Teacher reading book to class
The M.Ed. in early childhood education has as its mission to promote children's optimal development and learning.

Prepared to Lead and Create Beneficial Environments

With focus on children from birth to age eight, students in this program learn how children grow and develop and use that knowledge to create learning environments and experiences that benefit children for life. Students explore curriculum development, infant-toddler development, program administration, early literacy and early intervention. Upon completion of this program, they have not only gained a deeper understanding of learning as a developmental process, they are prepared for leadership positions in the field of early childhood education.


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Program Details

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development master's-level programs is determined by the quality of the total application. Applicants must submit the materials listed below to the associate dean of graduate studies as a measure of their potential for success in graduate-level studies. The teaching certification requirement may be waived under special circumstances and with special considerations.

  • A completed application form accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
  • A teaching certificate (for all school-related programs, except school psychology).
  • Three Candidate Reference Forms accompanied by three Letters of Recommendation.
  • A Professional Goals Essay.
  • A Performance-Based Evaluation.
  • Teacher certification in elementary education, early childhood education, or an appropriate field. (The teaching certification requirement may be waived under special circumstances and with special considerations.)
  • An interview may be required.

Course Information

Here you will find information on course requirements and course descriptions.

Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Requirements for Early Childhood Education Certification

The following courses are approved early childhood courses in the M.Ed. program:

  • ECED 505 (fulfills the area of Child Growth and Development)
  • ECED 502 (fulfills the area of Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood Education)
  • ECED 509 (fulfills the area of Reading Readiness and Developmental Reading)
  • ECED 503 (fulfills the area of Health and Nutrition for the Young Child)
  • ECED 512 (fulfills the area of Child, Family, and Community Relationships)

Applicants who have not completed an approved program can be certified by transcript analysis by presenting evidence of six semester hours of student teaching (see Note below) in the early childhood grades and not less than twenty-four semester hours of coursework to include work in each of the following areas: Child Growth and Development, Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood Education, Reading Readiness and Developmental Reading, Health and Nutrition for the Young Child; Child, Family, and Community Relationships; and Identification of and Service to Special Needs Children.

Note: The student teaching requirement may be waived for an applicant who has had two or more documented years of successful teaching experience in an approved early childhood setting. Certified teachers who have had two or more years of teaching experience and who seek early childhood certification may fulfill the student teaching requirement by completing a one-year supervised internship at the early childhood level. After completing the necessary coursework for the early childhood certificate and arranging through the local community for a one-year internship, the superintendent of schools may request the issuance of a one-year professional certificate. The Rhode Island Department of Education must approve the internship in advance and the supervisor must have at least three years of teaching experience. Upon successful completion of the internship, the individual will be issued a five-year professional certificate.

Credential Review Pathway

The Credential Review Pathway is one of the pathways for individuals seeking to:

  • Re-issue their Expert Residency Preliminary Certificate
  • Add another certification or
  • Renew a certificate that is more than five years expired.

Learn More about RIC's Credential Review Pathway

Rhode Island College entrance

Program Coordinator

Nandita Gurjar

Dr. Nandita Gurjar

Assistant Professor