B.S. in early childhood

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.

Early childhood is a time of rapid development and change. With a degree in early childhood, you’ll be prepared to work with young children and their families in a variety of settings.

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of early childhood development principles.
  • Prepare to help children gain the skills they need to thrive in the classroom and beyond.
  • Take courses on how to facilitate social, emotional, cognitive, language, creative, and motor learning in early childhood education.
  • Gain teaching experience at the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School, an on-campus preschool housed at ICD and a living laboratory for early childhood curriculum development.
Circle stat

Average size of early childhood classes

Choose your specialization

Foundations of education

Start on the path to become a licensed educator for ages birth to 3rd grade. Earn a bachelor’s degree, a Minnesota teaching license, and a master’s degree in early childhood education in just 5 years. Learn more

Individualized studies

Prepare to work in non-licensure educational settings like early learning centers, private schools, community nonprofits, or other organizations where a teaching license is not required. You'll also be prepared to pursue an advanced degree in a variety of related fields. Develop an individualized focus of study in consultation with your advisor. Learn more


With a degree in early childhood, you’ll be prepared to be an early childhood educator. You'll also be prepared to work for employers like:

  • before and after school programs
  • boards of education
  • camps
  • consulting firms
  • child care centers
  • educational publishers
  • federal government agencies
  • learning centers
  • nonprofit organizations
  • public and private elementary schools
  • social service agencies

Find out more about careers in early childhood.

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
B.S. in early childhood

Tuition and funding

Visit OneStop Student Services to learn more about tuition and financing.

Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s (CEHD) undergraduate costs, aid and scholarships page to find out about CEHD-specific opportunities.

Incoming first-year students who are interested in early childhood education are automatically considered for the Campbell Scholarship for Education. Visit the Office of Admissions scholarships page for more information on this and additional CEHD scholarships available to incoming first-year students.

How to apply

Freshman admissions

Freshman admissions are handled through the University Admissions Office.

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're a high school graduate who has registered or enrolled at a college, university, or any other school after graduating from high school. Current UMN students who are not 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.