2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood educators are fundamental in helping toddlers and young children develop the social and emotional skills to succeed through adolescence and beyond. An online master's degree in early childhood education can help students acquire advanced skills and a keen awareness of how young minds develop in order to help them become enthusiastic learners. If you're not ready to pursue a master's degree in the field, you want to browse our list of the most affordable online bachelor's degrees in early childhood education.
We've ranked the list below by our proprietary Salary Score, which ranks colleges by how much their alumni earn compared to graduates with the same degree nationwide. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for inspiration.
Online Early Childhood Education Master's Degrees You May Be Interested In
Grand Canyon University
Annual Tuition: $11,074
4 Programs (view all)
Annual Tuition: $18,095
1 Programs (view all)
2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Early Childhood Education
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Pace University||$68,104|
|# 2||Fordham University||100||$66,851|
|# 3||Rowan University||96||$59,571|
|# 4||University of Massachusetts Global||95||$58,796|
|# 5||California State University - Fullerton||91||$56,978|
|# 6||Bank Street College of Education||90||$56,171|
|# 7||Nova Southeastern University||86||$54,785|
|# 8||Texas A&M University - Commerce||75||$52,054|
|# 9||West Chester University of Pennsylvania||71||$51,131|
|# 10||Concordia University - Chicago||67||$50,366|
#1 Pace University
Located in the center of Manhattan, Pace University is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Science in Education, Literacy Specialist - Early Childhood/Childhood (birth–grade 6). This degree is intended for previously certified teachers interested in creating inclusive environments that foster confident reading. Each course in this 30-credit program is seven weeks long, and full-time students generally take three to four classes a semester. Therefore, students may be able to finish their graduate degrees in as few as 1.5 years.
Pace uses Brightspace to deliver online coursework and instruction. Distance learners in the online master's in literacy specialist program take a range of classes, such as Foundations of Bilingual Education, Creating Responsive Early Childhood Environments, Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction, and Linguistics and Grammar. Students must also complete a 14-week practicum to graduate.
#2 Fordham University
The Bronx's Fordham University is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Science in Teaching - Early Childhood Education for aspiring educators seeking their first teacher certification instructing children from birth to grade 2. Graduating requires completing 36 credits, which full-time students may complete in two years. Additionally, Fordham offers an online Master of Science in Teaching - Childhood Education for who desire to teach grades 1 to 6.
Fordham utilizes Blackboard so that distance learners can participate in class anytime. Those enrolled in the early childhood education master's track take courses such as Children's Literature in a Multicultural Society, Teaching Social Studies to Children, Integrating Technology into Elementary Education, and Early Learning Through Play. Students must also complete a reflective practice and field experience to graduate.
#3 Rowan University
Rowan University is a public institution in New Jersey offering an online Master of Arts in Special Education - Early Childhood Special Education for new and continuing teachers who are eager to learn more about the educational, psychological, and sociological needs of children and youth with disabilities. Graduate students must be affiliated with a school district to enroll in this program. They are required to complete 30-36 credit hours to graduate, which may be achieved in 5-7 semesters if attending at a full-time pace.
Rowan delivers its online curriculum via the Canvas learning management system. Courses in the online master's degree in early childhood special education include Neurological Basis of Educational Disorders, Foundations of Learning Disabilities, Teaching Reading to Exceptional Children, and Implementing Positive Behavior Strategies. Students must also complete a clinical seminar and self-study project to graduate.
#4 University of Massachusetts Global
The University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Arts in Special Education - Early Childhood Education to help teachers develop advanced knowledge of teaching and assessment best practices for young children with disabilities. Graduating requires completing a minimum of 32-42 credit hours, which generally takes full-time students at least two years.
UMass Global provides Blackboard to its online learners to access coursework and instruction. Those enrolled in the early childhood education graduate program may choose to enroll in courses such as Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Foundations of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education; Assessment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education; and Family Guided Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education. Students must also complete a capstone project and practicum before they can graduate.
#5 California State University - Fullerton
California State University - Fullerton (CSU Fullerton) is an integral part of the country's largest public university system. It offers an online Master of Science in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Education for current educators who desire career advancement. This program requires 30 credit hours to graduate, generally taking full-time students two years.
CSU Fullerton delivers its online curriculum via Canvas. Distance learners in the early childhood education master's program use Canvas to access elementary education graduate studies courses in math, science, integrated language arts, and second languages, among others. To graduate, program participants must also complete a culminating experience, including a thesis project.
#6 Bank Street College of Education
New York's Bank Street College of Education (BSCE) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Science in Education in Childhood Special Education and General Education. It provides dual certification to students seeking their first teaching certification. This is a 52-credit program that may take up to three years of full-time attendance due to the extensive training it provides. Students are required to participate in weekly remote conference groups with advisors and peers.
BSCE uses Canvas for online coursework and instruction delivery. Distance learners in the online master's degree program in Childhood Special Education and General Education take courses, such as Developmental Variations, Foundations of Modern Education, Music and Movement, and Social Worlds of Childhood. Students must also complete fieldwork experience to graduate.
#7 Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida is a private nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Science in Developmental Disabilities - Early Childhood for students eager to improve the programs and services that help this target group of children. They must complete 30 credit hours to graduate, which may take as few as 18 months of full-time attendance. Those who want to prepare for national certification may need additional coursework.
NSU uses Canvas to deliver coursework and instruction to distance learners. Those enrolled in the online master's in developmental disabilities - early childhood degree program participate in classes, such as Early Identification and Assessment of Developmental Disabilities, Early Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, and Integrating Children with Disabilities in Educational Settings. A practicum is also required to graduate.
#8 Texas A&M University - Commerce
Texas A&M University - Commerce (A&M Commerce) is a public institution offering an online Master of Education/Master of Science in Early Childhood Education to students who desire to develop advanced skills in teaching toddlers and children from birth to grade 4. It's offered in two tracks: (1) an MEd non-thesis for current educators certified to teach in Texas and (2) an MS non-thesis track for students who do not currently hold a teaching certificate. These 36-credit programs generally take full-time students 1.5 to 2 years to complete.
Texas A&M distance learners use Canvas to access its online curriculum. Those enrolled in the online master's in early childhood education programs take classes depending on the track chosen, such as Early Child Curriculum Design, Design Inquiry-Based Learning, Classroom Management for Teachers, and Literacy Development in the Early Years.
#9 West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Education in Early Childhood Education to help students with at least one year of experience working with children develop a deep understanding of the factors influencing child development. This program doesn't lead to teaching certification. Graduating requires completing 33 credit hours, which generally takes full-time students two years. This is not self-paced, as instruction is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously.
WCU uses the Brightspace learning management system so students can access online instruction. Courses within the early childhood education curriculum include Partnerships in Early Childhood Education, Advanced Child Development: Prebirth Through Eight Years, and Diverse Learners in Early Childhood Settings.
#10 Concordia University - Chicago
Concordia University - Chicago (CU Chicago) is a private, nonprofit, and Hispanic-serving institution steeped in the Lutheran faith. It offers an online Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education that has received national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Students must complete 30 credit hours, which generally takes two years of full-time enrollment. This program doesn't lead to licensure and requires at least two years of experience with young children. Additionally, CU Chicago offers an online Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education.
CU Chicago delivers online coursework and instruction via Blackboard. Early childhood education distance learners participate in classes such as Child Development and Ethics in Early Childhood Education; Child Development and Ethics in Early Childhood Education; Child, Family and Multicultural Community; and Trends and Methods in ECE in Literacy.
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