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In Illinois and across the nation, emphasis on early childhood education continues to grow as studies indicate the crucial impact educational opportunities in the early years have on shaping future learning outcomes. The College of Education is committed to preparing early childhood education leaders and special education experts creating opportunities for learning in Chicago communities and beyond.

The MEd Early Childhood Education program at the University of Illinois at Chicago provides opportunities for students to earn an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with endorsements in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, Illinois Gateways Level 5 Early Childhood Education credential, and/or an Illinois Early Intervention credential.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Development, Health and Wellness: Conception to age 8
  • Advanced Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes
  • Social Development of Urban Children
  • Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget and Vygotsky
  • Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities
  • Characteristics and Assessment of Young Children with Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Methods and Practice 
  • Introduction to Curriculum and Practice in Early Childhood Education
  • Foundations of Education (3–4 hours)
  • Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education: Perspectives, Policies and History

                  Detailed Programme Facts

                  English Language Requirements

                  You only need to take one of these language tests:

                  • Minimum required score:


                    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

                    Schedule TOEFL®
                  • Minimum required score:


                    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

                    Schedule TOEFL®
                  • Minimum required score:


                    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

                    Schedule IELTS

                  Academic Requirements

                  You need the following GPA score:

                  Required score: 3

                  Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

                  Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

                  • Baccalaureate Field - No restrictions.
                  • Tests Required - For students interested in earning an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL), passing scores on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allows for the following scores to be substituted for the TAP.
                  • Tests taken prior to 9/1/15—Composite score of 22 with a combined English/Writing score of 19
                  • Tests taken 9/1/15 to 9/9/16—Composite score of 22 with a Writing score of 16
                  • Tests taken 9/10/16 and later—Composite score of 22 with a Writing score of 6
                  • Tests taken prior to 3/5/16—Composite score of 1030 (mathematics and critical writing) with a minimum Writing score of 450 

                  Tuition Fee

                  • International

                    11950 USD/semester
                    Tuition Fee
                    Based on the original amount of 11950 USD per semester and a duration of .
                  • National

                    5830 USD/semester
                    Tuition Fee
                    Based on the original amount of 5830 USD per semester and a duration of .
                  We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                  Living costs for Chicago

                  • 1297 - 2500 USD/month
                    Living Costs

                  The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


                  Check the programme website for information about funding options.

                  StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

                  The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

                  Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.