The 2 Best Online Master's in Early Childhood Education


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The two best online master’s in early childhood education programs both focus on special education. As a student in one of these programs, you receive the focused training you need to work with children under the age of about 10 years old who have emotional or behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, or other special needs. To enroll in either of the programs described below, you must at minimum hold a state-issued teacher certificate.

Both online master’s degree in early childhood education programs are designed to qualify students for a certificate or endorsement in the state where the program is located. If you do not live in the same state as your chosen program, you must contact your local teacher-licensing authority to determine whether completing the program will qualify you for certification in your state. Most graduate education programs, including those below, meet certification standards in many different states. However, you should confirm this yourself before making any final decisions.

According to a 2013 survey of online graduate education programs by , Auburn University is home to one of the best online graduate education degrees in the country. The school’s online master’s degree in early childhood education provides a well-rounded exploration of special-needs education theory and practice. In your core program courses, you study teaching and class management techniques for special-needs classrooms and you learn how to integrate technology into your courses to facilitate learning among your students. If you do not already have a special-education teaching endorsement, you must also take courses in curriculum design and several other foundational courses in special education. These courses must be completed in addition to the standard 30 to 33 credits required to complete the degree. This program qualifies graduates to obtain a Class-A professional educator certificate in Alabama or an equivalent master’s-level certification in many other states.

St. John’s University is also ranked among the best online graduate education programs in the country by . The university’s Teaching Children with Disabilities, Childhood Level master’s program is designed for students who have a general education teacher certificate and who wish to develop the specialized skills needed to work with special-needs children. As a student in this program, you learn how to diagnose learning and behavior disorders and how to design and execute instructional programs that directly address student challenges. Special emphasis is also given to the development of research and evaluation skills that enable graduates to continue learning in order to modify their techniques according to new research in the field. This online master’s degree in early childhood education program is designed to prepare students for an early childhood special education endorsement in New York and other states.