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Early Childhood/Exceptional Education (ECE/EXC) Accelerated Undergraduate to Graduate 4+1 Pathway


The Early Childhood/Exceptional Education (ECE/EXC) 4+1 pathway is an accelerated pathway offering a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Exceptional Education. Enrollment in this pathway allows candidates to complete the course requirements for certification in Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2) Education during the bachelor’s portion of their program, while they also take selected graduate courses during their senior year. Candidates will continue with one full year of graduate study following completion of the bachelor’s degree. The graduate courses in the pathway will fulfill the coursework requirements for initial certification of Students with Disabilities (Birth-Grade 2).

Candidates accepted to the 4+1 pathway must follow the curriculum map as outlined in order to complete the program as scheduled. Candidates begin graduate coursework during their senior year and are formally accepted into the Graduate School after verification of the completion of bachelor’s degree requirements and submission of the application. Graduate applications fees are also waived for 4+1 students.
Candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 before enrollment in order to begin the graduate portion of the 4+1 pathway. Candidates must earn a minimum grade of B in EXE 501in order to continue with the 4+1 pathway.  When the candidate is officially accepted into the graduate program and the Graduate School, the graduate credits will be applied to the graduate course of study and all the policies and privileges relevant to graduate students will apply.

Admission Requirements

Students enter the pathway either as incoming freshman or at any point in their undergraduate degree. Each successful candidate electing the 4+1 option will be required to submit the statement indicating the candidate’s intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Candidates accepted to the ECE/EXC 4+1 pathway as undergraduates do not need to take the GRE or MAT as per SUNY requirements for graduate teacher education programs if they have already submitted an SAT or ACT score upon acceptance to the undergraduate portion of the pathway.

  • Entering freshman must have a high school average of at least 85.

  • Undergraduates must submit an SAT or ACT score for successful admission to the pathway. SUNY Buffalo State students who are changing majors and applying in the junior year may find the GRE or MAT more appropriate.

  • Students who have completed one semester of full time undergraduate study or at least 12 credit hours of college study must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Transfers from two-year and other four-year institutions will follow the institutional admissions requirements as all other transfers into teacher education programs.

  • Acceptance into the ECE/EXC 4+1 course sequence will be contingent on courses completed at previous institutions that have transfer equivalence to those in the ECE/EXC 4+1 pathway.

  • Depending on the time of transfer, candidates may choose to submit an SAT, ACT, or GRE or MAT (more appropriate after second year of undergraduate study).

  • Transfer students should speak to the chair of the department before applying. Contact the Elementary Education & Reading Department at (716) 878-5916 or the Exceptional Education Department at (716) 878-5317.

To Apply

Submit to the Department of Elementary Education and Reading a written statement of commitment to the major that clearly demonstrates why the candidate is selecting the 4+1 option for Early Childhood Educators and affirms the candidate’s intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

The writing sample will be assessed by the faculty as an essential part of a successful application to the major.

Applications to the ECE/EXC 4+1 pathway are available in Bacon 302.

For More Information

Exceptional Education

Department Chair
(716) 878-5317

Kathy Doody, Assistant Professor
(716) 878-5318
Ketchum Hall 204C

Elementary Education & Reading

Department Chair
(716) 878-5916

Wendy McLeish, Lecturer
(716) 878-5618
Bacon Hall 321C


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Exceptional Education

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Ketchum Hall 204
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-3038 •  Fax: (716) 878-5410
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