Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Only

About Early Childhood Education Master's Degree

Advance your teaching career on your schedule with this fully online graduate degree.

California University of Pennsylvania's Early Childhood Education master's degree is a 100% online graduate program for certified teachers in elementary, special or early childhood education. In this program you will gain and apply in-depth knowledge of child development, families and best teaching practices in a variety of education settings.

This program is for individuals who wish to expand their career options by earning a master of education degree but do not wish to pursue early childhood education teaching certification. 

Discover Cal U's time-tested approach to teacher education.

  • This professional graduate program is centered on research-based best practices in the field of early childhood education.
  • Our focus on experiential learning will prepare you to be a top classroom leader.
  • Cal U has a 160-year reputation for producing top teachers in Pennsylvania and beyond.


Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Hands-on Learning: As an early childhood education graduate student, you'll have the opportunity to complete an internship in an early childhood/preschool setting under the supervision of a sponsoring organization and the University. This internship, contingent upon approval by the program coordinator, is only required if you do not have previous early childhood education experience (i.e., formal work and/or teaching experience working with pre-K to grade 4 children)

Learn more about applying.

Top 50 
Cal U's online program in early childhood education is ranked 13th in the Top 50 Best Online Master's in Early Education Childhood programs 2015, presented by Superscholar.com.
Cal U's online master's degree in education was ranked #26 in the nation in 2017 by GraduatePrograms.com.
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Degree Benefits

As an early childhood education master's degree student at Cal U, you will benefit from:

  • The flexibility and ease of online courses that can be taken anywhere, any time.
  • Support from your peers in a cohort consisting of fellow students who follow the same class schedule.
  • Personal advising by telephone or email.
  • Job-placement support from Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

New career opportunities have evolved for teachers with a strong background in early childhood education. This degree will enable you to meet the specific needs of children, and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth. Our alumni have gone on to jobs in:

  • Public and private schools' pre-K to grade 4 education programs.
  • Preschool programs.
  • Head Start and child care centers.
  • Parenting and family support programs.
Early Childhood Education Master's Degree
An education student at Cal U.

Career at a Glance

Meet Ashley Baird Roth '10, '12. After obtaining both her bachelor's degree and master's degree from Cal U's College of Education, she went on to become director of The Village Early Childhood Education Center in California, Pennsylvania, where she oversees nationally accredited childcare programs. Roth also shares her expertise as an adjunct professor in Cal U's Childhood Education Department.

A Cal U student helps a child with a project.

What do Program Alumni Have to Say?

"Principals and administrators compliment the Cal U program when they see my lesson development and dedication to the profession firsthand." - Ashley Szala '15

An elementary education room at Cal U.

Best Online Program

U.S. News and World Report has named Cal U's graduate education programs among the "Best Online Programs" three years in a row, and counting ...

Early Childhood Education Master's Degree Courses

From early childhood education curriculum and assessment to advanced psychology of learning, this comprehensive master's degree program will give you the knowledge and skills you need for a rewarding career in the education of young students. The program can be completed successfully in five semesters, including summers.



Course Credits
ECE 700  Early Childhood Curriculum & Assessment  3
ECE 702  Advanced Childhood Development 3
ECE 703  Literacy Development 3
ECE 704  Special Topics in Early Childhood Education 3
ECE 705  Science & Math in Early Childhood 3
ECE 707  Leadership & Management in Early Childhood Settings 3
EDE 701  Standards Aligned Curriculum, Instruction & Assessments 3
ESP 610  Special Ed Foundations Collab 3
PSY 712  Advanced Psychology of Learning 3
RES 800  Methods of Research 3
Total 30
Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • Master's with certification AND Certification Only: Copy of PA teaching certification in elementary, early childhood or special education
    • Applicants in other states will have six months after admission to secure and submit evidence of PA Department of Education certification
  • Master's Only:  Resume will be evaluated on the basis of prior studies and/or significant professional experience
  • International Global Online Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Official transcripts

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Under Planned Course of Study:
    • Select "Teacher Education (MEd)" and then choose "Early Childhood Education (MEd without Cert)" as the designated program
    • Or Select "Teacher Education (MEd)" and then choose "Early Childhood Education (MEd with Cert)" as the designated program
    • Or Select "Early Childhood Education (Cert Only)"
  • Submit the non-refundable $35 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email (gradschool@calu.edu) or fax (724-938-5712)

For additional information:
Email: calugo@calu.edu
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Childhood Education Faculty

Dr. Peter Cormas
Associate Professor


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Dr. Holly L. Diehl
Professor and Coordinator of Professional Development Schools Program


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Dr. Diane Fine
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Integrative STEM Education Program


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Dr. J. William Hug
Associate Professor; Science, Environment and STEM Teacher Education


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Dr. Rebecca Maddas
Assistant Professor


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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.