Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Master of Science in Education


  • Learn to give children from birth through grade 2 the healthy start they need in school and in life. Nazareth defines inclusive education, also called special education, as nurturing students in their pursuit of a meaningful life.
  • Gain knowledge, understanding, and skills to develop early intervention environments and learning experiences that support young children's physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development.
  • Benefit from Nazareth University's accomplished faculty, clinically rich program, and innovative approaches to learning, which have given the University's inclusive education programs a long, proud history of transforming dedicated learners into well-prepared, effective educators.


Classes are mostly evenings


Traditional (on-campus) and hybrid (half online) classes offered


Complete in as fast as 14-20 months full-time


Fieldwork in urban, suburban, and rural schools

Program Options

Initial and Professional Certification (42 or 48 credits) in both Early Childhood and Students with Disabilities

Program is ideal for:

  • Recent college graduates (with any degree) who want to effectively teach young children and aren't yet certified as teachers.
  • Career re-inventors who'd like to become great teachers of young children.
  • People drawn to specifically teach youngsters with disabilities or with special education needs, or to teach in inclusive, heterogeneous settings.

Catalog: Initial & professional program requirements (48 credits) and course descriptions »

Catalog: Initial certification program with school district teaching residency (42 credits) »

Additional Certification at the Same Developmental Level (36 credits)

Program is ideal for teachers seeking certification to teach students with disabilities.

Catalog: Additional certification (same level) program requirements and course descriptions »

Additional Certification to Changing Developmental Level (39 credits)

Program is ideal for teachers of older students who want to be certified to work with younger students, including students with disabilities.

Catalog: Additional certification (changing level) program requirements and course descriptions »

Curriculum Examples

  • Teacher Learner Research and Inquiry
  • Diverse Learners Learning and Learning Environments
  • Differentiated Curriculum/Instruction and Collaborative Practice
  • Foundations of Language and Literacy
  • Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • Integrated Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Literacy Assessment Program Planning and Assistive Technology for
  • Diverse Learners
  • Capstone Seminar

Value of Your Degree

  • Many of our graduates work in school settings as Pre-K, kindergarten, first-, or second-grade teachers, consultant teachers, or special educators.
  • This degree also provides a good background to work in nursery schools, child care settings, private agencies, and as early intervention service providers.

Making Grad School Affordable

Grants, scholarships, veterans benefits, partner benefits, loans, and undergraduate loan forgiveness are options for paying for this grad degree.

Among the Nazareth opportunities: Teacher residency programs provide initial certification seekers with tuition support, a paycheck, co-teaching experience and mentoring. Funding is also available for high-need teachers and teacher candidates from underrepresented populations.



Student's Perspective

"While I consider myself lucky to have been hired straight out of graduate school, it was my education through Nazareth, not luck, which provided me with the up-to-date knowledge of current best practices and the tools I needed to be successful in the application and interview processes. Though every day still brings new challenges, the foundation and hands-on experience I received from my coursework has allowed me to face these challenges with confidence. The only part of teaching I wasn't prepared for was just how much I would love what I get to do every day.

Rebecca Hamilton, first-grade teacher, Newark Central School District

What to Expect

  • Nazareth's affordable cost for grad teaching degrees makes this high-demand certification within reach, enabling you to fill a needed teaching position in a school district in the local region or beyond.
  • A blend of classroom instruction and on-site experience
  • Site-based classes at local partner schools and educational settings
  • Individual advisement is available for program planning and support in applying for N.Y. state certification.
  • Program graduates are recommended for two N.Y. state teacher certifications: Birth through grade 2 and Students with Disabilities at the initial and professional levels.
  • You have the option to get specialized preparation in teaching students with autism and students with severe or multiple disabilities. Details: Interdisciplinary Specialty Program in Autism (I-SPAN) specialization, Teaching Students with Severe or Multiple Disabilities annotation.
  • You have the option to include an early-intervention interprofessional concentration (track): Rochester Scholars for Early Intervention helps you develop specialty knowledge and skills to be a strong advocate for young children and their families.
  • Nazareth's full-time director of clinical experiences and partnerships and full-time certification officer provide you with strong support, including prep for certification exams and facilitating hands-on experiences with students. If you're working in a school district, this can include facilitation with your own school district so you can meet degree requirements while keeping your job.
  • Your full-time career coach for education (part of Nazareth's nationally recognized Center for Life's Work) is available for resume, interviewing, and job search guidance.
  • Additional guidance and support is available from your individual academic advisor and from the School of Education's director of academic support services.