Settling In


Students are assigned an interim advisor upon entrance into the program. Because of the cohorted and summer intensive format of the program, the MEd ECE Program Director generally advises all students when they initially enter the program. Students are provided with information on capstone options the first semester of the program and a decision is made on how best to support each student’s progress based on his or her choice of capstone.
In the second year of the program, students will begin to work with an advisor whose area of specialty can best support their capstone work. It is essential to work closely with your advisor and to review your progress every semester. After the faculty member has agreed to advise the student, a memo to the Curriculum Studies Chair formally requests the change.

* Note: Not all applicants who want to complete a Plan A will be able to do so. In some instances, this may not be possible due to logistical factors.


A majority of the coursework for the MEd ECE Program is offered through intensive summer courses or online/hybrid courses. All students (resident and non-resident) pay resident tuition for courses offered in the Summer. Students who take electives that are not offered by the MEd ECE Program or who take additional courses as part of a Plan A option need to be aware that these courses charge non-resident tuition and could impact their tuition status and financial aid.

The minimum residency requirement is two semesters of full-time work or four six-week summer sessions or the equivalent in credits applicable to the students’ degree program (16 credits). For part-time students, each set of eight credits earned as a degree-seeking graduate student will be equivalent to one full-time semester of residence. Because of the non-traditional nature of the program, it is essential that students plan early and consult appropriate UH agencies about residency and financial aid requirements.

Financial Resources

Many of our students depend on financial support to complete their program. The Curriculum Studies Department has limited financial support available for MEd ECE students. These primarily take the form of Scholarships and occasionally may include Tuition Waivers.

Scholarships offered through the University of Hawaiʻi can be accessed via your STAR account. Applications are due each February for the coming Summer. A second source of scholarships are Giving Tree Scholarships which are offered through the Curriculum Studies department. In addition, there are many community based scholarships available for early childhood educators. The program is structured to take advantage of all three rounds of PATCH Scholarships. Students will be regularly informed about scholarship opportunities.

When Tuition Waivers are available they are announced on the Graduate ECE Program Bulletin Board (in the hall outside Everly Hall, Room 224) and the Office of Graduate Education website. Faculty/Staff tuition waivers are contingent on the availability of funds since Outreach programs must be self-sustaining. Graduate level student help positions are posted in the Financial Aids Office in the Student Services Center and on the Curriculum Studies Bulletin Board. Emails and seminars are held annually to help students to identify potential sources of financial support.

Petition to Transfer Credits Taken Prior to Admission

Relevant post-baccalaureate courses may be transferred into the MEd in Early Childhood Education program with the approval of the Program Director. Students may petition to transfer in up to a maximum of 9 credits, provided the date of completion of those credits is within seven years of the expected date of completion of the MEd degree. Students from other institutions may transfer a maximum of 9 credits upon approval of the Department and the Office of Graduate Education. Credit transfers should occur during the first semester in the program.

Summer Housing

Our neighbor island, mainland, and international students will need to secure housing for the month when we are in face-to-face sessions. Dorming arrangements may be requested with the East West Center or University Housing Offices. The dorms have basic accommodations at a very economical cost and alumni have prepared a care bin of kitchen utensils and linens for dorming students. Students that elect to find off-campus housing are advised to start early, as securing housing in the University area can be a challenging.

Staying Enrolled in Your Program

The MEd in Early Childhood Education abides by Office of Graduate Education and Curriculum Studies policies for students to remain in status as a graduate student of the University.

Time Frame

The MEd in Early Childhood Education is a cohorted program. Generally, students will complete the program together in two and a half years. However, occasionally, a student may need to extend their program. When this happens, we make every effort to support students by making an individualized plan. Students must complete all requirements within seven (7) years of admission to the program. If requirements are not completed by the specified time, the Office of Graduate Education will drop students from the program. To be reinstated you will need a recommendation from the CS Graduate Chair and concurrence by the Assistant Dean of the Office of Graduate Education.

