Skip to Main Content

Covid-19 Campus Updates: Current Status & Our Response

Master of Science in Early Childhood Education

Prepare for your Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

Talk to an Advisor Request Info

ECE (licensure) program admissions are being paused for this fall. We are not accepting applications for the August term but intend to resume for Spring 2023. Please connect with us this fall if you are interested in applying.

Hear how the MSECE program will help you become a truly effective teacher for children 8 and under.


Accelerate Your Career as a Fully Licensed Early Childhood Teacher

Educators entering into ECE have more opportunities than ever to move their careers ahead and have an impact in the classroom, administration, policy, and advocacy. Equipped with skills, tools, and knowledge, you promote learning and development for children and families.

Erikson’s MSECE program leads to initial teacher licensure (Illinois Professional Educator License), preparing you to become a licensed teacher for children from birth to second grade.

Add to the Scope of Your Teaching Opportunities

Start this Fall and earn your ECE degree on campus.

44 Credit Hours


Fall Start Date

Part-Time: 3 years

Full-Time: 2 years or 28 months

$1,135 Credit Hour

Why Erikson

Earn Your Master of Early Childhood Education from Pioneers in the Field

Prepare to become a licensed teacher for young children.



arrows and time icon

Flexible Study Options

Study part-time or full-time based on your needs.

check certificate icon

Licensure Pathway

The MSECE program leads to the initial Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

professionals around the globe icon

Faculty Experts

Collaborate with our nationally recognized faculty, build a respected network of field experts, and learn from the field’s leading voices.

application form icon

Real-World Field Experience

Put theory to practice in one of over 150 Chicagoland field placement opportunities while completing  your internship and student teaching requirements.

icon of classroom with teacher and students

Small, Personal Classes

Work closely with your professors and peers in small classes where personal relationships enrich your learning experiences

icon of faces with brains

Self-Reflective Supervision Seminars

Learn resilience and healthy professional practices from experienced practitioners.

Gain Experience with Extraordinary ECE Student Teaching Placements

Put theory into practice.

Learning can never be confined to a classroom — nor should it. Student teaching experiences are critical component of your ECE degree work.

For two semesters, you will be working during the day at custom-selected locations. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to take your learning and lead in your career path.

Hours of Internship Experience
Hours of Student Teaching Experience


Choose From Our High-Demand Early Childhood Education Endorsements

Add to your credentials with Erikson’s optional MSECE endorsements and further prepare to work in a high-growth, high-demand area of early childhood education.


Special Education / LBS1 Endorsement  

After completing this special education program, you will be eligible to earn the LBS1 endorsement and Early Childhood Special Education letter of approval from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Bilingual/ESL Endorsement

After completing this bilingual program, you will be eligible to earn the bilingual or bilingual/ESL endorsements through the Illinois State Board of Education.

woman applying for financial aid


Look Into Erikson’s Robust Financial Support & Scholarship Options

With dozens of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, our team is here to help you make your graduate education more affordable.

Based on your unique professional goals, we can help you understand tuition and expenses, and identify possible financial support opportunities.

Financial Aid Options  Tuition and Fees


Thoughtful Student Sitting on the Floor Working On University Research

Apply Now for Priority Scholarship Considerations

Applications received by March 15th will receive primary consideration for scholarship awards.


Teacher And Students Drawing On Papers At Child Ca

Career Services

Join the ECE Program Family for Support at Every Step of Your Journey

At Erikson Institute, our Career Services team works with you every step of the way.

  • Career counseling and workshops
  • Annual job fair and networking events
  • Interview prep and resume reviews
  • Career placement program
  • Student and graduate resume book

With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.

Meet our Career Specialists

Hear from Our Alum

Evan Tracy
MS Early Childhood Education 2013
“I learned so much at Erikson about the holistic, interconnected nature of child development and early childhood education. A deep knowledge of best educational practices prepared me for my work in public schools.”

Open New Doors with Your Erikson ECE Degree

Once you graduate, you’ll be able to put your degree to work right away. Here are a few of the role Erikson graduates take on after graduation.

