Master of Arts in Education: Concentration in Early Childhood Education

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This 30-unit program consists of a core of required courses and electives. The required courses provide students with advanced preparation in child growth and development, cultural and linguistic diversity, early childhood curricula, and research methodologies. The program places a special emphasis on teacher research as a primary methodology of inquiry for all early childhood practitioners. Coursework also focuses on understanding child development within varied social and cultural contexts, culturally responsive teaching and curriculum development for diverse populations, and providing family and community support. The culminating experience requirement for the concentration in early childhood education is the completion of a thesis or field study.

Admission to Program

Application for admission to the program is a two-step process that should be completed simultaneously:

  1. Apply to the university: Complete the on-line CSU Mentor application. Follow all other requirements for admission to the university by accessing
  2. Apply to the department by completing a department application. Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
  3. Possession of an elementary teaching credential or the completion of a minimum of 12 units in professional course work relevant to early childhood education, including courses in child development and early childhood curriculum.
  4. A minimum of one full year successful experience working with young children.
  5. Submission of a written statement of purpose (2-page minimum) to the program co-coordinators. The statement of purpose should describe the applicant’s goals for seeking the MA, concentration early childhood education, and describe the applicant’s level of academic and professional preparation for the degree. The content and writing skill demonstrated will be evaluated as part of the admissions decision and to determine if the candidate has met Level One Written Language Proficiency at admission (see below).
  6. Two letters of recommendation: one letter from an instructor addressing the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate level work, and one letter providing evidence of recent work experience with young children.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Applicants are assessed on the application essay based upon the early childhood education program’s criteria. The evaluation rubric considers:

  1. mechanics and style,
  2. coherence and argumentation,
  3. and content, that is, the relevancy of applicants’ experience and goals to that of the program.

Depending on their essay scores, applicants are either admitted, admitted conditionally, or denied admission. Applicants admitted conditionally are required to earn a minimum grade of B in the program approved writing intensive courses, E ED 721 or E ED 707 with instructor approval.

Level Two

Students are assessed on the quality of their culminating experience, E ED 895 or E ED 898.

Master of Arts in Education: Concentration in Early Childhood Education — 30 units

Foundation - Required (9 units)

E ED 709Early Childhood Education Curriculum in Pluralistic Society3
Select two:
Social, Emotional, and Physical Development in Early Childhood Education Sociocultural Contexts
Cognitive Development in Early Childhood Education Sociocultural Contexts
First and Second Language Development in Early Childhood Education

Research Courses - Required (6 units)

E ED 717Narrative Inquiry and Memoir in Early Childhood Education3
E ED 801Practitioner Inquiry for Administration of Early Childhood Curricula3

Electives (12 units)

Select from the following:
E ED 704Children's Play Development in School and Community3
E ED 715Families in Early Childhood Settings and Communities3
E ED 721International Education in Early Childhood and Elementary Education3
E ED 806Leadership, Adult Supervision, and Family Advocacy3
E ED 820Seminar in Infant-Toddler Group Care Education Programs3
E ED 850Seminar in Early Childhood Mathematics and Science Curriculum3
E ED 878Multicultural Educational Theory and Practice for the Young Child3
E ED 899Independent Study1-3
Other GCOE and University courses under advisement (two course limit)
E ED 600-level courses (two course limit)
One course in a department outside the Graduate College of Education (3 units) with consent of advisor
Coursework from recent SF State Multiple Subject Credential (up to 12 units)

Culminating Experience - Required (3 units)

E ED 895Field Study3
or E ED 898 Master's Thesis

Note: 12 units from the SF State Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program may be counted toward elective units within this degree. Only certain courses from the credential may be applied; consult with your advisor for details.

Upon advisement, six units earned at another institution may be counted toward the degree. Courses can be counted from a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, upper division undergraduate courses, or graduate level coursework, only if these units were not used toward another degree. In keeping with University requirements, courses can count on the Advancement to Candidacy only within a seven-year window.