2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022) 
    Feb 06, 2023  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022)

MS in Early Childhood Studies

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In this program, students gain the knowledge and leadership skills necessary for emerging roles in the field. The program allows students to deepen their understanding of child development and learning, and effective programs and practices, as well as explore current issues and trends. 

Through field experience, students gain guided practice and experience as they learn how play, creativity, and the content areas of language arts, social studies, math, and science can draw on and promote children’s curiosity, individual interests, and positive attitudes toward learning. Throughout the entire program experience, students will learn to become skillful communicators, team members, relationship-builders, and collaborators with families, colleagues, and agencies. Knowledge gained regarding equity and inclusion will help students to become advocates for social change in the field of early childhood.


Note: The MS in Early Childhood Studies program is offered in two different learning modalities: the course-based modality and the competency-based modality, Tempo Learning®.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, educator professionals will be able to:

  1. Explain practices that promote healthy child development in diverse populations.
  2. Evaluate inquiry-based child-centered practices that promote play, creativity, and individual growth, exploration and discovery.
  3. Develop meaningful learning experiences that are responsive to the individual strengths and needs of children.
  4. Analyze assessment processes used to promote positive outcomes for every child.
  5. Analyze effective partnerships that foster children’s healthy development and learning.
  6. Analyze current research to inform best practices in early childhood education.
  7. Evaluate one’s professional growth as a leader and advocate in the early childhood field.
  8. Create opportunities for positive social change as a leader and advocate within the field of early childhood.

Competency-Based Education

In addition to the course-based option described below, students can choose to earn their MS in Early Childhood Studies through the competency-based education modality. Upon successful completion of program requirements, students will earn the same Walden degree in either modality. See the MS in Early Childhood Studies (Competency Based)  page for program details.

Course-Based Program

Degree Requirements

  • 30–36 total semester credits (30 sem. cr. General program; 36 sem. cr. Early Childhood Administration, Management, and Leadership specialization)
  • Core courses (27 sem. cr.)
  • Specialization courses (6 sem. cr.)
  • Capstone (3 sem. cr.)

Core Curriculum

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification

This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

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