On Campus Graduate Degree
Master of Arts (MA) in Early Childhood Education
Pursue research related to young children, early education and care.
The early years of a child’s life are critical years that play a major role in determining the child’s developmental trajectory throughout life. A significant body of research literature has documented the importance of early childhood education and the difference that quality early childhood education makes in these early formative years.
The Master of Arts (MA) in Early Childhood Education is a research-oriented degree, requiring the completion of a Master’s Thesis. As such, it is the preferred route for individuals planning to pursue a doctoral degree.
This on campus graduate program is designed for educators and child care professionals who wish to explore issues in early childhood research, theory, and practice. It is an interdisciplinary, faculty-wide program that consists of core courses in early childhood education and related courses in other Faculty of Education departments. Key areas of focus include: theorizing early childhood and early childhood education, research and research methodologies, issues in early childhood curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation, and cross-departmental inquiries in early childhood education.
While the majority of students in the MA are educators, this program is also appropriate for individuals in other professions related to early childhood education and care, such as child and youth care, nursing, psychology, and social work.
Students may also aspire to pursue administrative or leadership roles in the education sector, as well as higher coordination/directorship positions in public offices and NGOs.
Many MA students have gone on to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Early Childhood Education in other departments at the Faculty of Education and elsewhere.
Watch a panel with alumni ECE graduate students
Exploring where a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education can take you.
Students in the M.A. program must complete 30 credits, as follows:
- 12 credits from the ECED set of core courses (EDUC 500, ECED 508, ECED 530 or ECED 531, and ECED 532 or ECED 533);
- 6 ECED elective credits;
- 1 approved research elective; and
- a 9-credit thesis (ECED 599).
Elective credits approved by supervisor may include, but are not limited to, courses from this listing: ECED Pre-approved Electives
The information below is subject to change, and only information in the UBC Calendar is official.
Currently, most graduate students in ECED on-campus programs would be subject to the following full-time tuition fees:
Tuition fee instalment of $2,576.99 CAD + Student Fees per term, payable each September, January, and May, with a required minimum of 3 instalment payments for the program.
Estimated total program cost based on a two-year program is $15,461.94 CAD + Student Fees.
Tuition fee instalment of $5,150.23 CAD + Student Fees per term, payable each September, January, and May, with a required minimum of 3 instalment payments for the program.
Estimated total program cost based on a two-year program is $30,901.38 CAD + Student Fees.
Note: Full-time international students are automatically considered for an International Tuition Award of up to $1,500 per year ($500 each term, in September, January and May).
MA students may also be considered for Graduate Support Initiative (GSI) Awards. Learn more about Awards & Funding offered through Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies as well as the Faculty of Education’s Office of Research.
All students must meet the requirements for this program, which include:
- A four-year undergraduate degree:
- An approved Bachelor of Education degree, OR
- An approved four-year undergraduate degree in a related field*, OR
- An approved Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts with an early childhood education minor
- An overall average of 76% (B+) or better in all third- and fourth-year courses or at least 12 third- and fourth-year credits with an overall average of 80% (A-) or better in the field of education or a related field*
- Minimum of two years professional experience working with young children in an appropriate setting
* Related Fields include, but are not limited to, Child and Youth Care, Nursing, Psychology, Social Work and Family Studies.
Applicants whose degree is in an unrelated field (e.g., Arts, Commerce, General Studies) may be accepted if they have completed a college or university certificate program in early childhood education or if they have extensive professional experience in early childhood education or a related field.
Applicants must include a full professional resume with their application. Items covered should include: education, coursework, employment history, volunteer work or other related experience (i.e., publications, interests). Please note that we only accept documents in PDF format.
Experience & Interests
Applicants are required to answer the following questions about their professional experience and interests, and academic and professional goals, and how they align with the graduate program in Early Childhood Education:
- Outline your general career objectives, including both immediate and long-term, academic and professional goals. In your response indicate how you see this aligning with the graduate program in Early Childhood Education. Please limit your response to 400 words.
- Please describe any research and/or professional experiences you’ve undertaken that are relevant to study in Early Childhood Education. Please limit your response to 400 words.