Grades, Incomplete Coursework & GPA Requirements

Students in the MEd ECE Program are required to maintain a minimum GPA of a 3.0 average for all UH courses applied to the degree. In addition, students must have a B average for all courses taken as a classified graduate student. The B average is computed for: (1) all courses numbered 300-498 (excluding 399), and (2) all graduate courses numbered 600-798, except those required to fulfill undergraduate deficiencies which are disregarded by the Office of Graduate Education. A grade of “C” may be balanced by an “A” to maintain a 3.0 average. If you receive a grade of “D” or “F” in a required course, you must repeat the course. In addition, the following grading policies apply.

  • EDCS 699 (directed reading/research) may not be substituted for required courses FamR 454, FamR 491, EDCS 618, EDCS 667B, SpED 631 and EDCS 632.
  • You can receive an “I” (incomplete) grade if you fail to complete a small but important part of a course’s work before the grades are determined, and if the instructor believes that the failure was caused by conditions beyond your control. The deadline for removing an “I” grade is April 1 for fall grades and November 1 for spring or summer grade
  • If the work is not completed by the deadline, the instructor may allow the grade of “I” to remain on your record or submit a change-of-grade form, with the grade computed on the basis of work completed by the deadline.
  • An incomplete becomes permanent if it is not made up within two (2) semesters from the time the course was taken.
  • A change of grade requires the CS Graduate Chair’s approval. The instructor must state the reasons for the grade change.
  • Grade point averages are computed using all the courses taken at UHM. Unless a course is repeatable, as stated in the UHM Catalog, it can only be counted once as meeting credit requirements for a degree.

If you have questions about your grade for a particular course, discuss this matter directly with the course instructor.

Conditional to Regular Status

A student may be put on conditional status if his/her GPA falls below a 3.0 average. To be returned to regular status the student must first complete his/her first 12 credits as a “classified graduate” student with a B average in courses numbered 300 and above which are applicable toward his/her degree.

Leaves of Absence

A leave of absence for a period of time no longer than one calendar year may be granted to students in good standing (GPA of at least 3.0) (a) after completion of at least one semester of course work relevant to the degree as a classified graduate student at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, (b) upon recommendation of the Curriculum Studies MEd Chair and MEd ECE Program Director, (c) with the approval of the Dean of the Office of Graduate Education. The date of return from a leave must be set at the time the leave is requested.

Generally, MEd ECE students can take a Leave of Absence during the Spring semester of their first year, when we do not schedule mandatory courses for the program. Occasionally, leaves must be taken at other times. Please discuss this with your advisor so we can facilitate you in making a plan for your successful return.

Students not returning from leave on time will be required to petition for readmission to the University in accordance with the established regulations. Students who are readmitted will be subject to the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

Time spent during an approved leave is not counted against the seven-year limit for completion of degree programs. Students returning from an approved leave are automatically sent the appropriate forms from the Office of Graduate Education Records Office by the established readmission deadline so that registration materials will be prepared.

Transfer of Elective Credits Taken at Other Institutions After Admittance

Students may complete some of their electives at another institution with the approval of their advisor after being admitted to the program. Please consult your program advisor before taking elective credits to insure that they can be applied towards your program requirements. If credits are taken elsewhere, a request for transfer of credits from another institution must be made upon completion of the course. Only credits from an accredited university and for which a grade of “B” or better was earned can be transferred.

  • Up to 9 elective credits can be transferred in from another institution.
  • Elective courses taken at other universities must be accompanied by a transcript and a written explanation of how course numbers correspond to educational levels (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) and content of UH Mānoa courses.
  • Application for transfer of credit must be submitted in writing and requires a memo and appropriate completion of Office of Graduate Education forms. These are submitted by your advisor to the CS Graduate Chair who will send it to Office of Graduate Education.
  • Credits used to obtain a previous degree are not transferrable.