Learn more about Career Services

  • Licensed early childhood teacher
  • Education coordinator
  • Child care center director
  • Executive director of early childhood program
  • Curriculum coordinator
  • Master teacher
  • Bilingual, ESL/ELL teacher
  • Early childhood special education teacher
Erikson Institute faculty collage

Erikson Professors are Leaders in the Field

Gain expert perspectives working closely with leaders in the field.

Erikson’s Early Childhood Education program faculty are nationally recognized. With specific research interests and decades of experience, each of our faculty enriches your academic experience, connecting you to new networks and the latest data.

Meet the Program Faculty

Explore a Few of Our MSECE Program Courses

See all MSECE courses

Family and Culture
This course is designed to help students gain knowledge about diversity through an examination of social science research on child development, child rearing across cultures, and issues of equity, power, and privilege.
Preschool Curricular Approaches in Diverse and Inclusive Settings
This course examines the history of and current research base for quality education programs for preschool and kindergarten children of diverse cultures, languages, and economic and developmental backgrounds.
Social and Emotional Development I: Infancy and Childhood
This course focuses on the study of social and emotional development in children from birth through age eight.

ECE Program FAQs

Find answers to the biggest questions students ask about the ECE program.

We award over $2 million in scholarships to students enrolled in our degree and certificate programs. Erikson also participates in the federal Direct Loan programs, and assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, you will have access to both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans to help finance your Erikson education.

Over 90% of our students work either part-time or full-time as they are pursuing their Erikson degree. You can choose to enroll at Erikson as part of the day cohort with most of your classes during the day Mondays and Wednesdays, or as part of the evening cohort which will allow you to take your classes in the evenings. The cohort model allows you balance your work and Erikson course schedules.

The other factor to consider as you think about your work schedule is whether you want to pursue your master’s degree program in two or three years. While there are always exceptions to this, most students who wish to work full time while enrolled at Erikson opt for the three-year program. Students who have more flexibility in their work schedule or want to complete their program in a shorter period of time while working part-time tend to enroll in the two-year program.

It’s important to note that you will be required to be available during business hours Monday through Friday during your student teaching year for your student teaching placement, and you will have evening courses and methods seminars two to three nights per week. We encourage you to plan ahead and communicate as necessary with your employer in advance of your final year in the teacher licensure program.

The staff in our Field Education and Career Services Office will work with you to prepare you for seeking positions while you’re enrolled at Erikson and upon graduating from the program. You’ll receive feedback on your resume and cover letters, and we also maintain a job board on our campus portal where employers list part-time and full-time positions for which they’re hiring.

The Career Services team also plans an annual social work, early education, and child development job fair for Erikson students and alumni. In concert with the job fair, you can submit your resume to be included in an annual Resume Book that we distribute to organizations and managers who are interested in hiring Erikson students and alumni.

Erikson students live in a wide range of neighborhoods in Chicago and in the suburbs. We do not offer campus housing. While we can’t make specific recommendations about where you should live, we encourage you to find a neighborhood that suits your style, taste, and budget. To help you in your housing search, we work closely with StudentSpace, a free apartment-finding service that specializes in helping graduate students find housing in Chicago.

Because of Erikson’s small size, you’ll have access to a wide range of both informal and formal student support services. These include:

  • The Field Education and Career Services team will help you identify and apply for your internship placement. Erikson has hundreds of pre-approved internship sites, so you don’t have to worry about finding a placement site on your own.
  • Advising about your financial aid options, including personal financial education, is coordinated through the Financial Aid Office.
  • Academic advising is facilitated through your faculty advisor and program director.
  • The Academic Success Center provides services to help you with the academic reading and writing expectations of your program. The Center also sponsors discussion groups for selected master’s program courses.
  • The Director of Disability Services provides advising and support for students with disabilities and students who need accommodations for their academic work.
  • WorkLifeMatters is a confidential student assistance program offered to all Erikson students through Guardian and Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH). You have unlimited access to consult with a professional counselor via telephone. Face-to-face counseling sessions are available, if needed, with an IBH network provider — and up to eight sessions are free of charge as part of WorkLifeMatters.
  • Validated parking at a reduced rate is provided to Erikson students in three nearby parking garages. You will also have access to deeply discounted public transportation through the CTA U-Pass program.