- Introduce your specific research interests. What specific issue(s), area(s), or problem(s) would you like to investigate? Why is it important to you, other early childhood researchers, early childhood educators, and the communities with whom and where you hope to work? Please limit your response to 400 words.
- Considering an inclusive definition of culture (Collins & Arthur, 2010; Kassan & Sinacore, 2016) that includes but is not limited to cultural identities and social locations such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, status in country, Indigenous heritage, religion, spirituality, social class, physical and mental abilities, and disabilities, please describe any experiences and/or training you have with this inclusive definition of culture. Discuss and how it relates to your past, present, and future/proposed work in early childhood education. How do you think your own cultural background and professional experiences have influenced your practice and research goals? In addressing these questions, you may choose to speak to issues such as forms of privilege you have, your own identity, your knowledge of the history of the field of ECE, and/or how your research and professional interests relate to issues of culture, diversity, and social justice. Please limit your response to 400 words.
One example of your scholarly writing, such as a substantial scholarly paper or term paper, preferably related to early childhood education. Please note that we only accept documents in PDF format.
For those students who have no access to a previous paper completed in the last 15 years, or to a publication, or report, please select one of the two articles uploaded here; provide a scholarly summary of the article with your own reflections and connections to practice. This summary has a word count of 500 words, in addition to the reference list that matches references provided in text (preferably using APA format; at the same time, MLA and other formats are acceptable).
- Gagné, M., Guhn, M., Emerson, S., Magee, C., Milbrath, C. and Gadermann, A. (2019). “Thriving, catching up or falling behind: Immigrant and refugee children’s kindergarten competencies and later academic achievement”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 4(3). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v4i3.1222.
Available here (open access)
- Argent, A.L., D. Vintimilla, C., Lee, C. and Wapenaar, J. (2017). A dialogue about place and living pedagogies: Trees, ferns, blood, children, educators and wood cutters. Journal of Childhoods and Pedagogies, 1(2). Retrieved from: https://journals.sfu.ca/jcp/index.php/jcp/article/view/23
Three references (e-references), including, if possible, an assessment by at least one university instructor. Please note that your referee(s) will need a professional email address in order to submit an online reference letter. It is important that your referees are able to comment on your academic ability, general suitability for the proposed program of study and any other pertinent information that supports your admission to the program.
Directions for uploading references will be sent directly to referees. References uploaded by applicants will not be accepted.
MA applicants are asked to identify core faculty members who they would like to work with given common research interests. See https://earlychildhood.educ.ubc.ca/research-supervisors/ for a list of potential research supervisors.
- Please refer to the UBC Minimum Academic Requirements for International Students
- We also recommend you review the English Language Proficiency to ensure you meet the English Language Requirements
How to Apply
Applications Open: October 15, 2023
Application Deadline: Extended to January 2, 2024
Document Deadline: January 13, 2024
Program Start: September 2024
Please note this program is only available for a September start.
- Navigate to grad.ubc.ca/apply/online.
- When you are ready to apply, click “Apply Online”
- Read the instructions, and either log in with your Campus Wide Login (CWL) or create a CWL if you have never attended UBC.
- Once logged in, search for the MA in Early Childhood Education
- IMPORTANT: there are multiple early childhood graduate degrees. Make sure to select the Master of Arts (MA).
- Select the program.
- Click the “Apply” button.
- Fill out the application as indicated.
All documents outlined under “Application Requirements” must be uploaded along with transcripts.
Scanned (PDF) official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously or currently attended (domestic and international). These uploaded copies are considered “unofficial documents” and will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant. Transcripts must be scanned front and back. All pages of one transcript, front and back, should be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page). ECED does not accept digital transcripts to be uploaded in any format that is not a PDF (JPGs, etc. will not be accepted).
Note: If you have attended UBC, we do not require you to upload your UBC transcripts.
If you have been offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration. Do not send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.
Note: If an official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then an official copy of the degree certificate must also be submitted.
Documents should be sent directly to:
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA V6T 1Z2
Official transcripts may also be sent through secure electronic delivery. Get details on how to submit secure official electronic transcripts.
Former UBC Students: You do not need to submit UBC transcripts as part of your graduate application, as this data is already available through the student database system. However, be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).
If you require any assistance with the application process, please contact:
ECED Senior Program Assistant