Jul 14, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Child and Family Studies: Early Education, M.Ed.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Child and Family Studies: Early Education program is for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development, Elementary Education, Special Education, or a related field.

The M.Ed.) in Child and Family Studies: Early Education prepares professionals for leadership positions that serve young children with and without disabilities and their families.  It is conveniently designed for prospective students who wish to pursue an advanced degree on a part-time basis.  The graduate degree program is for professionals who teach or provide services or intervention in infant, toddler, preschool, and kindergarten settings that include young children with and without disabilities; who administer family agency programs that have a child development and family relations focus; who work as consultants, parent educators, inclusion specialists, program coordinators, supervisors, and staff development trainers; who wish to pursue certification as a Child Life Specialist (through the Child Life Council); or who seek research and evaluation expertise in child and family studies and community leadership in child and family programs.  Graduates who possess an initial license in Birth-Kindergarten at the time of application and acceptance will qualify for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s License in Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction upon completion of the program.

Admission Requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development, Elementary Education, Special Education, or a related field from an accredited institution
  2. Official transcripts of all previous work beyond high school documenting an overall GPA of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  3. Evidence of satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  4. A personal statement outlining why the applicant seeks admission to the program and describing professional experiences with young children and their families
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s personal or professional qualifications
  6. Apply online at gradadmissions.uncc.edu

Degree Requirements

The M.Ed. in Child and Family Studies: Early Education requires a total of 33 credit hours of coursework.

Thematic Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

To be selected from the categories of:  Instructional Systems Technology, Teaching English as a Second Language, Leadership and Administration, Reading, Language, and Literacy; Research Methods; Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education; Child Life; or an individually planned option, with advisor approval.

Total = 33 Credit Hours

Clinical Field Experiences

Most courses require students to apply the knowledge learned in classes to community-based settings.

Master’s Project/Thesis

The nature of the project/thesis is developed by the student in consultation with the major professor and presented to the Advisory Committee for approval. The project is usually something that is practical and useful to the student in the professional role that will be assumed upon the completion of the degree. The thesis takes a more research-oriented approach.

Elective Courses

The M.Ed. in Child and Family Studies: Early Education includes 9 elective credit hours which are determined in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.


Upon admission, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who helps the student develop his or her program of study and must approve that program of study. Each student must also assemble a graduate committee for consultation and evaluation. Members of the committee include the student’s faculty advisor and at least two other faculty members who represent major areas of concentration in the student’s program.


Successful completion leads to the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s License in Birth-Kindergarten (B-K).


Students should consult with their academic program advisor in the selection of the committee. The following guidelines are intended to assist the student and his or her academic program advisor in constituting the master’s committee.

  1. Chair - selected for content knowledge of the subject area that is selected for the culminating experience. This person should be from the major department. In addition, the chair must hold a graduate faculty appointment in the department.
  2. Second and third members - selected for knowledge and expertise in the subject area (can be external to the department).
  3. Technical advisor - an optional committee member selected for technical support (e.g., specialized skills in program evaluation, technical writing, assessment, curriculum design, graphics, ethnography, and survey research methodology). This person may be, but need not be, from the department.
  4. Additional members - may be added if the committee chair agrees. These members may be from departments of the College other than the student’s department, and may be from other colleges in the University. Additional members may also be from outside the University with the prior written permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. (This whole process should start at the beginning of the semester prior to graduation. However, the student may begin anytime after completing 18 hours.)

Research Opportunities/Experiences

The Child and Family Development faculty provide students with the opportunity to become involved in a variety of research endeavors. Each student will complete a research thesis.

Program Accreditation/Approval

All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The M.Ed. in Child and Family Studies: Early Education has been approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.