B.S. in early childhood
Individualized studies track

Prepare to work in non-licensure educational settings like early learning centers or organizations where a teaching license is not required. You’ll also be prepared to pursue an advanced degree in a variety of related fields.


Our curriculum will help you build a strong foundation in child development. Complete general early childhood education coursework and the coursework for the individualized studies track.

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

Individualized studies coursework

Students will develop an individualized focus of study made up of at least 12 credits in consultation with their advisor.

Areas of study may include:

  • Child psychology
  • Language or culture studies
  • Social or racial justice in urban schooling
  • Family or youth studies
  • Educational psychology
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Business, management, or leadership
  • Public policy
  • Health care

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


Upon graduation, you'll be prepared for a variety of careers in non-licensure settings or to pursue a graduate degree. Recent graduates now work in positions, including:

  • lead preschool teacher
  • early childhood special education paraprofessional
  • toddler teacher at a community child care center
  • infant teacher at a Montessori school
  • professional development coordinator/supervisor at an early childhood advocacy organization

Find out more about careers in early childhood.

Meet your advisor

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.”

Meghan Allen Eliason
Academic advisor
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.