2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    May 18, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Early Childhood Development and Education MS

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College: Community Innovation and Education Degree: MS
Department: School of Teacher Education Option: Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Website: https://ccie.ucf.edu/teachered/early-childhood-education/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Science program in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) is designed to meet the needs of professionals who want to work with young children and their families. The ECDE program delivers relevant, rigorous course work and related academic experiences.

The program is designed for candidates with undergraduate degrees in a wide range of areas either related to early childhood development and education, such as child development, psychology, communication disorders, sociology, nursing, theatre, music or other degrees. The program of study includes advanced professional development in early child development and education for careers with direct and indirect services for young children and families. Direct early education services to young children and families can include homes, schools, and other community settings, such as child care and Head Start. Indirect services can include: child assessment, program evaluation, child care resource and referral, early learning coalitions, community college instruction, and child advocacy. Graduates of this program are encouraged to serve as a bridge among schools and community agencies and to nurture leadership skills in these areas. 

In addition to fostering the professional development of previously certified early childhood teachers, this program will also serve as a bridge among schools and community agencies and will provide the educational experiences to nurture educational leaders who will work within and across these areas.


The Early Childhood Development and Education MS program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 6 credit hours of core courses, 18 credit hours of specialization courses, 6 credit hours of electives, and 6 credit hours of a capstone experience in the form of a thesis or nonthesis/practicum option.

Total Credit Hours Required: 36 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Students should initially and periodically meet with an academic adviser to plan their program of electives in relation to their desired career goals, develop a program of study and timeline for their course work completion, and plan for the capstone culminating experience.

The MS does not lead to initial teacher preparation through the state-approved program route. Students interested in certification may contact the Florida Bureau of Teacher Certification Florida Department of Education directly at www.fldoe.org/edcert/.

Required Courses: 24 Credit Hours

Thesis Option: 6 Credit Hours

  • EEC 6971 Thesis 6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis Option: 6 Credit Hours

Independent Learning

A thesis, practicum, or a written comprehensive examination is required as the culminating experience for the program.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic sources.
  • Professional resumé.
  • Essay detailing career goals.  
  • An interview (in person, by internet, or by phone) scheduled by the Early Childhood Graduate faculty.
  • A guided 1-page written essay during the interview. 
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Admission materials will be scored on a rubric to quantify decision criteria.

Students who do not meet published admission requirements may be admitted provisionally and will be interviewed by a faculty program committee for final admission action.  Other admission factors that may be used in selecting students for provisional admission to the program include previous teaching experience or work (i.e., social service agencies) with infants and young children, pre-kindergarten or primary age children and their families.

Application Deadlines

Early Childhood Development and Education MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1    
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15    
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Judith Levin, PhD
Associate Lecturer
Telephone: 407-823-4615
Education 122

Graduate Admissions

Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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