Early childhood teachers specialize in the foundation of educational, developmental, social, and physical needs of young children that provides them a safe learning environment. Because of the ongoing teacher shortage, the current generation of children are at risk of not receiving the appropriate guidance their educational development requires. By earning your Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education (MA in ECE), you can become the pillar of support children need to flourish as lifelong learners.

Preschool teacher helping child build blocks 


The MA in ECE program provides many advantages that ensure an exceptional and accessible education:

  • Program leads to a master’s degree.

  • Program leads to licensure in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education.

  • Courses are offered in a hybrid format during the evening and on weekends to accommodate all types of schedules.

  • Field experiences and student teaching are integrated in to program coursework to give you the opportunity of gaining valuable training and professional connections.

  • Opportunities for job embedded field experiences and student teaching for teachers who work full-time as a teacher in partnering licensed facilities.

  • The program is only 42 credit hours of coursework so you can earn your degrees in as little as two years.

Preschool teacher helping child build blocks

Career Paths

Many doors will open for you once you earn your MA in ECE. Here are just some of the potential careers you can pursue:

  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Early Head Start Program Director
  • Professor of Early Childhood Education

Preschool teacher posing for photo

Subsequent Endorsements


Early Childhood Education Endorsement

Are you interested in advancing your credentials in early childhood education, but not looking for a master’s degree? Enroll in our Early Childhood Education Endorsement program and earn your certificate in only 18 credit hours.

Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement

Due to the lack of special education teachers, young children with special needs are at risk of missing out on the opportunities they deserve. Earn your Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement in only 19 credit hours so you can make a meaningful impact on the lives of students with special needs and their families.

Preschool teacher playing instruments with children 

Program Coordinator

Dr. Katy Hisrich“The Early Childhood program at GSU integrates real-world, practical field experiences for our candidates leading up to a full time student teaching residency. These placements are in diverse settings across the region giving our candidates a rich foundation as they enter the field of education. The program also offers courses with facilitation from professional, experienced instructors. The instructors have experience as teachers and administrators in early childhood and are up to date on issues and trends.”

– Dr. Katy Hisrich, ECE Program Coordinator

Preschool teacher reading book to children

Admission Requirements

  • Transcript showing completion of bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university, a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher, and a “B” or better in all undergraduate courses

  • Criminal background check approved by Governors State

  • Certificates showing completion of FERPA, mandatory reporting, and emergency response

  • Resume

  • Cover letter describing purpose of obtaining this degree and future goals

  • Physical from medical professional, including a TB test from the past 6 months

  • Professional Educator License (PEL) required for Subsequent Endorsements
If you have any questions regarding the admissions process, please contact Senior Academic Advisor Carla Johnson at cjohnson@govst.edu or 708-235-3989.

For more information regarding admission, program, and degree requirements, please visit the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program catalog.

View Program Catalog

<b>Financial Aid</b>

Financial Aid

Find out how you can graduate with little to no debt with our various resources for financial aid.

<b>Open House</b>

Open House

Learn more about the admissions process by joining us for an Open House.

<b>How to Apply</b>

How to Apply

Take the first step towards improving your career and apply today.