Education, M.A.
(Early Childhood, Special Education, and Literacy)
(formerly called Early Childhood, Intervention, and Literacy)

Program Description

With the new PhD in Education beginning Fall 2013, we are now in the process of making decisions about our MA in Education. To allow for information gathering and potential development of any new MA, we are suspending admission for the MA in Education for Fall 2013. For applicants interested in seeking admission into an MA in Education program for Fall 2014, please check this website for new details later this Spring.

If you have questions, please contact Anne Bryan, (919) 962-8693 or


The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Education is designed for individuals interested in developing the skills necessary for conducting educational research in organizations or institutions focused on the study of education. The degree is not intended for those planning to teach, but the degree does presume that prospective students have an interest in schooling and education. Students typically enter M.A. study with varied backgrounds. Some are teachers interested in new career goals; others have liberal arts preparation and are especially interested in the study of education. The M.A. in Education is a 30-hour program and the ECSEL program requires the completion of an empirical data-based thesis.  The M.A. program does not result in teacher licensure.

The M.A. in Education is offered with three research specializations: Culture, Curriculum and Change; Early Childhood, Special Education, and Literacy; and Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation.

Required courses and electives vary depending on the chosen research emphasis area. However, in all cases, the student and his or her advisor develop a program of studies that is tailored to the student’s substantive and research interests.

Early Childhood, Special Education, and Literacy

The Early Childhood, Special Education, and Literacy (ECSEL) research specialization focuses on the study of curricular and intervention strategies that promote the development and learning of both typically developing children and children with special needs. Individual student programs of study concentrate on early childhood education, early intervention, early literacy, and the roles of cultural context and family in early development.

ECSEL Students

Students are encouraged to participate in a range of research and teaching experiences that will prepare them for their professional goals. These experiences may include participation in research studies within and outside the School, teaching classes and the supervision of student teachers.

A graduate student organization within the School and campus-wide organizations are available to students in the program to help enrich their experience. Internships and other fellowships are also available.

Current students in the program have interests in language and literacy in at-risk children, the quality of childcare/Pre-K programs, English Language Learners, inclusion settings for children with disabilities, autism interventions, early and later literacy and behavioral interventions for struggling students, policy issues related to equity and school reform, and innovative curriculum development/evaluation of literacy programs as well as early intervention programs.

Program Contact

Rebecca New, Ed.D., Program Coordinator
(919) 962-7844