UMass Boston

Early Education Research, Policy & Practice Certificate

Request Info


Opening advanced leadership pathways for experienced early educators.

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.

Why Apply to UMass Boston's Early Education Research, Policy & Practice Program?

This program offers opportunities for students to develop their leadership and research skills as they deepen their knowledge about early childhood education from birth to age 8. Through working with dedicated faculty to develop leadership skills, research skills, and knowledge of child development, our graduates are prepared to create meaningful and lasting change for young children and their families across the Commonwealth.

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

The Early Childhood Admissions Committee will recommend for admissions those applicants who present evidence of their ability to do post master’s work with distinction.

Such evidence will include:

  • A statement of purpose, clearly explaining the applicant’s reasons for pursing more graduate study in the field of early childhood education and answering these questions:
    • What excites you about this program?
    • How does it fit into your professional goals?
    • How will your participation in this program impact the lives of children and families?
    • If you wish to apply for the Early Educator Leadership Fellowship, please indicate your interest in this statement.
  • Current Resume and Job Description to clarify past and present roles as an early childhood educator, please upload as one document.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample: Write an original, 4-5 page doubled-spaced academic essay about an issue/topic in early education that you want to explore in this graduate program. Include a bibliography of the research/literature that has informed your interest in this problem.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar’s website; some fellowships available


Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • ECHD 701 - Early Education and Care Policy and Practice 3 Credit(s)
  • ECHD 702 - Advanced Child Development and Early Learning 3 Credit(s)
  • ECHD 703 - Translating Early Education Research into Practice 3 Credit(s)
  • ECHD 704 - Leadership and Change in Early Education and Care 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete twelve credits from four required courses.

Statute of limitations: Three years.


Graduate Program Director Anne Douglass
anne.douglass [at]
(617) 287-4622

Students in a classroom discussion.

Curriculum & Instruction

Learn more about UMass Boston's Curriculum & Instruction department, our research, and our faculty.

Explore the Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Student works with students in an afterschool tutoring program.

College of Education & Human Development

Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Education & Human Development.

Explore College of Education & Human Development