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Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Early Childhood Special Education Concentration (Licensure)

A master's degree in early childhood education for diverse learners provides students with specialized knowledge around working with diverse learners from birth to third grade and their families, preparing graduates to create paths for success for children in the earliest years of their education.

By working with young children and their families, early childhood education graduates create a path for success for children in the earliest years of their education. Students learn specialized skills to work with children from a diversity of abilities as well as cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

This is an ideal program for students who want to teach in early childhood special education classrooms or work as early interventionists. Graduates of this concentration are eligible to apply for a Virginia teaching license for Early Childhood Special Education, Birth-Age 5.

Licensure Requirements

In addition to completing program courses, students must complete mandated state-required licensure exams and content area coursework prior to their internship application deadline. The most up-to-date information regarding exams can be found on the TeacherTrack@Mason website.

Field Experience

Some courses require field observation within a Northern Virginia regional school. If a course has a field experience requirement it will be noted in PatriotWeb. Our field experience office coordinates with our local schools to assign placements.


Early Childhood Education students engage in a semester-long internship experience off campus. This internship is a capstone experience. It is a full-time obligation in the last semester of the program. The program assists with the placement process. Internships will be either working directly with or on behalf of young children and their families.

Students must submit an internship application in the semester prior to the internship. Please consult with the Early Childhood Education advisor and review the information on this page for more details.

Careers in Early Childhood

Students completing this licensure program may pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Early Interventionist

Additional Opportunities

Licensure Disclosure

George Mason University will verify completion of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require George Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.