About the Program

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 501. 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.

Academic Concentration Roadmaps

American Studies (PDF)

English (PDF)

Foreign Language (PDF)

Liberal Arts (PDF)

Mathematics (PDF)

Science (PDF)


Enrollment in all teacher education programs follows the guidelines for "Admission to All Education Preparation Programs" found in the Graduate Catalog. Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

All teacher education programs include a clinical/field component. If you have been convicted of a felony, your criminal history record may impede your ability to complete this program and/or become a NYS certified teacher. Please review Buffalo State's Admission of Persons with Prior Felony Convictions Policy.

Completion of a Buffalo State Educator Preparation Program leads to a college recommendation for NYS Teacher Certification. Buffalo State cannot determine the acceptability of an Educator Preparation Program for licensure/certification in another U.S. state or territory. Buffalo State’s full Interstate Disclosure document, including a full list of education departments for other states, can be found on the Teacher Certification website.

Students enter the pathway either as incoming first-year students 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 first-year students 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, Literacy, and Educational Leadership Department at (716) 878-5916 or the Exceptional Education Department at (716) 878-5317.
  • Meet with your undergraduate adviser
  • Together, with your adviser, complete the Accelerated and 4+1 Pathway Application for your chosen degree.

    4+1 Accelerated Pathway Application

  • Application must be signed by both your undergraduate department chair and graduate department chair/program coordinator.
  • Submit a written statement of commitment to the major that clearly demonstrates why you are selecting the 4+1 option for Early Childhood Educators and affirms your 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.

Exceptional Education
Department Chair
(716) 878-5317

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

Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership
Department Chair
(716) 878-5916

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