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Northcentral University | PhD in Education - Early Childhood Education

The Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education curriculum is designed for individuals who seek to develop their theoretical knowledge of preschool through third grade instructional methods and assessment practices. Learn more about this Northcentral University research-focused program here.

Official Program Name:

Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education

School Offering Program:

Northcentral University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Individuals who might be interested in this program may be existing educators or school administrators. Previous courses in human growth and development, exceptional needs education, cultural diversity, or business communications could prove beneficial. Applicants to Northcentral University's online graduate programs should already possess a bachelor's degree; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Students enrolled in this Northcentral University program have the opportunity to gain an understanding of how young children learn and mature. In the same respect, they also have the chance to ascertain techniques for implementing age-appropriate lesson plans. One of the focuses of the program is to underscore methods for developing early literacy and language acquisition skills. The program is designed to explore methods for evaluating children's learning patterns and cognitive development. It is also intended to explore administrative practices in early childhood education, not limited to budget planning and adherence, faculty evaluation, and regulatory compliance.

Learning Format:


Program Length/Total Credits Required:

Students must complete at least 60 credit hours to earn a Ph.D. degree. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Financial Aid Available:

Financial aid is available to qualifying students. Graduate students may apply for Federal Stafford Loan or the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Military personnel and veterans may qualify for special assistance or tuition reduction.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

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Required Courses for a Ph.D. in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education:

Program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Northcentral University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Doctor of Education Foundation Courses (24 credits)

  • EDU 8000: Foundations for Graduate Study in Education
  • EDU 8001: Advanced Scholarly Writing
  • EDR 8200: Scholarly Literature Review
  • EDR 8203: Research Methods
  • EDR 8201: Statistics I
  • EDR 8202: Statistics II
  • EDR 8204: Advanced Qualitative Design and Measurement
  • EDR 8205: Advanced Quantitative Design and Measurement
  • One additional Specialization or Elective Course

Early Childhood Education Requirements (18 credits)

Students select six courses from the following list:

  • ECE 7001: Topics in Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 7002: Topics in Early Childhood Growth, Development, and Educational Programs
  • ECE 7003: Topics in Early Childhood Program Administration
  • ECE 7005: Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment
  • ECE 7007: Early Childhood Literacy and Literature
  • ECE 7009: Families, Communities, and Schools as Partners in Early Childhood Education
  • CT 7004: Language and Literacy Education
  • CT 7005: Literacy: Focus on Curriculum

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (3 credits)

  • CMP 9700E: Doctoral Comprehensive Assessment: Pre-Candidacy Prospectus

Dissertation Requirements (12 credits)

  • DIS 9901A: Components of the Dissertation
  • DIS 9902A: The Dissertation Proposal
  • DIS 9903A: Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Data Collection
  • DIS 9904A: The Dissertation Manuscript and Defense

Post Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Existing instructional professionals who earn a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education degree could be able to undertake added responsibilities within their current school or district. Opportunities could be sought with children's book publishers, colleges, universities, private schools, charter schools, or public educational institutions. Professionals in this field could undertake tasks specific to teaching, instructional tools creation, learning assessment, or applied research.

Job opportunities that could be sought with this Northcentral University degree might include:

  • Elementary school administrator
  • Early childhood curriculum developer
  • Educational researcher

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