College of Education > Academics > Graduate Programs > Master's Programs > Early Childhood Education (MA/MEd)

Early Childhood Education (MA/MEd)

Early childhood educators create safe, nurturing and stimulating play environments where children learn and grow. They are leaders who find creative ways to improve educational opportunities for all young children and act as advocates for them and their families. Early childhood educators have a lasting impact on a child's development and their outlook toward education.

The two-year Early Childhood Education master's degree program offers college graduates in fields outside of education the opportunity to become teaching professionals. It is designed for those who are eager to take on the challenge of nurturing diverse, confident, responsible, successful lifelong learners.

Early childhood educators teach in urban and suburban preschools, public and private elementary schools (grades K-3), child development centers, daycare centers and Head Start programs. They also work as educational consultants and home daycare providers.

Interested in enrolling in this program? Learn more about its admission requirements and how to apply​.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Education (MEd)​​


The Early Childhood Education master's degree program leads to an Early Childhood teaching license (birth to grade 3) with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Early Childhood Education program offers courses that meet on weekday evenings at DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus, online, or a hybrid online and on-campus format (although field experience and student teaching requirements must be fulfilled during weekdays). In addition, the program's schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

The Early Childhood Education MEd program includes 56 quarter hours of coursework in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education and Teaching and Learning; however, teaching licensure requires more than a series of courses - there are special requirements such as completing field experiences, a full-time student teaching internship and content area coursework, as well as passing state licensure exams.
In addition to these requirements, students who opt to earn the MA must complete one additional four-credit hour course that requires a thesis and oral defense (60 quarter hours in total).