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Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education

NAEYC Accredited

Fresno State's M.A. in Early Childhood Education program is the ONLY nationally accredited Early Childhood Education master's program in the state of California recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


NAEYC Accreditation

Nationally Recognized

Fresno State has been recognized by Discover Early Childhood EDU for supporting student career goals at an affordable price while providing high-quality education.

Most Affordable ECE Badge

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program offers specialized preparation for a wide variety of positions in educational settings with children from birth through the primary grades. The program is designed to meet the needs of candidates with different professional and educational backgrounds and varied career objectives.

The Early Childhood Education graduate program is a 30-unit program with two specialized pathway options: Teacher Leader or Program Leader. The Teacher Leader specialization is primarily for those in TK-3 settings. The Program Leader specialization is for professionals in various settings.

Because of the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center, an early education, research, and training center, housed in the Education Building, our students have unique opportunities to work with children and families as well as other academic disciplines across the university.

Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential

The Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential Program offers advanced preparation to those who already hold a valid California elementary credential. It is an embedded program and is completely aligned with the Master's Program. Master’s candidates in the ECE Teacher Leader Specialization may use their coursework to fulfill requirements for the ECE Specialist Credential. Although it is embedded in the Master’s Program, it can also be completed separately. 

In addition to a valid California teaching credential, the ECE Specialist Credential requires at least two years of teaching at two different levels of early childhood education. For candidates wishing to fulfill the fieldwork requirements for the Specialist Credential while they are in the program, program faculty can provide assistance.


Career Opportunities

Our graduates work in a variety of settings; from being a professor here at Fresno State to working as an ECE coach for Fresno Unified to working at a non-profit organization. Earning your Master's degree in Early Childhood Education opens many doors to your future.

Work Environments

  • Public School System
  • Fresno County
  • Non-Profit
  • For-Profit

Hear from our students and graduates about how this degree has impacted their career. 

Program Coordinator

Dr. Pei-Ying Wu: 

On Leave Spring 2023: 

Dr. Heather Horsley: (Interim) ECE Graduate Program Coordinator
          Office:  ED 353
          Office Phone: 559/278-0119 


Pei-Ying Wu

ED 242