College of Education > Academics > Teacher Education > Graduate Programs > Early Childhood Education (MA/MEd) > Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The requirements below are those approved by the Illinois State Board of Education in April 2016.

Content Area Prerequisites

Following the requirements set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education in spring of 2016, DePaul’s Early Childhood Education program requires that students in the early childhood education program have courses in each of the following areas:
  • mathematics*
  • physical science
  • life science
  • earth and space science
  • history
  • geography
  • political science/civics
  • economics
These courses may be taken at the undergraduate level and may have been included in the student’s bachelor’s degree program.  Early childhood education students' transcripts will be evaluated by an academic advisor after admission to determine if additional coursework is needed.  Completion of content area requirements is not a prerequisite for admission; however, coursework must be completed before student teaching.  It is strongly encouraged that applicants meet with an advisor after admission and prior to taking content courses.
  • DePaul alumni that have taken LSP 120 or ISP 120 can receive credit towards the math requirement.

Heath, Safety and Child Nutrition Requirement

Students must provide documentation of successful course completion that shows they possess the requisite knowledge and skills to provide appropriate content and experiences for young children from birth through age 8 that reflect the interrelationships among health, safety, and nutrition. In addition, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of cultural influences on young children’s health, safety, and nutrition, and how to work with special needs children affected by health impairments. Finally, students also must demonstrate their familiarity with practices that promote good nutrition, dental health, and the physical, social, and emotional well-being of young children.

This requirement can be met by completing T&L 615 Special Topic in Teaching and Learning: CHILD HEALTH SAFETY & NUTRITION , or an equivalent course taken at the undergraduate or graduate level outside of DePaul. Consult a faculty advisor to determine whether a prior course fulfills this content requirement.

Course Requirements

Introductory Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of B- or better required.

Advanced Courses: 40 quarter hours required, grade of B- or better required.

Student Teaching: 8 quarter hours required

Registration in student teaching requires completion of all requirements and procedures listed in the college core section. 

Recommended/Optional Courses

T&L 480 provides experience with a population for whom highly qualified educators are in increased demand.

Master of Arts (MA) Option Degree Requirements: 4 quarter hours required

A master’s thesis is written to fulfill the requirements of this course. An oral examination on the thesis is required. 

Bilingual/ESL Endorsement Courses

Teacher candidates seeking an endorsement in Bilingual or ESL can add the credential to the Professional Educator License (PEL) by taking additional courses.  Requirements are listed in the Endorsements section of the Course Catalog and are in addition to degree requirements.

Learning Behavior Specialist Special Education Endorsement Courses

Individuals seeking an endorsement in Special Education (called LBS1-Learning Behavior Specialist ) can add the credential to the Professional Educator License (PEL) by taking additional courses.  Courses are: SER 431, SER 475, SER 476, SER 597. Requirements are listed in the Endorsements section of the Course Catalog and are in addition to degree requirements.

Special Education Approval Courses

All students in ECE program will take 5 courses that are required for the degree. These courses will make ECE students who are seeking a PEL eligible to receive a letter of approval in early childhood special education.  An approval in early childhood special education makes graduating ECE license holders eligible to work in preschool special education settings.  Five special education courses are: T&L 406, T&L 411, T&L 421, T&L 423, T&L 427.

Licensure Tests

Students seeking licensure by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to successfully complete a set of tests specific to the Early Childhood professional field:

  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math.  Test must be passed one quarter prior to Student Teaching. *Check with your advisor about qualifying for a waiver with acceptable ACT or SAT test scores.
  • Early Childhood Content Area Test (test #206) – assesses knowledge of language and literacy development, learning across the curriculum, diversity, collaboration, and professionalism in the early childhood program.  Test is required before Student Teaching (deadlines apply).
  • EdTPA - assessment conducted during the student teaching experience including video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries. Students will submit an electronic portfolio to an outside agency for independent evaluation and a fee will be imposed by that agency as part of the assessment.

Internships & Other Field Experiences

Each student seeking licensure from the College of Education must complete supervised Internships in appropriate settings in conjunction with education courses.  In addition, there are some courses, which might require certain hours of field experience to be completed, and /or have field assignments, which students are required to complete.  Two internship-type field-based courses (T&L 481, T&L 482) are aligned with curriculum and instruction theory courses across the program. Each internship course requires completing 75 hours of field experience in its relevant grade level classroom. T&L 481 is taken concurrently with T&L 407T&L 482 is taken concurrently with T&L 408.  Since these internship courses are scheduled only once per academic year, be sure to work with your advisor in carefully mapping out when you will take them.  For details on requirements, expectations, documentation, & courses in your program that require fieldwork hours, visit the College of Education website.

Non-Licensure Option

Individuals that do not desire a license or are not eligible for a license can seek to earn the degree without meeting licensure requirements.  In seeking this option, individuals understand that the following stipulations apply:

  • Confirmation must be given in writing that they seek this option and agree to the stipulations.
  • A notation is placed on the transcript indicating that “completion of degree requirements did not lead to eligibility for licensure.”
  • Individuals have the option to return to the ECE program within 1-2 years after earning the graduate degree to complete student teaching and other licensure requirements (including ISBE-mandated tests) and become eligible for the license.  The non-licensure notation will remain on the original transcript for the graduate degree. Additional coursework may also be required.
  • Coursework is chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and is tailored to individual’s prior coursework, experience, and professional interests.
  • All coursework must be taken at DePaul; no transfer credit is allowed from other institutions.
  • Individuals must complete the specified coursework within 2 years or be subject to re-evaluation.
  • A minimum of 2 courses (8 credit hours) are required to substitute for the student teaching experience.  Coursework must be 400 level and receive a grade of B- or better.

Developmental Therapy Option

These course, listed below, will prepare early childhood teacher candidates for a career requiring expertise in early intervention for infants and toddlers (e.g., from birth to age three) with special needs and their families.  The coursework can be taken in additional to degree requirements, or if seeking the non-licensure option, can be taken to replace student teaching.  After taking the required courses and earning the degree, individuals will be required to take a training workshop on the State of Illinois system of Early Intervention and apply directly to Provider Connections to receive their Developmental Therapy credentials after submitting their transcripts. 

Infant Toddler Courses

Two infant toddler courses are available for special population or as elective for early childhood education students who seek additional specialty in infant/toddler education. 

    Content displayed from DePaul University catalog.