MEd in Early Childhood Education

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. The following requirements for admissions represent recommended minimum levels of performance. Decisions are made on the strength of the overall evidence of academic and professional capacities and on available enrollment space. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions.
  • Grade Point Average Recommended minimum of 2.75/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study and at least 3.00/4.00 for all postbaccalaureate/graduate course work.
  • Tests Required See the Illinois State Board of Education website for the most current information concerning Educator Licensure Testing. 
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test). Note: Total score is higher than the sum of the subscores; 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three letters addressing the applicant’s academic qualifications, any experiences working with young children and their families, and ability to carry on advanced degree studies. Letters should be from current or former professors or supervisors.
  • Other Requirements A 3–4 page personal statement addressing the applicant’s relevant background and experience, interest in young children, and goals for the MEd program. Applicants may be asked to interview with program faculty.
  • Deadlines The application deadlines for these concentrations are earlier than the Graduate College deadline; contact the College of Education for information on current deadlines.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 32–36 hours. Note that students seeking an Illinois Professional Educator License with endorsements in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education will complete an additional 12 hours of student teaching. Contact program advisor for more information.
  • Coursework
Required Courses
Early Childhood Development (7–8 hours)
Development, Health and Wellness: Conception to age 8
Select one of the following courses with the consent of a program advisor:
Advanced Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes
Advanced Social Development of Children in an Urban Context
Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget and Vygotsky
Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities
Characteristics and Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities
Early Childhood Methods and Practice (6 hours)
Introduction to Curriculum and Practice in Early Childhood Education
Foundations of Education (3–4 hours)
Select one of the following courses with the consent of a program advisor:
Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education: Perspectives, Policies and History
Political and Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Special Education
Policy Issues in the History of American Education
Foundation and Current Issues in Educating English Language Learners
Education Electives (16–20 hours)
Students seeking licensure or credentialing have specific course requirements within this elective category. Students must have their courses approved by the program advisor.
Additional student teaching courses
The following courses are required for initial PEL with endorsements in ECE and ECSE:
Advanced Curriculum and Practice in Early Childhood Education
Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education
Internship in Early Childhood
  • Comprehensive Examination None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Coursework-Only Options Coursework only. No other options are available.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: