If you want to work in a preschool or elementary school setting someday, this track will start you down the path of becoming a licensed early childhood educator. You'll add on an extra year to earn your master’s degree (MEd) and prepare for state licensure to teach infants through third graders. A license is required to be a public school teacher.
Earn a bachelor’s degree, a Minnesota teaching license, and a master’s degree in early childhood education in just 5 years.
Our courses are grounded in the latest child development research. As a student in the Institute of Child Development (ICD), the number one-ranked developmental psychology program in the nation, you’ll put groundbreaking discoveries in development into immediate practice with young children. Our program will prepare you to teach a range of young learners, from infants to 3rd graders. In addition to your traditional coursework on campus, more than half of your semesters will include some type of practicum or student teaching experiences where you will work directly with children and apply what you’re learning in your classes.
Gain teaching experience close to campus! As a senior in our program, you’ll complete a semester-long student teaching experience in the Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS), a preschool located in the Como neighborhood close to the Twin Cities campus and one of the longest-running laboratory schools in the nation. Students are assigned to teach with a qualified lead teacher for a semester. During this period, the lead teacher works with the teacher candidates to help them develop teaching competencies.
In your year-long MEd program, you will be placed in a local, public elementary school with a lead teacher to further develop your teaching skills. As part of your experience, you’ll plan, implement, and evaluate individual, small group and large group activities and lesson plans. You’ll also assume the responsibilities of the lead teacher for a number of weeks and work with a cooperating teacher to support their classroom and practice leading your own lessons. Student teaching will allow you to directly apply coursework and current child development research.
Consider learning abroad as part of your early childhood major. As a learning abroad student, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture, advance your education, and gain the experience of a lifetime.
Students have many learning abroad opportunities to choose from to fulfill general degree requirements, but the U of M semester in Montpellier, France, was specifically designed to include courses and opportunities for our major. No French language background required; major courses are all taught in English.
Take teaching courses with a practicum, beginning through advanced French language classes, and electives in youth development and psychology. Study in this vibrant city with a centuries-old history of intellectual advances and social tolerance. Enjoy the college-town atmosphere, nightlife, and student-centered community.
Graduates of this track who continue on to earn our MEd degree will apply for a Minnesota birth - 3rd grade license and be eligible to teach in either early childhood settings or elementary schools. Learn more about careers in early childhood and elementary education and career resources for teachers offered through CEHD.
We're here to answer any questions you have about the program.
I am so excited to work with our early educators who are preparing to do such important and meaningful work with young people and families. I am here to help guide our students through their degrees, which includes understanding program requirements and planning for post-college goals. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!
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.
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.