Master of Science in Education - Early Childhood | C&I | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Teacher with young students

Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)

The Masters program in early childhood education helps to prepare students for leadership roles in a variety of early childhood settings working with children and families.



Courses within the early childhood education prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to assume a variety of leadership roles in research, education, and policy-making situations involving children from birth through 8 years of age.


The Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Early Childhood Education requires the completion of a minimum of 32 or 36 hours of coursework, depending on the research requirement selected. Students are required to complete between 21-24 credit hours of required C&I and ECE core courses (see below). Student will complete an additional 8-11 credit hours of ECE specialization coursework.

C&I Core Courses (9 credit hours)
CI 503 - Introduction to Curriculum
CI 504 - Systematic Approaches to Instruction
CI 402 - Cultural Diversity in Education and Family Services

Early Childhood Core Course (6 credit hours)
CI 518 - Early Childhood Curriculum and Methods
CI 514 - The Pre-School Child

Early Childhood Courses (8-11 credit hours)
Elective courses are grouped into the following areas: child development, instruction and methods, family literacy, and leadership and advocacy. For more information about theses courses, download the Early Childhood Education Curriculum Guides below.

VIEW CURRICULUM GUIDE | M.S.Ed. - Early Childhood (32 hour)
VIEW CURRICULUM GUIDE | M.S.Ed. - Early Childhood (36 hour)


All students take the C&I core courses related to four program areas: child development, family studies, early childhood curriculum, and instructional methods. Students will also take Early Childhood core courses, which consist of courses in early childhood curriculum and methods, child development, diversity in education, and action research or thesis.

Students can choose from elective courses such as:

  • CI 403 - Child Abuse and Neglect
  • CI 421 - Family Literacy
  • CI 489H - Documenting Young Children’s Development and Learning
  • CI 498H - Early Intervention
  • CI 507 - Impact of Public Policy
  • CI 513 - Emergent Literacy