B.S. + M.Ed. in early childhood
Foundations of education track

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.

Start on the path to become a licensed educator for ages birth to 3rd grade. Upon completion of your B.S. degree, you'll be prepared to apply and transition to our M.Ed. in early childhood education program. After you complete the M.Ed. requirements in two semesters, you will be recommended to the state of Minnesota for an initial teaching license in early childhood education.

Choose to pursue:



In just five years, earn your B.S. in early childhood, an M.Ed. in early childhood education, and two Minnesota teaching licenses: an initial license in early childhood and an initial license in elementary education.


Our curriculum will help you build a strong foundation in child development and early childhood teaching methods. Complete general coursework and coursework for the foundations of education track, which will prepare you to pursue an M.Ed. and initial licensure in Minnesota.

General coursework

Our pedagogical courses are grounded in the latest child development research. As a teaching student in the Institute of Child Development, the number one-ranked developmental psychology program in the nation, you’ll put groundbreaking discoveries in brain development into immediate practice with young children.

Take courses in areas including:

  • Cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional development
  • Social and philosophical foundations of early childhood education
  • Education of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities
  • Practicum in early childhood education

Foundations of education coursework

Take courses in a variety of areas to prepare you for your role in the classroom.

Course topics may include:

  • Learning, cognition, and assessment
  • Linguistics for teachers
  • Foundations of reading
  • Diversity in children's literature
  • Introduction to elementary teaching

Student teaching experience

Gain classroom experience right on campus. As a student in our program, you’ll complete a student teaching experience in the Shirley G. Moore Lab School, a preschool located in the Institute of Child Development building and one of the longest-running laboratory schools in the nation.

Student teaching at the Lab School will allow you to directly apply coursework and current child development research. For a full semester, you’ll work with a lead teacher to develop your teaching skills. As part of your experience, you’ll plan, implement, and evaluate individual, small group and large group activities. You’ll also assume the responsibilities of the lead teacher for a number of weeks.

The Lab School implements proven, high-quality curricula. Student teachers get hands-on experience with maintaining environments that are accredited by NAEYC and have received a 4-star Parent Aware rating.

A student teacher reads to two preschoolers.

Learning abroad

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.

Visit our learning abroad page to explore program options

Did you know that ICD administers its own study abroad program? In the Cross-Cultural Experiences in Education and English Teaching in Brazil program (CPSY 5981), co-teach in an early childhood, elementary, or junior high classroom, spend three weeks learning Portuguese in the coastal city of Salvador, and then live in a smaller city where you'll teach English.

Explore the program


Recent graduates now work in positions, including:

  • Nature preschool teacher
  • Early childhood family education children's teacher
  • Lead teacher at a nature center
  • 3rd grade teacher at a public charter elementary school
  • 1st grade teacher at a public elementary school
  • Toddler teacher at the YWCA
  • Preschool director
  • Elementary School Continuous Progress instructor
  • Education services manager at a family homeless shelter

Find out more about careers in early childhood.

Meet your advisor

We're here to answer any questions you have about the program.

Meghan Allen Eliason
I meet with undergraduate students to discuss program requirements and career goals. I am excited to get to know you and help you along your path. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Academic advisor: Meghan Allen Eliason
Get in touch: cpsyadvis@umn.edu
Schedule an appointment

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.