M.A. in Education Option in Early Childhood/Primary Education

M.A. in Education Option in Early Childhood/Primary Education

early childhood

The Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Education with an Option in Early Childhood/Primary Education prepares individuals to work in a variety of settings to promote the development and learning of young children. 

Required coursework covers content related to appropriate learning experiences and curriculum for young children, school/family/community partnerships, cultural diversity, emergent literacy, design and management of early childhood public education programs, and issues and trends in early childhood education. Some courses require fieldwork to help students apply research-based principles related to the teaching and learning process in early education settings. 

Graduates of the program take on various teaching and leadership roles in the field of early education within the greater Los Angeles community, including:

  • Classroom teachers in pre-kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and the primary grades
  • Site supervisors/principals of children’s centers in local school districts
  • Directors of Head Start centers
  • Community college instructors
  • Service coordinators and supervisors in community-based organizations that support young children and their families
  • Early education experts and advocates for young children and their families

Program Outcomes

The program is designed to enable students to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of children’s self-initiated and self-structured activities in their learning and development
  2. Improve their ability to plan developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum to address the developmental range and diverse characteristics of young children (birth to age 8)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of critical issues and trends in the field of early childhood education
  4. Demonstrate personal research skills and apply theoretical and research knowledge to practice in early childhood settings
  5. Engage in reflective inquiry and demonstrate professional self-knowledge
  6. Increase their ability to work with linguistically and culturally diverse children and families
  7. Demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively with peers/colleagues to achieve goals for children and families
  8. Increase their capacity to assume leadership roles in schools or programs serving young children and their families

Student Voices

What students say about the program:

Ana Ardon

My experiences in the Early Childhood Education Master Program have been very rewarding in the professional and personal levels. At the professional level, this program has expanded my views and knowledge about teaching and working with young children. The program curriculum has allowed me to develop a deep and better understanding of young children, their socio-emotional-physical-educational needs, the best practices, and how best to support them. I believe the program has prepared me to be a better teacher and to become an advocate for young children. At the personal level, this program has given me the unique opportunity to meet and develop friendships with great people who care a lot about education and young children. All of them are enthusiastic, intelligent, creative and ready to give support. 


  • The program allowed me to develop as a professional. I was able to use much of the research information and apply it to my teaching.
  • Extraordinary instructors who perform with professionalism and are knowledgeable, flexible, patient and understanding.
  • The best thing about the program is the community of classmates and professors formed during the program which allowed us to share experiences and knowledge and learn from each other.
  • It is a fun program to be in. I like my classmates and professors. It helps me to know that what I am doing is something special.


M.A. in Education Option in Early Childhood/Primary Education

Division of Curriculum and Instruction