BS in early childhood

Help young children flourish in a variety of settings

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families? Are you passionate about ensuring that every child has access to quality early learning experiences? If so, then consider a degree in early childhood. You’ll be prepared to work in various fields that serve young children and their families. You also have the option of adding an additional year of studies to earn your MEd and be a licensed classroom teacher.

  • Take classes with field-leading faculty in the #1 ranked developmental psychology program in the nation (U.S. News and World Report, 2018).
  • Learn the science behind the development of young children from world-leading developmental psychologists.
  • Engage in hands-on learning experiences with children in school or community settings beginning your sophomore year.
  • Culminate your studies with a student teaching experience on campus at our Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS).
  • Choose one of our three tracks to personalize your studies and prepare for your future career.
Did you know facts Did you know Did you know The average numberof students in anearly childhood classis 30.

Choose your specialization

Track 1: Foundations of education

If you think you want to work in an elementary school someday, this track will start you down the path of becoming a licensed early childhood educator. You'll be able to add on an extra year to earn your MEd and prepare for licensure for teaching ages birth to grade 3. A license is required to be a public school teacher. Learn more

Track 2: Early and Elementary Education

Want the option to teach older grades? This track prepares you to teach in a public school setting from preschool and kindergarten up through 6th grade. You'll be able to add on an extra year to earn your MEd and prepare for two licenses: one in early childhood education and one in elementary education. Learn more

Track 3: Individualized studies

If you’d like the flexibility to work either in a classroom or another setting, this track prepares you to work with young children and families where a teaching license is not required. Develop an individualized course plan that blends early childhood classes with your other areas of interest. Examples include languages, cultural studies, or performing arts. Learn more

Tuition and funding

Scholarships and financial aid are available for early childhood majors. For example, incoming first-year students are automatically considered for the Campbell Scholarship for Education. Visit the Office of Admissions scholarships page for more information on general CEHD scholarships. Visit CEHD’s teaching scholarships page to learn more about financial aid specifically for future teachers. For general tuition and financing information, visit CEHD’s undergraduate costs, aid and scholarships page.

We're driven to make a difference

Madi Poindexter
The faculty in the ECE program are so supportive of my individual needs, and encourage me to be successful. I came for the degree and stayed because of the relationships built with instructors.

Madi Poindexter
BS in early childhood

How to apply

First-year student admissions

First-year student admissions are handled through the University Admissions Office. You're considered a first-year student if you graduated high school and are starting your first-year of college at the University of Minnesota.

Additional deadline information

Application checklist

Transfer admissions

If you're interested in transferring to CEHD, review their transfer admissions website.

You're considered a transfer student if you've registered or enrolled at a college, university, or any other school after graduating from high school. Current U of M students who aren't in CEHD are also considered transfer students.

Declare your major

Are you a current CEHD student who is ready to declare your major? Follow these steps.

Early childhood program mission statement

The Institute of Child Development’s early childhood education programs recognize that all children deserve equitable learning experiences so they can achieve their full potential. Our academic programs are rooted in the science of child development, which tells us that high-quality early childhood education occurs in the context of positive relationships among teachers, children, and their families. We are committed to training educators who build strong relationships, embrace diversity, value full inclusion, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit children’s educational opportunities.