Early Childhood and Special Education MEd

Temple University’s Master of Education in Early Childhood and Special Education puts you on the path to earning advanced credentials plus a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate. This master’s degree earns you Temple’s recommendation to receive the instructional certificate. It also helps you develop the expertise to earn dual certification to teach pre-kindergarten to 4th grade children with and without special educational needs.

In addition to conventional theory and techniques in reading/literacy, math, science and social studies instruction, you will learn how to educate students with special educational needs in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs. The study of learning processes allows students to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, self-regulation, as well as their role in learning. Whether a child has autism, ADHD, or another special educational need, you will acquire the expertise to help them overcome it by

  • assessing the child’s educational needs,
  • creating inclusive classroom settings and practices,
  • developing appropriate instructional strategies, and
  • managing the classroom through positive behavior support.

Your coursework will also help you

  • gain a firm foundation in the theory of child and adolescent development,
  • get a solid overview of the problems educational psychologists address, and
  • master the techniques for teaching English to children who speak other languages.

Your master’s degree program culminates with a capstone course, an assessment practicum, and a semester of full-time student teaching. By the time you earn your degree, you will have the knowledge to pass the state exams for conventional early childhood education PreK–4 instruction and special education PreK–8 instruction. In addition, Temple will recommend you for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate.


In addition to your assessment and student teaching practicums, you must complete a certain amount of fieldwork hours each semester. These placements are designed to give you teaching experience in working with children in educational and non-educational settings.

Teacher Certification

This program prepares you to pass the state teaching exams to become certified as an early childhood education (pre-kindergarten through 4th grade) instructor and as a special education (pre-kindergarten through 8th grade) instructor. Certification is your license to teach in Pennsylvania.

You will also earn Temple’s recommendation to receive the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate. Temple does not recommend the certificate for individuals not enrolled in the graduate program. Visit the Certification Office to learn more about this certificate and the certification process.

Completion Requirements

The master’s program consists of 46 credits, including two foundational courses,

  • Child and Adolescent Development and a
  • Seminar Series: Problems in Educational Psychology

as well as 15 credits on early childhood instruction.

You will also complete 15 credits of special education coursework, including Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support, and one course in English language learner instruction. Your final six credits constitute the culminating work for this degree.

Most courses are held on Temple’s Main Campus in Philadelphia, although some online and hybrid options are available. Main Campus courses are held in the evening starting at 5:30 p.m. You can attend full or part-time, and you have up to four years to complete the program.

Culminating Events

No thesis or exam is required. Your degree culminates with a capstone course, an assessment practicum, and a semester of full time, supervised teaching. If you already have a paid teaching position at a local elementary school, you may be approved to use your worksite to fulfill this requirement. Otherwise you will be placed at a school.

Related Graduate Degrees

A graduate degree gives you professional flexibility and more prospects for advancement in the field of education. Temple offers a number of related graduate degree programs, including

Temple also offers a number of graduate-level certificate programs, including

Review the full list of the College of Education’s graduate degree and graduate certificate programs.

Student Diversity

Temple’s student population hails from all 50 states and 129 countries. As of fall 2016, there were 2,067 students enrolled in the College of Education: of that number 1,063 were undergraduates and 1,004 were graduates.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, the Master of Education program offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency and more. Learn more about our tuition and fees.

These tuition costs apply to the 2017–2018 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $898.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,231.00 per credit

Software Licensing Fee

A $25 licensing fee is required from all College of Education majors to cover the cost of using the TK20 software. This program allows the college to assist students in creating academic and professional portfolios, tracking fieldwork and pursuing certification. The license is active for 10 years and allows students to use it even after graduation. Learn more about the TK20 software and license fee.

Student Clubs & Organizations

Find peer support and leadership opportunities while tackling the challenges of your program. You'll also find opportunities to give back to the community, either locally or globally. Students can join the

  • Graduate Student Organization of the College of Education, which runs community-based events like school supply drives as well as professional development workshops and activities. The organization upholds a strong commitment to social justice, regularly organizing political events and engaging in projects with community partners; the
  • Temple University Graduate Students Association, a student employee union that maintains positive working lives and conditions for graduate student assistants; and the 
  • Temple Student Pennsylvania State Education Association, which hosts events to share effective classroom techniques and other resources for developing teachers.

Search for additional education and education-related student organizations.


Additional Program Information