Graduate College of Education

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Home > Elementary Education > Master of Arts in Education > Early Childhood Education


Early Childhood Education


General Information


This 33 unit program consists of a core of required courses, specialization courses, and electives. The required and specialization courses provide students with advanced preparation in child growth and development, cultural and linguistic diversity, early childhood curriculum, and research methodology.


The program places a special emphasis on understanding development within varied social and cultural contexts, culturally responsive teaching for diverse population, family and community support, and practitioner research.

With permission of advisor, one three unit course may be taken in a Department outside the College of Education.


The Culminating Experience Requirement for the M.A. in Early Childhood Education is the completion of a thesis or field study.




Concentration in Early Childhood Education provides early childhood educators with advanced knowledge and training in research, theory, and practice for working with children and families in multicultural and multilingual early childhood settings.

The degree provides infant, toddler, preschool, primary grade, community college educators, and early childhood administrators with the skills and knowledge for teaching and leadership positions in the field of early childhood education.


Courses taken for this program can qualify for Teacher and Administrator levels of the California Child Development Matrix.


Application Procedures



  • Possession of an elementary teaching credential or the completion of a minimum of 12 units in professional course work relevant to early childhood education.
  • Successful professional experience working with young children.
  • Possession B.A. with 3.0 minimum GPA for the last 60 units.


Submit the following to the ECE co-coordinators, Dr. Barbara Henderson and Dr. Daniel Meier :

  1. Written Statement of Purpose. Essay should be 2 -3 pages focusing on experience, goals for graduate work and goals post M.A..
  2. Two letters of recommendation that address an applicant's ability to pursue graduate level work and provide evidence of successful experience with young children.


    NOTE: Letters of Recommendation must be on appropriate letterhead


  3. Copy of unofficial transcripts.


click here for more details on the Masters Application Process


Written English Proficiency Requirement


Level 1: Met by successfully completing the Graduate Essay Test (GET). The GET will be administered each semester, one week before instruction begins. Information about the test and testing dates are online at, or contact the Testing Center
at (415) 338-2271.


Level 2: Satisfied by demonstration of English competency on the final project, completed in EED 895.



Core Courses (Required)

Course Title Units
E ED 707 Cognitive Development in Early Childhood Education Sociocultural Contexts 3
E ED 708 First and Second Language Development in Early Childhood Education 3
E ED 717 Narrative Inquiry and Memoir in Early Childhood Education 3
E ED 801 Practitioner Inquiry for Administration of Early Childhood Curricula
(pre-requisites E ED 708, E ED 707, or E ED 709)
E ED 700 Social, Emotional, & Physical Development in Early Childhood Education, Sociocultural Contexts 3
E ED 709 Early Childhood Education Curriculum in Pluralistic Society 3

Total for core: 18


Select three courses from the following:

Course Title Units
E ED 710 Children's Early Literacy Development in Early Childhood Education 3
E ED 715 Families in Early Childhood Settings and Communities 3
E ED 878 Multicultural Educational Theory and Practice for the Young Child 3
E ED 721 International Education in Early Childhood and Elementary Education 3
E ED 806 Leadership, Adult Supervision, and Advocacy 3
E ED 850 Seminar in Early Childhood Mathematics and Science Curriculum 3
E ED 704 Children's Play Development in School & Community 3
E ED 820 Seminar on Infant-Toddler Group Care Educational Programs 3
E ED 899 Independent Study 3

Early childhood coursework in SPED, ECE concentration: 3 units
Relevant course work: SPED, ISED, EDAD, or ITEC: 3 units
A course in a department outside the College of Education, with permission of adviser: 3 units
Coursework from recent SF State Multiple Subject Credential: 6 units
Total for electives: 9


Culminating Experience (Required)

Course Title Units
ISED 797 Seminar in Educational Research 3
E ED 895
E ED 898
Field Study 3

Master's Thesis    3
Minimum Total: 33


Note: Nine units from the SF State Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program may be counted toward elective units within this degree. The following courses may be applied: E ED 782, E ED 783, E ED 749. Upon advisement, six units earned at another institution may be counted toward the degree. Courses can be counted from a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, upper division undergraduate courses, or graduate level coursework, only if these units were not used toward another degree. In keeping with university requirements, courses can count on the Advancement to Candidacy only within a seven-year window.

For Further Information:


Co-Coordinators, Early Childhood Education


Dr. Barbara Henderson
(415) 338-1319


Dr. Daniel Meier
(415) 338-3417


Department of Elementary Education
San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue, BH 179
San Francisco, CA 94132-4158

SF State Home