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Learn from a university ranked No. 3 in master’s in early childhood education graduates. ¹

Impact children’s learning and development in a bigger way with Walden’s MS in Early Childhood Studies non-licensure degree program. A master’s in early childhood education prepares students to pursue teaching, advocacy, and leadership roles in school settings and beyond.

Learn from the Educator of Educators™

Walden University is proud to be recognized as the No. 3 granter of early childhood education master’s degrees. 1

Readily Applicable Skills

Actionable learning allows you to immediately impact your education environment. Be a force of positive change in children’s lives while moving your career forward.

A degree on your terms

With a choice of two learning formats, this online master’s in early childhood education program is designed with your busy schedule in mind. Choose the option—course based or competency based—that best fits your life.

Vibrant Community of Educators

Join a vibrant community of 65,000+ student and alumni change-makers, including more than 150 state teachers of the year, who—like you—aspire to make a difference.

Program Savings

Course-Based: Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 2, 2020. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Two Ways to Learn

Choose from two degree completion options.

The course-based format may be a good option for you if you prefer an instructor-led approach and learning on a predetermined schedule.

Tempo Competency-Based LearningTempo Competency-Based Learning is an alternative way to earn your Walden degree. It’s different from our standard course-based learning because you can work at a pace that makes sense for you, and progress once you’ve shown you understand a subject. With Tempo Learning®, you have the flexibility of online learning, plus the ability to personalize and control the length, cost, and pacing of your program. See below which specializations are offered in Tempo Competency-Based Learning in addition to our standard course-based learning.


Administration, Management, and Leadership

Get the knowledge and skills you need to create child-centered programs that promote positive learning experiences for all children.

Course-Based Learning Tempo

Teaching Diversity in Early Childhood Education

Deepen your understanding of the ways diversity affects development and learning in early childhood.

Course-Based Learning Tempo

Admissions Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Gain Solid Preparation for Today’s Education Environments

Put your confidence in a master’s in early childhood studies program that reflects professional guidelines established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Walden’s curriculum is informed by a panel of early childhood experts, each with practical, real-world insights. Build sought-after skills that prepare you to advance and excel in an evolving field.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Early Childhood Studies program will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of child development, learning, and effective programs and practices.
  • Critically examine issues, trends, and current research.
  • Understand foundational theories of research and practice evidence-based research and decision making.
  • Have deep knowledge of issues related to equity and inclusion; address inequities and advocate for social change.
  • Be skillful communicators, team members, relationship-builders, and collaborators with family members, colleagues, and agencies related to the field of early childhood.
  • Be critical and self-reflective of their own values, beliefs, and biases and use this understanding.

What’s the Career Impact of Earning an Early Childhood Master’s Degree?

America needs more qualified professionals to prepare children with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in school—and in life. According to job market data gathered by Burning Glass Technologies, demand for early childhood studies practitioners grew 144% from 2010 to 2018.2 The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that employment for preschool and childcare center directors will rise at a rate of 7% through 2028.3

What Can I Do With an MS in Early Childhood Studies?

With a master’s degree, you can start a new chapter in your career—or build on your prior experience to become a leader and innovator in the early childhood field. Career options range from postsecondary teaching and advocacy roles to administrative and leadership positions within early childhood learning environments. Potential occupations include:

  • Child and family advocate
  • Public policy coordinator
  • Child development instructor
  • Professional development facilitator
  • Lecturer in early childhood studies
  • Childcare administrator
  • Assistant director of a childcare center
  • Director of a childcare center
  • Owner of a childcare center
  • Preschool director
  • Program administrator for early childhood programs

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this early childhood studies master’s degree program.


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