Early Childhood Education and Special Education MEd


Learn more about the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

About the Program

The Early Childhood Education and Special Education graduate program is designed to prepare students for dual teacher certification in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, grades pre-Kindergarten to 4.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Evening classes on Main campus start at 5:30 p.m. Students also complete fieldwork in a classroom about one day a week throughout each academic term.

Accreditation: The program is approved as a teacher certification program by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

Job Prospects: Graduates typically pursue early childhood and special education teaching positions in school settings in grades pre-Kindergarten to 4.

Licensure/Certification: Upon successful completion of the degree requirements and passing all required licensure examinations, candidates may apply for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certificate.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include scholarships, tuition remission, and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1

Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission and financial support.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom:  Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Prerequisites for admission to the Early Childhood Education and Special Education MEd program include at least one course (3 credits) taken at the undergraduate or graduate level with a grade of "C" or better earned in the following areas:

  • Math (cannot be basic or remedial courses below the 1000 level)
  • Science

A prerequisite evaluation is conducted upon receipt of the application and all official transcripts. All required prerequisites must be fulfilled before an applicant is eligible for admission.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: In 500 to 1,000 words, outline your interest in seeking a master’s degree with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Transfer Credit: Courses may be transferred from an accredited institution provided they were completed less than five years ago and are relevant to the program. The academic advisor makes the decision about the relevancy of the courses that the student desires to transfer. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Clearances: A Pennsylvania criminal background check, a federal criminal history check, a child abuse clearance, and a TB test are required upon enrollment.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 49

Required Courses:

Foundation Course
EDUC 5402Child and Adol Develop3
Early Childhood Education Courses
ECED 5107Mathematics Education for the Early Years: PreK-43
ECED 5108Social Studies Education for the Early Years: PreK-43
ECED 5109Science Education for the Early Years: PreK to 43
ECED 5206Literacy Foundations for the Primary Grades: First through Fourth3
ECED 5502Cognitive Development3
Special Education Courses
SPED 5105Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 5106Literacy Instruction for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5109Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support3
SPED 5201Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities: Effective Teaching Strategies3
SPED 5211Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5402Effective Transition Practices for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5666Introduction to Special Education3
TESOL Course
TESL 5631Foundations of Language Teaching: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners3
Culminating Courses
EDUC 5409Research Methods and Induction Capstone3
EDUC 5888Supervised Teaching4
Total Credit Hours49

Culminating Events: Supervised teaching and its related research methods and capstone course are the culminating events for this program.


Program Web Address:


Department Information:

Dept. of Teaching and Learning

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091



Submission Address for Application Materials:


Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management