• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

The online master's degree in early childhood education from MU can help you better design, implement and evaluate educational services for children from birth through age 8, especially those with special needs and those with challenging behaviors. If you want to advance or recharge your teaching career, this may be the degree for you. 

This degree has potential benefits for:

  • Child-care center staff workers 
  • Early childhood practitioners 
  • Early childhood special education teachers 
  • Head Start teachers 
  • Kindergarten or primary-grade teachers 
  • Preschool teachers 

Note: This program does not provide early childhood certification, nor does it provide the initial certification required to become a teacher. 

Program structure and topics

Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Courses are semester-based. Students typically take one or two classes each semester and finish in two years.

This program emphasizes: 

  • Working with diverse groups of children and families 
  • Working with children with disabilities, including autismImplementing appropriate assessment methods 
  • Creating inclusive classrooms 
  • Promoting and enhancing language and early literacy development 
  • Positive approaches to addressing children's social and emotional development

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree in education or a related field from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  3. If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 59 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 180.
  4. Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  5. Résumé or CV.
  6. Two letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of two people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. One letter should be from a college or university professor who can discuss your academic abilities, and one should be from an administrator or colleague who can describe authoritatively your professional experience and potential. If your GPA is below 3.0 or you are an international student (have an international transcript), three letters are required. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
  7. Personal data sheet including biographical information, especially professional experience. In your statement of purpose (No. 29), please describe your professional goals, career objectives, your motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information.
  8. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Application Deadlines

Fall semester
May 1
Spring semester
October 1
Summer semester
March 1


  • *LTC Core Courses (9 credit hours)
  • LTC 8913Curriculum Design3 Credits
  • LTC 8900 Seminar: Master's Capstone1 Credit
  • LTC 8914Culturally Responsive Pedagogy3 Credits
  • LTC 8915Classroom Research2 Credits
  • *Early Childhood Education Core Courses (15 credit hours)
  • ESC_PS 7160Developmental Aspects of Human Learning3 Credits

    Investigates aspects of human development that affect classroom learning. Topics include parenting style, divorce, friendship, mental health, attachment, play aggression, culture, and media. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • LTC 8612Advanced Early Childhood Curriculum3 Credits

    Study of early childhood curriculum in contemporary educational settings along with selection of appropriate materials and development of instructional strategies for children, prekindergarten through early primary grades. Prerequisites: teaching experience or instructor's consent.

  • LTC 8600Home-School Partnerships: Working with Families3 Credits

    Examination of theoretical and philosophical foundations of parent involvement, social and cultural influences on contemporary families, current research on parent involvement, and characteristics of effective home-school-community partnerships. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • LTC 8613Advanced Assessment in Early Childhood3 Credits

    (same as SPC_ED 8490). Procedures and instruments used in assessment of young children, including screening, diagnosis, interpretation of diagnostic findings, and application to instructional plans. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: Departmental consent required. Recommended: May be restricted to students in semester-based courses offered through Mizzou Online.

  • LTC 8614Language and Early Literacy Development3 Credits

    Investigation of the language and early literacy development of young children from birth through age 8. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: Department consent required. Recommended: May be restricted to students in semester-based courses offered through Mizzou Online.

  • *Electives (6 credit hours)
  • SPC_ED 8350 Research with Exceptional Children3 Credits
  • SPC_ED 8485 Introduction and Methods of Early Intervention3 Credits
  • SPC_ED 8495Introduction and Methods of Early Childhood Special Education3 Credits
  • SPC_ED 8605Young Children with Autism3 Credits
  • SPC_ED 8440 Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior Analysis3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

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