This professional master’s degree provides individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree related to early childhood with the additional knowledge of child development and practical experiences necessary to lead or administrate programs for young children.

The intensive curriculum for the M.A. in Early Childhood Development and Programming will be structured to allow students to complete their degree requirements in as little as 12 months, offering an affordable alternative to 2-year master’s programs. The curriculum includes field-based experiences in local early childhood programs and schools across multiple academic terms, in addition to campus-based courses focusing on aspects of early childhood development, including literacy, play, and curriculum. Areas of focus include programming for young children with special needs, and adult development and learning, which will be highly relevant to graduates’ future positions as staff administrators. The degree program builds upon and extends partnerships with community-based organizations and schools that have been established by the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences.

Students who successfully complete the program will concurrently earn an M.A. in Early Childhood Development and Programming as well as a certificate in Leadership in Early Childhood and Human Services. The M.A. program requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. Core requirements are listed below. Courses will be offered on a rotating schedule to allow students to complete the core requirements during a 12-month period.

The program follows an intensive, one year degree program with a cycle that would typically begin in August and end in July with courses taken during the fall, winter, spring and summer terms. The typical sequence of courses is shown below.
*The first cohort will begin the program coursework in late August 2019 and end by July 2020. Below is a projected course schedule:

Fall session:

  • HDFS 606 Early Childhood Literacy Skill Development
  • HDFS 621 Family Studies I: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives
  • HDFS 641 Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Development and Programming
  • HDFS 639 Curriculum Methods and Assessment
  • or HDFS 662 Curriculum Analysis in Early Childhood
  • Winter session:

  • HDFS 645 Programming for Young Children with Special Needs
  • Spring semester:

  • HDFS 640 Early Childhood Administration, Leadership and Advocacy
  • HDFS 691 Play and Human Development
  • HDFS 656 Adult Development and Learning
  • Summer session:

  • HDFS 669 Supervised Field Experience and Study (3 credits)
  • HDFS 669 Supervised Field Experience and Study (3 additional credits)
  • Applications for fall 2019 admission are being accepted now! The deadline to apply is July 15, 2019.

    Admission decisions will be based on prior educational experiences, GPA, and letters of recommendation. It is generally expected that students will have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and will have earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field. For international applicants whose first language is not English, a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT score of 100 is required. Applicants will submit a personal statement and two letters of recommendation. A federal background clearance will be required in order to enroll.

    *Please note that we accept CAP Admissions and GRE scores are not required for admission to this program

    University statement: Admission to the graduate program is competitive. Those who meet stated requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.

    Additional information:

    Dr. Bridgette G. Johnson, Graduate Coordinator