Master’s in Early Childhood Unified at KU

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Program Overview

The master’s in early childhood unified* (birth through kindergarten) at the University of Kansas prepares early educators as leaders requiring that all candidates understand the complexities of today’s educational system and its diversity. The term “unified” refers to the unification of general early education and early childhood special education knowledge and skills with a single early childhood preparation/credential.

Career Outcomes in Early Childhood Unified

The early childhood unified* program prepares graduates to understand the complexities and diversity of today’s educational system and to apply the most current knowledge about early childhood education and early childhood special education. Graduates of the program will have achieved both a master's degree and have satisfied the requirements for an initial teaching license in early childhood unified (birth through kindergarten) in Kansas. Potential position titles after graduation could include:

  • Professional development provider
  • Early interventionist
  • Family/parent educator
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Early childhood educator
  • Early childhood special educator (ECSE)
  • Community-based itinerant ECSE teacher

*This program is a Master of Science in Education degree in special education with an emphasis in early childhood unified.

Thinking about early childhood unified?

Let us know you’re interested in the program. We would love to connect with you to discuss the program’s curriculum, steps necessary for admission to KU, and what to expect during the professional program admission process one you have become a Jayhawk.

Available Funding

The Department of Special Education has federal training grants to support a limited number of students who are US Citizens or permanent residents (funder requirement). Project MounTaiN will support training in individualized intervention needs for Fall 2024 admission and provide full funding and stipends. Learn more about Project MounTaiN and email with questions. PIP-ECI has funding available for some students, email with interest.

Program funding faculty contacts

Maria Hugh
Maria L. Hugh
Assistant Professor
Alana Schnitz
Alana Schnitz
Assistant Professor, Special Education, Assistant Research Professor at Juniper Gardens Children's Project
Kathleen N Tuck
Kathleen N. Tuck
Associate Professor


Top ranked Special Education public graduate program
Public School of Education & Human Sciences
Total credit hours required

Graduate Student Life

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Research Opportunities

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Graduate Student Funding

The Office of Graduate Studies at KU provides both internal and external funding resources to support doctoral students.
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Vibrant Campus Environment

In the heart of the United States, the city of Lawrence revolves around the University and its students.
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Professional Development

Graduate students will leave KU with a professional and academic network of fellow faculty and staff.

more doctoral student life

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Study & Teach Abroad

Program supports unique opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, & dispositions needed for culturally-responsive teaching.
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Student Organizations & Engagement

Students can actively participate in educational, social and community-building programs at KU.

Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Department of Special Education
University of Kansas
School of Education and Human Sciences
Joseph R. Pearson Hall , Room 521
1122 West Campus Rd.
Lawrence , Kansas 66045-3101

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