Related to:
Press Release

Press Release New Advanced Graduate Study Programs at UMass Boston to Support Early Development and Education of Young Children

For immediate release:
  • Department of Early Education and Care
  • University of Massachusetts Boston

Media Contact

Kathleen Hart, Communications Director, EEC

Boston — The University of Massachusetts Boston has established a new graduate degree program in their College of Education and Human Development. Beginning in fall 2016, UMass Boston will offer a Ph.D in Early Childhood Education and Care, one of the first such programs in the state to provide a course of study in research, policy, and practice related to the development and education of young children focused on ages birth through five. 

The doctoral program in Early Childhood Education and Care follows the development of a post Master's certificate program in early education research, policy, and practice that UMass Boston designed with the Department of Early Education and Care in 2012. The four courses required in the Post Master's Certificate program transfer to the Ph.D in Early Childhood Education and Care. Both graduate programs address a need for advanced graduate study opportunities in the education of young children, as well as research and policy study in early education and care.

"Our communities are at a critical juncture for developing strong leadership in policy and practice in early education and care to help every child be healthy and succeed," said Dean Michael Middleton, UMass Boston College of Education and Human Development. "With outstanding faculty and a range of programs in Early Education, UMass Boston is fulfilling its public engagement mission by creating opportunities for professionals to become informed, dedicated, and impactful leaders in this field.  As Boston’s only public research institution, we are proud to play an essential role in strengthening communities by strengthening how we care for our youngest and most needy children."

"This new doctoral program at UMass Boston that builds off of the Post Master's Certificate in Early Education provides a significant expansion in professional development pathways for our educators that will help to strengthen the field overall," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Thomas L. Weber. "These programs provide essential opportunities for advanced study in early childhood development and learning that help grow leadership, inform policy and practice, and strengthen the effectiveness of the early education system in supporting positive outcomes for children."

“UMass Boston’ Early Childhood Education and Care Ph.D. program is peerless in Massachusetts,” said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. “It is distinguished by its exclusive focus on early childhood, and is aligned with both state and national priorities in the field.  Massachusetts does not currently have any early childhood education doctoral programs that grant a Ph.D. degree specifically in early childhood care and education, so we see this as a major advance that will allow researchers to utilize the latest advances in neuroscience to advance our understanding of how young children learn.” 

There are four available concentration areas in UMass Boston's Ph.D program in Early Childhood Education and Care: (1) learning and teaching in the first five years; (2) leadership, policy and finance in early childhood education and care; (3) urban, multilingual, and global contexts for early childhood education and care; and (4) individually designed study. 

Applications for fall 2016 enrollment are due on January 15, 2016.  More information is available at:


Media Contact

Department of Early Education and Care 

EEC’s mission is to support the healthy growth and development of all children by providing high quality programs and resources for families and communities. We can connect you to early education and care providers, help you become a licensed early educator, and refer you to resources that support children’s learning.

University of Massachusetts Boston


Tell us what you think