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MAT Early Childhood Education, PreK-4

Canevin Hall

Engage your passion for learning and teaching.

Program Info

The Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-4) graduate teacher education certification program is a 46-credit program designed to prepare students for preschool and elementary classrooms in Pennsylvania and in many other states.

Those who are seeking to teach in the early grade levels will acquire the knowledge, skill, and disposition to become an effective leading teacher in the classroom. Those who are currently teaching and looking to teach a different grade level will be prepared with the skills for a smooth transition. This graduate teacher education certification program is nationally accredited and guided by standards from the State of Pennsylvania and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The program faculty are experts in their field. In addition to the course work, students will complete formal classroom visits, known as field experiences, explore different perspectives, and be face-to-face with social justice issues in the field. With Duquesne's premier location, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, candidates will have the opportunity to visit classrooms in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

In addition to field experiences in local and regional schools, you will have the opportunity to study abroad by student teaching for eight weeks in English-speaking classrooms in Italy, Ireland, or England.

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Application Materials

Duquesne University Online Graduate Application

Official transcripts

Send application materials to:
Duquesne University School of Education
Office of Graduate Admissions
214A Canevin Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282



Admission Requirements

  • 3.0 GPA*
  • All international students must receive a score of 550 on the paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test or a score of 80 on the internet version of the TOEFL (the TOEFL iBT). International students also have the option to submit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores.

*Applicants are customarily expected to have a 3.0 grade point average, based on a four-point scale, in their undergraduate work. However, exceptions may be granted on a limited basis, in which there is substantial additional evidence of a student's academic competency. 

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: April 1

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Tuition and Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future. Join one of the nation's top-tier universities with the best value, considering cost and academic quality, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. At Duquesne, you'll become part of a community of nearly 9,500 students studying at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

In addition to graduate tuition rates, students may also incur fees for administrative services, room, and meals, if applicable. At Duquesne University, we believe that financing your education is a partnership between the student and the university. As part of that partnership, The School of Education offers financial assistance in many forms including:

  • Tuition awards between 25-35%
  • University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive applications.
  • Current full-time lay teachers of pre-K through high school or school administrators in a Roman Catholic school in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg, or Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses pursuing a non-doctoral degree or certificate in the School of Education may be eligible to receive a 60% tuition award. This Lay Teacher award does not apply to the doctoral programs. Only one Duquesne University degree may be earned under this reduced tuition program. The Catholic School Lay Teacher & Administrator Award Form details information pertaining to this award.

For further assistance, please contact the Duquesne University Office of Financial Aid.

Federal government financial aid options:

In addition to awards and scholarships, you may be eligible for financial aid with the federal government. The federal government has loan options that can cover education and living costs. Loan forgiveness options are also available for those working inside and outside of the classroom, these include:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

For further assistance, please contact FedLoan Servicing.

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Julia Williams

Julia Williams, Ed.D.

Program Director
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Instruction & Leadership in Education

409B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6098
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Julia Williams (Ed.D., Instruction and Leadership, Duquesne University, 2007) is Director of the undergraduate and graduate Early Childhood Education (PreK-4) programs. Dr. William's expertise is in early literacy development, early childhood curriculum and instruction, family engagement, and child development. Dr. Williams embraces the university's motto: We serve God by serving our students. This belief resonates throughout the program in hopes that the teacher candidates will continue this model when they have their own classrooms working with children, families, and communities.

Christopher Meidl

Christopher Meidl, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

103A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2620
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Christopher Meidl , Ph.D., is an assistant professor with a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education from The Pennsylvania State University. His k-12 teaching experience includes: high school English at Marion Abramson High School in New Orleans, La. and pre-kindergarten/kindergarten in Westwego, La. and La Joya, Tx. The intent behind much of his research and scholarly work has been to advance understanding of pedagogy and curricula. The four areas his research are: character education, classroom management, White teachers and diverse communities, and Black males in early childhood education. Two recent publications include: Black Men and Early Childhood Education in Urban Education (2018) and Establishing Asset Thinking with Preservice Teachers: Community-Engaged Learning with Young Children from Public Housing in the book Service-Learning Initiatives in Teacher Education Programs (2018).

Sandra Quiñones

Sandra Quiñones, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education

412A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4517
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Sandra Quiñones (Ph.D., Teaching, Curriculum & Change, University of Rochester, 2012), is an assistant professor in the Department of Instruction & Leadership in Education at Duquesne University. Her qualitative scholarship focuses on Latina/o education and family-community engagement issues, with an emphasis on bicultural-bilingual elementary teachers’ experiences and perspectives of being well educated. She specializes in the application of Chicana/Latina feminist concept of trenzas/braids as a metaphorical-analytical tool in life history and narrative inquiry approaches. A former elementary teacher in Rochester, New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Quiñones teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy education courses. Since joining Duquesne University in July of 2013, she has worked collaboratively on a mixed methods research study of a supplemental literacy program, a qualitative single case study of an exemplary community school in Eastern Pennsylvania, and a community-engaged mixed methods study of a mindfulness-based professional development program being implemented at multiple educational institutions.

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