Graduate Online Program Early Childhood: Inclusive Education

two children working on a project

Early Childhood: Inclusive Education (Online) Master's Degree Overview

Develop as a highly reflective and responsive early childhood educator or social service professional who has a deep understanding of the role of development, diversity, and culture in the lives of young children and their families.

The Master's in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education is a fully online, interdisciplinary program focused on inclusive education for young children, birth through age 8, and their families. Engage in early childhood courses reflecting an inquiry-based, constructivist approach to teaching and learning, framed by the pursuit of equity.

Graduates understand how to implement an inclusive approach, guided by a commitment to anti-bias education. This non-licensure program allows you to complete at your own pace, typically in two years, with a focus on one of the following specializations: Infant Toddler Mental Health, ConstructivismEarly Childhood Special Education, or a Distributed Pathway.

Program Values 

All of our classes include the following core values as threads throughout the curriculum, including our pedagogy, content, and our ways of working together. 

Respect ~ Honoring our diversity, welcoming multiple perspectives, affirming equity
Participation ~ Engaging all members of the community
Constructing knowledge ~ Inquiring, experimenting, theory building
Listening ~ Paying close attention
Reflection ~ Thinking deeply, inviting transformation
Representation ~ Making learning visible in many possible languages
Collaboration ~ Having wonderful ideas together
Change ~ Leading and engaging together with children, families and communities.

Degree Details

Early Childhood: Inclusive Education Master's Degree: Why PSU?

Online Learning: Develop skills in virtual communication. Collaborate with colleagues from around the nation and globe.

Action Research: Inquire into a question or problem in your professional work that you feel passionate about through the culminating action research sequence.

Innovative Practice: The program draws on the practice of educators at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center. Our curriculum includes anti-bias and inquiry-based education. Internships and practicum experiences can be arranged.

Study Abroad: Explore early childhood centers, preprimary schools, and infant-toddler centers around the world.

Summer Intensives: Learn constructivist curriculum such as making learning visible, ecology, and reuse materials through our optional summer intensive opportunities at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center.

Interdisciplinary Faculty: Core classes are co-taught. Faculty include early childhood faculty in the Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education departments.

University Support: PSU’s individual support resources and real-world applications incorporate the needs of the whole person. Our students are encouraged to nurture strong convictions and fearless confidence.

What can I do with an online master's degree in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education?

Our graduates advance as leaders in their field. Graduates immerse themselves in inclusive early childhood programs, including preschools, infant/toddler classrooms, public programs, and Head Start centers. Other graduates have pursued careers in mental health, curriculum development, teacher mentorship, and a range of social and community organizations serving families.

Our graduates work as:

  • Early Childhood Educators and K-2 Teachers
  • Pedagogical Leads and Directors
  • State-level specialist and coordinators
  • Home Visitors and Home Visitor Supervisors
  • Faculty and professional development coordinators

Featured Courses (vary by specialization)

See our Course of Study

  • ECED 551 Child Development in Early Childhood and Inclusive Education
  • ECED 576 Equity and Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education
  • ECED 578 Constructivist Curriculum: Big Ideas in Early Childhood Education
  • ECED 510 Educational Rights and Inclusive Environments in Early Childhood
  • SPED 587 Introduction to Infant Toddler Mental Health
  • SPED 581 Family Guided Early Intervention
  • CI 591 Action Research Implementation


Electives range across multiple departments and include:

  • ECED 510 Culture and Language in Early Childhood Families
  • ECED 569 Leading in Early Childhood Education Programs
  • ECED 510 The Arts as a Language of Childhood


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The Graduate Teacher Education Program is nationally accredited through the rigorous Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation process. Portland State University was the first university in Oregon to earn this distinction.

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