The Post Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice

The Program

This post-master’s certificate program offers a 12 credit advanced graduate course of study focused on research, policy, leadership, and data-driven practice in early education and care. The program offers an advanced leadership pathway for experienced educators in the early education and care field.

Courses are offered on Saturdays and in blended format, with approximately half of the classes taking place online. Students will take one course a semester, fall and spring, to complete the program in two academic years. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a post master’s certificate from the University of Massachusetts Boston.



This program was initially developed through the support of a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant award. Between 2012-2015, forty five early educators from across Massachusetts, and representing all sectors of the early care and education field, were funded through this grant to complete the Post Master’s Certificate.   Learn more about this program by viewing two videos that showcase the program and it’s impact:



Course of Study

Students in this program take the following four 3-credit courses:

  • Leadership and Organizational Change                                    
  • Early Childhood Policy     
  • Advanced Child Development and Early Learning                     
  • Translating Research into Practice                                                      

For students who may be interested in pursuing a PhD in Early Childhood Education and Care  at UMass Boston, all four courses will transfer in to the PhD program.  In addition, we have established articulation and transfer agreements with the CAGS at Elms College and UMass Lowell.



Admission Requirements

Prospective students applying to the Post Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice must meet the following requirements:

1. Applicant must have a master’s degree.

2. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average in graduate work of at least 3.0.

3. Applicant must demonstrate a strong commitment to early education and care:

  • Leadership
  • Policy
  • Practice
  • Children and Families
  • Instructional practices
  • Research
  • Training and workforce development

5. Applicant should clearly demonstrate an ability to write and apply analytical skills necessary for scholarly writing.

6. Applicant should demonstrate intent to pursue CAGS/doctoral study after completing their post-masters certificate.