

Take all of the following courses (18 credits):

Explore: Course Descriptions

  • ED 550 Foundations in Early Childhood and Inclusive Education (4 credits)
  • ED 551 Child Development in Early Childhood and Inclusive Education (4 credits)
  • ED 552 Issues in Early Childhood and Inclusive Education (4 credits)
  • CI 590 Action Research Proposal (3 credits)
  • CI 591 Action Research Project Implementation (3 credits)


Complete 18 credits in a specialization.


Complete 9 elective credits from these Early Childhood Education options or with your advisor's approval, other courses can be substituted.

ExploreEarly Childhood Education FAQs


Portland State's College of Education is the first educator preparation program in Oregon, the first on the West Coast, and one of the first 10 in the nation, to be fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

For more information visit the Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum & Instruction Master's program website.


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