Child Development/Early Childhood Education

Child Development/Early Childhood EducationMaster of Science (M.S.)

The central focus of the child development master's program is promoting child development in a variety of context including families, schools, childcare, and early intervention programs. 

Students in this program will:

  • Study child development in context
  • Learn to implement, evaluate, and improve family-centered programs
  • Gain experience in providing developmentally appropriate, inclusive experiences for young children
  • Work with leading researchers in the field
  • Learn about emergent curriculum, teacher observation/documentation, and environments that support young children as scientists, naturalist, and artists
  • Take courses in applied fields of developmental psychology, special education, teacher education, and family sciences
  • Develop professionally through conference presentations, networking, analyzing data, interning with agency and state policy makers, and publishing papers

See what is happening in Nebraska in Early Childhood Buffett Early Childhood Institute

*The College of Education and Human Sciences requires all students admitted into a campus program to complete a background check before the start of their first semester.


  • Teacher of Young Children
  • Program Director or Educational Coordinator
  • Coach or Technical Assistant
  • Extension Educator
  • College Instructor or Lab School Teacher
  • Policy Maker

Application to this program

1. Graduate Studies Application
2. Unofficial Transcripts
3. Resume
4. Statement of Professional Goals
In your Statement of Professional Goals, address the following: 
-What personal and/or professional experiences have led you to want to pursue a degree in Child Development/Early Childhood Education?
-What are your professional goals and how will this degree help you achieve those? 
5. Three Letters of Reference
Ensure that at least one reference letter is academic (e.g., instructor, advisor) and any non-academic letters are professional (e.g., relevant employer)


Degree Requirements

CD/ECE Master's Student Handbook

Course Requirements

Prerequisite Course:
Educational Psychology 859 or equivalent undergraduate or graduate statistics course is required. The student's advisor, in consultation with their master's committee, determines equivalency.

Required Courses:

Content Area Courses:
Students choose a minimum of 12 credits from the following content courses. Additional courses from the Department or outside the Department may be put toward the 12 elective credits, with the consent of the advisor. Students wishing to add a specialization to their master's degree could consider adding a minor.

Faculty advising students in this program area include: