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You can help make a meaningful difference in children’s lives. A deeper understanding of their early development can give you the key to support their growth and well-being in a changing world.
The online MS in Education, Early Childhood Education Studies from Capella University is a way to establish these vital skills. You’ll develop an advanced understanding of how young children learn, what exceptional children need, and how family relationships play a role in childhood education. This degree program can prepare you for a variety of professional roles in the diverse field of early childhood education.
This specialization does not lead to license, endorsement, or other professional credential. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella's website www.capella.edu. Teachers are advised to contact their school district to determine whether a program may qualify for salary advancement.
Use the code SPRING to waive the $50 application fee.
Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $2.5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree. Eligibility rules and exclusions apply. Connect with us for details.
Infant and Child Development
This course addresses the developmental stages of children from the prenatal period to age eight years. Learners examine how children develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually; and evaluate the influences family, society, and culture have on infant, toddler, and K–grade three child development. Learners also assess children’s evolving needs and apply theory and research to recommend appropriate responses to those needs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.
|4 quarter credits|
Action Research to Enhance Practice
In this course, learners explore action research in theory and practice as a form of inquiry and self-reflection to inform and improve their teaching. Learners examine relevant issues in their own educational setting and develop a plan to study and implement meaningful, practical, and researched-based answers. Learners design data collection, analysis, and reporting practices as part of their action research plan that will be implemented in the capstone course. This course requires access to an educational setting, students or learners, and/or classroom practitioners. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning. ED5306 and either ED5950 or ED5980 must be taken in sequence and during the learner’s final two quarters.
|4 quarter credits|
The Early Childhood Learning Environment
This course covers the early childhood environment and its effects on growth and learning. Learners evaluate the physical environment, the role of the caregivers and teachers, and the interaction among children, and identify methods of increasing child engagement, effective communication, and learning. Learners explore ways to create supportive and nurturing learning environments and how to monitor, reflect, and adjust them to best meet the needs of young children. Learners also become familiar with the responsibilities associated with working in the early childhood learning field. This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Prerequisite(s): ED5405. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.
|4 quarter credits|
Children, Families, and Society
Learners in this course examine the importance of actively engaging families in the education and care of children. The course takes an ecological approach to children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, and the broader community. Learners study the characteristics, lifestyles, and contributions associated with various racial, cultural, and economic groups to gain an understanding of the impact of human behavior on children’s growth and development. This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Prerequisite(s): ED5405. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.
|4 quarter credits|
Classroom Management Strategies
Learners in this course apply strategies for managing diverse and challenging student behaviors and develop the skills needed to create classroom environments that maximize the opportunity for each student to learn. This course emphasizes the roles, rights, and responsibilities of all stakeholders under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 legislation. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.
|4 quarter credits|
*Course has prerequisite(s). See catalog for details.
This specialization gives you the opportunity to improve teaching skills and develop your ability to help young children learn. It incorporates relevant learning experiences—including critical dialogue with peers, faculty expertise, research-based curriculum, and interdisciplinary instruction—to help prepare you for professional instructional roles in the field of early childhood education. You’ll evaluate early childhood education theory, research, and curriculum. You’ll examine the learning styles of young children, the educational needs of exceptional children, and the role of family relationships in childhood education. The requirements for this specialization are not designed to prepare graduates for licensure.
One successful completion of this program, you should be able to:
Review the Capella career exploration guide to learn more about this program and career paths to explore.
The total cost of your degree will depend on academic performance, transfer credits, scholarships and other factors. See GuidedPath cost information below.
A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
$470 per credit, 46 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits
*This is only an estimate, effective July 10, 2023, and is subject to change. Your price will vary depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. Books, supplies, and other fees are not included in this estimate. GuidedPath prices show the tuition you would pay if you brought in an average number of transfer credits or the maximum allowed transfer credits. New or recently revised program estimates are based on comparable programs.
Capella is committed to transparency in its tuition and pricing. In addition to tuition, you will be responsible for additional costs, which may include an application fee, travel expenses, and practicum costs. A resource kit fee of $50-$175, charged quarterly or per billing session, covers the cost of required books, software, and other course materials. Click here to review program-specific fee amounts in our University Catalog.
Find out more about financing and payment options to help you complete your program. Federal aid also is available to help manage the costs of higher education. Learn more about financing your education.
Questions about cost?
Contact an enrollment counselor.
*Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2020–2021
“The field of education is constantly changing, so as a teacher, I need to constantly be learning as much as I can to stay on the top of my game, and then give my students the best education that I can.”
Michelle Emerson* – Master of Education graduate
*Actual FlexPath graduate compensated for appearing in Capella promotional materials.
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Applicants to the MSEd in Early Childhood Education Studies program must provide the following information for admission:
GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.
International student requirements
If you completed your most recent academic coursework, degree, or credential at an institution outside the United States, regardless of your citizenship or where you currently live, you are considered an international applicant.
In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit these materials:
Learn more about international student admissions.
Our programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a master’s student. We’ve structured the experience in manageable pieces to help you earn your degree with support from faculty, staff and online resources.
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Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. While Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific career outcome, such as a job title, promotion, or salary increase, we encourage you to explore potential jobs and employment settings. Here are some ideas and examples for a graduate with an MSEd in Early Childhood Education.
Job titles to explore
Employment settings to explore
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.