MEd Advanced Studies in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood is a unique developmental period, requiring similarly unique teaching strategies and styles.
Mason’s Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) early childhood education concentration provides professional development for prekindergarten through third-grade educators and focuses on advancing the professional knowledge of practicing teachers who teach and work with diverse young children and their families.
In addition to the ASTL core courses, students in this concentration take course work that builds their expertise in early childhood education frameworks, research, and policy. They also choose electives in specific subjects such as literacy foundations or supporting English learners.
Why Is Early Childhood Education Important?
Learning in the early years of education (prekindergarten through third grade) provides a critical foundation for future learning and can promote important long-term social benefits to those developing in the classroom. The ASTL early childhood education concentration at Mason provides advanced professional development in this crucial content to our students, helping them do the important work in their classrooms that enables their own students to succeed.
What Are Some Benefits of the Program?
All students in this ASTL concentration take the required course “Frameworks for Early Childhood Education” and can choose between a course on teaching at the early childhood level or one on early childhood policy perspectives. These courses complement the ASTL core degree requirements and electives. By completing this course work, graduates gain the advantages of a master’s degree, including the possibility of increased pay and opportunities to be curriculum leaders in their schools.
Who Should Apply?
Educators holding a bachelor's degree with or without a master's degree may apply for the full master's degree program, which includes 12 credits of core education courses and 18 credits of concentration courses chosen with support from a Mason advisor. This is not an initial licensure program.
Can I Use Graduate Credits from Other Universities to Reduce my Course Load?
Possibly! University policy allows for up to 12 credits (depending on the program) that have not been previously used to complete a degree to be transferred from another accredited graduate program. Consultation with an ASTL advisor is necessary to determine if and which courses may be acceptable to a specific concentration. The literacy: K-12 reading specialist concentration does not allow for substitutions. Substitutions cannot be made for the five core courses of the ASTL program (EDUC 612, EDUC 613, EDUC 614, EDUC 606, EDUC 615). Course work that is older than six years will not be accepted, even if the courses were taken at Mason.
Core Courses (12 credits)
- EDUC 606: Education and Culture (3 credits)
- EDUC 612: Inquiry into Practice (2 credits)
- EDUC 613: How Students Learn (3 credits)
- EDUC 614: Designing and Assessing Teaching and Learning (2 credits)
- EDUC 615: Educational Change (2 credits)
Concentration Courses (18 credits)
- ECED 601: Frameworks for Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
- ECED 685: Applied and Teacher Research in Early Childhood Education (3 credits) OR ECED 691: Policy Perspectives in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
Electives (Choose four)
- EDCI 630: Supporting English Learners in PK-12 Schools (3 credits)
- EDRD 630: Literacy Foundations and Instruction for Diverse Populations: Birth through Middle Childhood (3 credits)
- Any graduate courses with ECED prefix
Total: 30 credits
Program Exit Requirement
Professional Development Portfolio: A performance-based assessment that provides concrete evidence of teacher professional development throughout the ASTL program. Students finalize and present their portfolios in their final spring semester.
- Includes both online and on-campus courses Dependent on course selection
- On-campus courses are held in the evenings at Mason’s Fairfax campus
- Designed to be completed in approximately two years while working full time as a teacher
- New students begin classes in May, August, and January (Summer, Fall, and Spring admissions)
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 1
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 4
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 1
For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.
* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.
All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below. Please review the FAQ page for more information.
To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:
- Graduate application and fee
- 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
- Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.
Admission to graduate programs at George Mason University is competitive. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic backgrounds, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Faculty admissions review is a holistic review of requirements as well as the applicant’s potential academic and professional success upon completion of the program.
At a minimum all admitted students must have:
- An earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the graduate admissions policy for more information.
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, and/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study when evaluating the GPA requirement.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,431.00)
|VA Resident and PreK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$589.26
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$718.25 - $777.25|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$918.25 - $977.25|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PreK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$614.26 - $673.26|
|Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)
Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF): $150.25
**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.
Each student is responsible for knowing Mason’s rules, regulations, requirements, administrative policies, and academic policies. The University Catalog, your program advisors, and the staff in the Student and Academic Affairs Office are key resources to assist you as you work toward completion of your degree requirements. It is highly recommended that you meet with your advisor at least once per semester to review degree progress and plan for future semesters.
You Have the Keys to Success:
Be an Informed Student
It is your responsibility to monitor your progress in completing your requirements. Your advisor is a resource to assist you. If you choose not to meet with your advisor, you may miss key information and opportunities to make your experience at Mason a more valuable one.
Read your Mason Email
Students are responsible for reading university communications sent to their Mason email account (@gmu.edu) and are required to activate that account and check it regularly. If you wish to forward your @gmu.edu emails to a personal account, please do so as soon as possible once admitted to avoid missing key communications from various university offices.
Know and Use your Resources
Friends and other CEHD students are great, but they are not reliable sources of information for your individual degree requirements and progress. A reliable resource is the paid Mason employee who is the subject matter expert on the question at hand (e.g. licensure, endorsements, advising, career services, admissions, registrar, and IT support). When in doubt, ask your advisor!
Early Childhood Education Concentration: Academic Advisor
Dr. Carley Fisher-Maltese
ASTL Academic Advisors guide students through their program of study. After admission, reach out to your advisor to plan your program of study and plan for your first course! Stay in touch with your advisor each semester to consult on your course selection and program progress.