Educational Psychology & Counseling

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Educational Psychology

Application period for Fall 2024 is October 1, 2023 to June 1, 2024*
(*new extended deadline)
Application period for Spring 2025 is August 1, 2024 to November 1, 2024

Program Coordinators:  Joannie Aguayo, Ed.D. and Carrie Rothstein-Fisch, Ph.D.

Program Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Early Childhood Educational Psychology prepares individuals to demonstrate mastery of national and state professional standards and competencies, leadership, and teaching roles in programs serving children ranging in age from birth through 8 years and their families, depending on the school system and/or state regulations. Students are prepared to teach across all relevant subject matter with an emphasis on valuing diversity, leadership, advocacy, equity, inclusion, and social justice. The M.A. degree coursework provides a strong foundation for entering doctoral programs in early childhood education with a view to teaching at the university level, conducting research in child development, planning and administering programs, or developing public policy.

Graduates of the M.A. Early Childhood Educational Psychology obtain employment in positions such as instructors of child development in community colleges, specialists serving families with high-risk infants and young children, coordinators or administrators of community program services, lead teachers, supervisors, or directors of early childhood education programs, child advocates, consultants or coaches in early childhood settings, and providers of professional development and training.

Program Features

  • Evening Classes meets the needs of working professionals
  • Distinguished Faculty promote student knowledge and expertise in child development theory and learning; family and community relationships; observing, documenting, and assessing the teaching and learning process; and professional development
  • Community Service provides students opportunities to apply theories and research in community-based settings through Fieldwork; and the option to join the Early Childhood Education Partnerships for Excellence – a collaborative community support program that pairs students with experienced and distinguished mentors in early childhood education that assist early education programs to identify creative strategies for program change and improvement.
  • Leadership and Advocacy skills, such as communication and collaboration, ethics, and professionalism
  • Diverse, Inclusive, and Vibrant learning community supports each student and learning about multicultural and international themes; children with special needs and their families; research methods, and technology to promote positive outcomes for children, families, communities, and the early childhood profession
  • Emphasis on Cultural Pathways through The Bridging Cultures Project ™ - a collaborative action research project emerging from research demonstrating cultural values conflicts in schools and caregiving settings (™ Bridging Cultures is a registered trademark of WestEd and licensed to the four original researchers on the Project.

*Program Requirements (effective Fall 2023)

1.  Requirements for Admission to the Program

  1. Complete University application and requirements
    1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    2. Have been in good standing at the last institution attended.
    3. Have at least a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units attempted.
  2. Complete Department application for admission to graduate programs.
    1. Submit two recommendations, either as letters or on the departmental form.
    2. Participate in the admission's interview process.
    3. Be accepted by the Early Childhood Educational Psychology Program Coordinators.
  3. Complete all required prerequisite courses (6 units) with a grade of "B minus" or better within the past 7 years. (Link to list of equivalent courses that may be substituted for prerequisites)
    1. EPC 430 Development and Learning in Early Childhood Education (3)
    2. EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research and Measurement (3)

**For detailed information on the application process, please visit our Prospective Student webpage. You will find the most up-to-date information on how to apply, application deadlines, and FAQs. 

2.  Classified and Conditionally Classified Status

  1. Pass the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam by earning a score of 8 or higher.
  2. Complete EPC 632 and EPC 639C with a grade of "B" or better within 12 units of entering the program.
  3. Maintain a "B" average in completed coursework to make satisfactory progress in the program.
  4. Students earning less than a grade of "B" will be required to meet with their faculty advisor to determine if they may continue in the program.

3.  Required Core Courses (33 units)

  • EPC 602 Research Principles (3)
  • EPC 632 Issues, Theories and Current Practices in Early Childhood (3)
  • EPC 634 Language and Concept Development in the Early School Years (3)
  • EPC 635 Foundations of Developmental Curriculum for Early Childhood (3)
  • EPC 636 Systems, Policies, and Professionalism in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EPC 639C Fieldwork in Early Childhood (3)
  • EPC 642 Assessment and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EPC 668 Partnerships for Excellence in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EPC 683 Collaboration with Families in Educational Settings (3)
  • EPC 695WC Seminar in Professional Writing (3)
  • EPC 696 Directed Graduate Research in ECE (3)

4.  Culminating Experience (6 units)

  • Prerequisite: Classified Status and admission to the CSUN Master of Arts in Early Childhood Educational Psychology program.
  • Students complete a culminating experience in consultation with their Chair. Students can select from one of three options as per the CSUN University Graduate Policy, University Catalog in effect in the semester the student enters the program.
  1. Option 1: EPC 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
    1. Co-requisite: EPC 696 Directed Graduate Research.
  2. Option 2: EPC 698C Graduate Thesis (3-3)
    1. Co-requisite: 696 Directed Graduate Research (3-3-3)
  3. Option 3: EPC 698C Graduate Project (3-3)
    1. Co-requisite: EPC 696 Directed Graduate Research (3-3-3)

Suggested Course Sequence by Semester

  • Semester 1: EPC 632, EPC 634
  • Semester 2: EPC 602, 635, 639C
  • Semester 3: EPC 642, 668, 683
  • Semester 4: EPC 636, 695WC, 696
  • Semester 5: EPC 696, 697 or 698C

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: (39 units)