College of Education and Human Development wordmark.
Institute of Child Development wordmark.

M.Ed. in early childhood education

Earn a license to teach in early childhood (birth-3rd grade) classrooms in Minnesota. Build a strong foundation in child development theory, research, and developmentally appropriate methodology that you can apply in the classroom.

After successfully completing program requirements, you’ll earn your M.Ed. and be recommended for a license to teach in early childhood classrooms (Birth-3rd grade) in Minnesota.

This program is for students pursuing their first Minnesota teaching license. If you already have a license to teach elementary education in Minnesota, see our additional licensure program for information about how to add an early childhood education license.

Find what drives you: Join us

  • Student teach at the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School, an on-campus preschool housed at the Institute of Child Development and a living laboratory for early childhood curriculum development.
  • As a teacher licensure student at the University of Minnesota, you’ll be part of a program that’s well respected in Minnesota school districts. Our students are highly sought after by Minnesota school principals and superintendents.
  • Earn a master’s degree and prepare for potential career advancement opportunities like moving into school or district administration.

How to apply

Curriculum

Our curriculum is based in developmental theory, so you’ll have the skills needed to meet each child where they are in their educational journey. To prepare you to teach children from birth to 3rd grade, coursework will include classes on early childhood education theory and methods, and elementary education methods.

Early childhood education

  • Foundations of early childhood education
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Cognitive and language learning
  • Creative and motor learning
  • Education of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities

Teaching methods

  • Reading instruction
  • Language arts instruction
  • Science instruction
  • Teaching English learners
  • Social studies instruction
  • Mathematics instruction

You’ll complete two student teaching experiences: one in an early childhood classroom and one in a lower elementary classroom (K-3). To earn your M.Ed., you’ll complete a capstone project on how to improve early childhood education teaching methods. Admission is available for fall, spring, and summer sessions.

Circle stat
100%

job placement within one year

source: 2017 UMN Office of Teacher Education survey

Careers

Salary outlook

A teacher's salary is determined by two factors: number of years teaching and level of education. A teacher with a master's degree is able to start at a higher salary. Minnesota teachers tend to make more than the national median wage.

Minnesota salary information: iseek careers, Minnesota's career, education, and job resource

National salary information: Bureau of Labor and Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Job outlook

Minnesota job outlook: iseek careers, Minnesota's career, education, and job resource

National job outlook: Bureau of Labor and Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Preparing students to be leaders in the classroom

A teacher listens to a preschool student while they participate in a small group discussion
The University of Minnesota Early Childhood Education Master's Program is setting up their student teachers for success! We've found U of M students have a deep understanding of developmentally appropriate practices that are aligned with standards. U of M students have a deeper understanding of developmental psychology and inquiry-based instruction, and demonstrate a strong understanding of strategies for active engagement.

Joel Knorr
Principal, Oak Point Elementary
Eden Prairie Schools

Tuition and funding

Tuition for our M.Ed. program follows the University’s general graduate tuition rates for the College of Education and Human Development. Full-time enrollment is 6 to 14 credits per semester.

Every year, students in the College of Education and Human Development’s initial licensure/M.Ed. programs receive more than $600,000 in scholarships. Learn more about financial support for future teachers.

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We're driven to make a difference

Demetria Poe
It's very important that children of color have teachers of color that are teaching them. It's important for children to have those teachers and say, 'I can do that as well.'

Demetria Poe
M.Ed./initial licensure in early childhood education student