The UMF M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood program defines exceptional leaders in early childhood as those who fulfill and excel as adult educators in higher education, trainers, classroom teachers, program administrators, policy advocates, curriculum specialists, program proprietors, and others who assume early childhood leadership responsibilities.

Through a creative and varied course of study, Early Childhood professionals in the M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood program will develop the skills to collaborate with community agencies and professionals. The student-centered program will model excellence in education through rigorous coursework and faculty mentoring of research and practice. Exploring issues related to diversity is a common thread found throughout the program.

The University of Maine at Farmington is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

A Blended Approach: In-Person and Online

Program delivery is a blended format. This means approximately 30% of the program will be delivered through face-to-face instruction and 70% will be delivered online.

The curriculum is carefully designed to contribute to the intellectual and professional growth of those who work with children ages birth through age 8. The M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood program emphasizes child development-based curriculum, development, and assessment, across ages birth through age 8, as well as an understanding of the family and community contexts in which these children are educated. This emphasis helps Early Childhood professionals in addressing the needs of children and families in today’s changing, diverse world.

The 36-credit M.S.Ed. Early Childhood program should be completed within 6 years of matriculation. It is comprised of 24 core credits and 12 elective credits. The electives, which will be selected in consultation with an advisor, will explore content specifically related to the field of Early Childhood.

Apply Now (pdf)

Courses in M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood

Core Curriculum (24 credits) *
See Core Curriculum descriptions below

  • ECH 500 Early Childhood Education in Today’s World
  • ECH 533 Advanced Foundations of Child Development (meets 081)
  • ECH 534 Advanced Program Administration and Leadership
  • ECH 535 Play and the Social World of the Child
  • ECH 538 Collaboration with Families and Communities (meets 081)
  • ECH 539 Curriculum Development and Assessment
  • ECH 540 Research Methods in Early Childhood
  • ECH 541 Field-Based Research

Electives (12 credits)*

  • ECH 502 Diverse Programming in Early Learning Environments (meets 081)
  • ECH 504 Early Childhood Policy and Research
  • ECH 505 Mathematics in the Early Childhood Years (meets 081)
  • ECH 506 Language and Literacy in the Early Years (meets 081)
  • ECH 507 Advanced Infant and Toddler Development and Curriculum (meets 081)
  • ECH 537 Science in the Early Childhood Years (meets 081)
  • ECH 577 Special Topics in Early Childhood Education

Up to nine (9) graduate credits (500-level or above) may be transferred into the program if:

  • Content is appropriate as judged by the faculty
  • Course was completed within five (5) years of applying to the program
  • Credit was granted at an accredited higher education institution and
  • A grade of B (3.0) or better was awarded

*See Schedule (pdf) for additional information on course delivery and rotation

To see course descriptions please review the Graduate Catalog.

Application Process and Due Dates

All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact our office prior to application to discuss the program and professional goals. Please visit our Contact Us page or email to begin your inquiry.

Due Dates

  • August 10 for September (for Fall Term)
  • December 8 for January (for Spring Term)
  • April 10 for May (for Summer Term)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and will be considered when complete. Students may enroll in some courses as a non-matriculated student prior to acceptance into the program.

Application Materials

To apply for the M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood program please submit the following materials to our office:

  • Application (pdf)
  • Application essay (see page 3 of the Application for instructions)
  • Supplemental essay if undergraduate degree was not in Early Childhood Education
  • Official transcript for your undergraduate degree if not from UMSystem
  • Two Recommendation Forms (pdf) This is a fillable form. You may need to download it to enable the form.
    One from current administrator or supervisor
    One from a professional colleague
  • Criminal History documentation (see page 3 of application form above for instructions)
  • See mailing address below

Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree in Early Childhood Education or a closely related field from a regionally accredited college or university.* or a baccalaureate degree in a non-related field, or in an education field outside of the early childhood years. These applicants must provide a clear rationale for relevant preparation to enter the Early Childhood program at advanced level of study. The rationale may include a summary of work with children and families in Birth to Eight programs.
  • Access to active programs for children and families in order to complete field experiences, including research projects.

* Note: a foreign degree must be validated by World Educational Services, Center for Educational Documentation, Inc., or other appropriate agency. The decision to accept the degree is made on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Transfer Policy

If you are requesting that graduate-level coursework be transferred from another institution into this UMF Master’s program, in addition to your transcript you must submit the syllabi for each course you would like considered for transfer. Transfer decisions are made at the time of application.

A student, with the approval of the Admissions Committee, may transfer up to 9 graduate credits from another institution into his/her academic program; only 3 of these credits may be in the core of the program.

These credits must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution, within 5 years prior to admission, and with a minimum grade of B (or equivalent). Graduate credits applied toward an undergraduate degree cannot be used toward the master’s degree.

Contact Us

Division of Graduate & Continuing Education
University of Maine at Farmington
Theo Kalikow Education Center
186 High Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
tel 207-778-7502
fax 207-778-8134
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711

Mailing address:
Division of Graduate & Continuing Education
University of Maine at Farmington
111 South Street
Farmington, Maine 04938