Schwartz Program – MA in Early Childhood Studies


The program in Early Childhood Studies develops professional leadership in all aspects of early childhood—counseling, guidance, therapy, management and development of programs and research. The Schwartz Program is unique in its multidisciplinarity. Its faculty derive knowledge and tools from the disciplines of psychology, social work and education, aiming to supply the unique needs of children from birth to age six.


The program is based on a systemic outlook and ecological developmental approach to early childhood. This outlook considers the many and varied environments that influence children’s development: family, educational frameworks, peer groups, community and culture. 


The program’s aims

  1. To create a joint knowledge base, a common language and professional communication among the students, thus to advance educational and social goals for young children;
  2. To impart knowledge and tools for systematic and analytical thought in the field of early childhood;
  3. To impart knowledge and tools for planning and evaluating educational frameworks and social services for young children and their families;
  4. To impart knowledge and skills in locating, evaluating and strengthening young children’s factors of resilience, as well as evaluating risk factors at this age in the familial context and in educational frameworks;
  5. To advance and improve the skills in guidance, counseling, intervention and management of professionals working with and within educational frameworks and social services, and with parents of young children;
  6. To develop an infrastructure of academic research that will advance knowledge in the field of early childhood and that will nourish and enrich study programs and professional interventions with the parents, educational frameworks and social services of young children;
  7. To develop a professional community that will provide its members with support and development, to continue research and development of knowledge amongst the families, early childhood frameworks, social services, and policymakers. 

In order to achieve these aims, the program combines academic studies with fieldwork (practicums) in the fields of child development, mental health, educational programs, counseling, guidance and therapy. The program emphasizes a systemic approach and understanding the mutual relations between the various systems affecting children, in the family, the community and the society.

The program offers three tracks: guidance and counseling; mental health; policy and management. The core knowledge is common to all students.

The program is active under the auspices of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare and the School of Education.


General information

Head of the program in Early Childhood Studies: Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri

Coordinator of MA studies: Ms. Shuly Levy


Advisor for student affairs: Dr. Yael Dayan, room 527, tel: 02-5882115, e-mail:

Program secretariat: room 518, tel: 02-5880452 extension 2, 02-5881845/8, e-mail:

Office hours at the secretariat: Sunday-Thursday, 10:00-15:00.



Structure of the program


The program lasts two academic years. Classes take place on one day a week and in concentrated courses during the semester break and at the end of the academic year.

The study days in the program are Monday (in the first year) and Wednesday (in the second year). It is not possible to split the program between additional years.

The program offers three tracks: guidance and counseling; policy and management; mental health in early childhood. In each track, there are internal clusters of fields of study. Each cluster comprises mandatory and elective courses. The types of course and the number of credits required in each cluster in every track, as well as the total number of credits required for the degree, are shown in the study tables.


Study tables for those beginning studies in the 2017-18 academic year:

The study tables show the mandatory and elective courses of the MA in Early Childhood Studies program. The student may also choose courses offered by other departments of the Hebrew University.

Choosing courses from other departments and/or other universities requires the permission of the advisor for student affairs.

When planning studies, it is recommended that the student check the prerequisites for participation in the various elective courses carefully.


Exemption and recognition of previous studies

  • A student requesting exemption from courses on the grounds of previous MA studies will submit a form requesting recognition of courses
  • A student with an MA in another subject may request to decrease his studies in this subject, in the research track up to 6 credits, and in the non-research trackup to 10 credits. In any case the decision will be made by the head of the program, according to the relevance and suitability of the courses to the current MA program


Study tables for those beginning studies in the 2016-17 academic year:



Acceptance and registration


The acceptance committee will discuss each request according to the candidate’s qualifications and according to the program’s intake possibilities. Those candidates with the highest rankings of those meeting the acceptance requirements will be selected. In extraordinary cases, the acceptance committee will discuss special requests.


Requirements for acceptance to the MA in Early Childhood Studies

  1. Specific acceptance requirements of each track (see below)
  2. Supplementary studies (see below)
  3. Exemption (“ptor”) in English (see below)


Requirements for acceptance to the guidance and counseling track

  • Final grade for undergraduate degree of at least 80
  • At least one year’s experience, since the date of graduation and up to August 30 of the year before the intended academic year begins, of work with young children


Requirements for acceptance to the mental health track

  • Final grade for undergraduate degree of at least 80 in a therapeutic field specializing in young children (social work, art therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc.)
  • Interview


Requirements for acceptance to the policy and management track

  • Final grade for undergraduate degree of at least 80
  • Preference for candidates with a background in management and inspection of early childhood or related therapeutic or educational frameworks.


Supplementary studies

Supplementary studies, set by the acceptance committee after checking previous academic studies, are meant to provide all students with a common knowledge-base that is an essential condition for acceptance to the program. These studies will include the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents, according to the candidate’s previous studies:

  1. Introduction to Statistics. Recommended: supplementary workshop before the beginning of the academic year or “Basic Concepts in Statistics” course.
  2. Introduction to research methods. Recommended: supplementary workshop before the beginning of the academic year or “Research methods” course
  3. Introduction to developmental psychology. Recommended: supplementary workshop before the beginning of the academic year.

Anyone required to take three or more supplementary courses will be accepted to the program as a regular student only after completing these studies and achieving an average of at least 80 therein. Completing the supplementary studies in the first year of study is a condition for continuing in the program. The supplementary studies are not considered part of the degree course.

At the end of the summer before the beginning of the academic year, concentrated supplementary workshops will be offered, that can replace some of the abovementioned courses. Details at the secretariat.


Exemption (“ptor”) in English

In accordance with the procedures of the Hebrew University, receiving an exemption at university level is a necessary condition of acceptance to the MA in Early Childhood program. An exemption in English must be presented by the end of September before the beginning of the intended academic year.

A candidate who is not a graduate of the Hebrew University shall present an exemption from his/her undergraduate studies at one of the institutions recognized for this by the Hebrew University (List of the institutions recognized for the exemption in English)

A candidate whose undergraduate studies were not at an institution in the above list must present an alternative exemption on the basis of the psychometric exam, AMIR/AMIRM test, or English as a Foreign Language studies at the Hebrew University.


Registration process

Registration for the 2018-19 academic year will begin in January 2018 and end on 30 June 2018.

  1. All candidates must register at the University’s Registration and Acceptance office via the website (online registration). Overseas students will register via the Overseas Students Admissions Office, Goldschmidt Building, tel: 02-5882607

For further details on the registration process, see the Guide for Candidates

  1. At the same time, create an account in the graduate studies registration system (EKMD) in order to submit the required documents for acceptance to the program:
    1. Standard passport photo
    2. Succinct resume in the standard format for seeking a job
    3. Certification of entitlement to previous undergraduate/graduate degree, with the institution’s stamp and signature
    4. Detailed grades from the above undergraduate/graduate degree, with the institution’s stamp and signature
    5. Two letters of recommendation, one from an employer and one from a faculty member

The candidacy of anyone who does not carry out these two stages will not be brought before the acceptance committee. Anyone paying registration fees and not uploading documents to EKMD will be rejected on the grounds of lack of documentation at the end of the registration period.


Acceptance process

  • The acceptance committee will discuss a candidate only after registration fees are paid and all the required documents have been submitted
  • The acceptance committee’s decision regarding a candidate is made on the basis of the candidacy documents only, but it may summon the candidate for an interview if it sees fit
  • The committee’s decision will be sent officially via e-mail, according to the details given by the candidate when submitting his/her candidacy
  • The candidate may appeal the committee’s decision within seven days from the time the announcement is received by the secretariat. Appeals  date will not be transferred to the committee.