M.A.T. in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education IECE) (Alternative Certification)

Interested in becoming a teacher in early childhood education?

The MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education could be your start to an exciting and fulfilling career in teaching!

The IECE program emphasizes an in-depth academic preparation and field experience that allows teachers to be knowledgeable about the field of early childhood/special education and to develop critical thinking and lifelong learning skills.

Looking for a traditional degree?

Find out all the information you would need to obtain the traditional MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education.

Traditional MAT in IECE

The program focuses on the following:

  • Nurturing students as active agents in their own learning
  • Authentic, performance-based assessment of teaching and learning
  • Meeting the diverse needs of all students
  • Responding constructively to socio-cultural differences among students

The program prepares students interested in working with children from birth-5 years of age in a wide variety of settings, including day care centers, public and private schools preschools, community programs and clinics. The program gives students authentic experiences with infants, toddlers, and preschool children in the areas of curriculum development, typical and atypical child development, programs and services for children and their families, family involvement and intervention, screening and assessment, program administration, current topics and practicum/action research.

Program goals:

  • IECE Teacher Certification
  • Preparation of teachers for education typical and atypical children in different settings
  • Provide background information on Kentucky Child Learning and Assessment Standards

Helpful Links

Candidates to initial teacher certification programs are required to submit credentials supporting their academic ability, creativity and collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills, positive disposition, and commitment to the teaching profession. These credentials include transcripts, writing samples, and letters of recommendation which support the candidate's ability to succeed in a rigorous teacher education program. Competitive candidates will be invited to a formal, faculty interview.

Candidates for admission should review the following which outline the expectations of the teaching profession:

  1. Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Personnel [PDF]
  2. CEHD Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement [PDF]
  3. Character and Fitness Questionnaire [PDF]
  4. Professional Dispositions Rubric [PDF]
  5. Diversity Rubric [PDF]
  6. Effective Written Communication Rubric [PDF]


Questions about the application should be directed to teacher@louisville.edu. Candidates will be notified via e-mail regarding the admission decision no later than six weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who are selected for admission will receive information about a mandatory orientation session.

Application Deadlines: May 1 for Summer admission (June start) | October 15 for Spring admission (January start)

Please note: If the application deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we will accept the admission portfolio on the Monday after the deadline by 5:00 p.m.

Admission Criteria

Candidates who meet the following criteria may be eligible to apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Candidates considering application to the MAT program should contact the MAT admissions counselor (teacher@louisville.edu) prior to applying for admission. Admission is competitive. Candidates who meet minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

This program is open to all eligible candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.

  1. Application to Graduate School/MAT Program. This should be completed three to four weeks prior to the application deadline.
  2. Bachelor's Degree from Accredited College or University with a Minimum 2.75 Grade Point Average (official transcripts required)
  3. Oral Communication Proficiency
  4. Written Communication Proficiency
  5. TOEFL
  6. Professional Writing Requirements
  7. Letters of Recommendation
  8. Prerequisite Requirements – 6 credit hours of Early Childhood Education course work
  9. Experience working with diverse groups of children/adolescents

Contact Us

Brandon T. Gossett
Academic Counselor, Sr. Recruiter
College of Education and Human Development
1905 South 1st Street | Room 249 | Porter Education Building
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Betty Doyle
Office: 502.852.3538

Career Pathways Certification

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education enables graduates to earn Birth-5 Kentucky teaching certification.

Opportunities for Graduates

  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Preschool teacher
  • Early childhood special educator (0-5 years)
  • Developmental Interventionist
  • Infant-toddler teacher
  • Early childhood parent educator
  • Special educator for IEPs/IFSPs
  • Home-based early childhood teacher
  • Itinerant early childhood teacher
  • Nursery school teacher

General Information

For general information on financial aid resources, please visit the University of Louisville's Student Financial Aid office. The College of Education and Human Development has it's own web page dedicated to financial aid that contains some extra information not listed here.

College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) Scholarship

The CEHD has a long history of offering scholarships to prospective and current students pursuing an education degree program. The CEHD provides over $225,000 annually and selects recipients three times per year. Scholarship selection is competitive and applies to tuition only. Apply online for a CEHD Scholarship before the deadline (April 15th, June 1st and/or October 15th). Applicants should expect notification in four to five weeks after the posted deadline.

Kentucky Traineeship Program

Traineeship Program funds are available to help defray part of the tuition costs for courses that lead to teacher certification in special education or early childhood education. The Kentucky Department of Education has allocated federal professional development funds to provide tuition assistance for special educators and preschool teachers in obtaining certification in the area in which they are teaching. With the increasing shortage of fully certified teachers seeking teaching positions in special education and early childhood education, a major focus of the Traineeship program is on teachers seeking alternative certification, emergency or probationary certification, and working toward full certification while enrolled in a Kentucky institution of higher education. Further information can be found at: http://kytraineeship.org/about/, including eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and more!

WHAS Crusade for Children Scholarship

Funding may also be available through the WHAS Crusade for Children Special Education Scholarship Award.


Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides up to $4,000 per year to those who intend to teach in a public or private school that serves students from low-income families. Teachers must be certified in a high-need field. (Amount is pro-rated based on part-time or full-time status up to a maximum of $8,000 for graduate students.)

Applicants must complete the FAFSA (although financial need is not required) and be admitted to a teacher certification program. Applicants must score above the 75th percentile on a college admission test or maintain a cumulative gpa of 3.25 for eligibility.

Recipients must teach for a minimum of four years within eight calendar years of completing the teacher certification program. Those who fail to complete the service obligation must re-pay the loan, with interest charged form the first date of disbursement.