Online graduate certificate in
infant and early childhood mental health

We are no longer accepting applications for our Fall 2021 cohort. Applications will reopen in Spring 2022 for our Fall 2022 cohort.

Our online certificate program prepares students and professionals to address the socioemotional and mental health needs of young children and their families. Take courses for academic credit or continuing education units.

Our program is founded on a set of core theoretical principles of infant and early childhood development and mental health practice: that all work with children, families, and the individuals who work with them should be relationship-based, culturally sensitive, grounded in an understanding of developmental theory and research, and supported by reflective practice.

Find what drives you: Join us

  • Enhance your understanding of infant and early childhood mental health.
  • Acquire the skills needed to support the social-emotional development of young children ages birth to five.
  • Study with researchers and field faculty from clinical and community-based settings.
  • Learn how to turn infant and early childhood mental health theory into practice.


As a certificate program student, you'll take a full part-time course load of 3-5 credits per semester. All courses are online.

Fall 1

  • CPSY 5501: Foundations in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health I (3 credits)

Spring 1

  • CPSY 5503: Development and Psychopathology in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • CPSY 5506: Infant Observation Seminar I (1 credit)

Summer 1

  • CPSY 5508: Infant Observation Seminar II (1 credit)
  • CPSY 5513: Early Childhood Assessment (3 credits)

Fall 2

  • CPSY 5511: Infant Observation Seminar III (1 credit)
  • CPSY 5518: Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Principles (3 credits)

Spring 2

  • CPSY 5521: Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Practice (3 credits)
  • CPSY 5996: Field Experience in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (2 credits)

Choose your degree path

The admissions process differs depending on whether you're applying to take courses for academic credit or for continuing education units (CEUs).

Academic credit

Students studying for academic credit will earn:

  • a certificate of completion from the University of Minnesota
  • 20 academic credits

Academic credits appear on a student's transcript. We also offer an M.A. in applied child and adolescent development with a focus on infant and early childhood mental health. Students who take the certificate for academic credit may apply to transfer to the M.A. program.

Apply for academic credit

Continuing education units

Students pursuing CEUs will earn:

  • a certificate of completion from the University of Minnesota
  • documentation of clock hours earned for each course

Clock hours are converted to CEUs per state licensing board guidelines. CEUs do not appear on academic transcripts. CEUs earned in this program cannot be converted to academic credit or applied to advanced degrees at the University of Minnesota.

Apply for CEUs


Our program helps individuals advance their careers in a variety of fields that serve young children and their families. The program is ideal for individuals working in prevention and intervention in group or individual settings, program administration, or policy development.

This program does not train individuals to become licensed clinical professionals. It prepares practitioners to embed infant and early childhood mental health principles in their existing professional roles and practice settings.

Prepare to pursue Endorsement

Minnesota is one of 31 member states of the global organization, the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health®, that offers the credential for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health®. Our certificate program meets the theoretical foundations and competencies for the Alliance endorsement process.

Endorsement levels include:

  • Infant Family Specialist (Prevention/Early Intervention)
  • Infant Mental Health Specialist (Treatment/Intervention)
  • Infant Mental Health Mentor (Clinical, Faculty, or Policy Leadership)

More information on the endorsement process is available through the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health-Infant and Early Childhood Division or through your state’s infant mental health association listed under the Alliance member states. Don't live in Minnesota? Learn if your state is a member of the Alliance.

Tuition and funding

This program is part-time. If you take the certificate for academic credit, tuition for our program follows the College of Education and Human Development’s post-baccalaureate certificate rate. Students who take all of their courses online qualify for the Minnesota resident tuition rate. If you take the program for CEUs, the cost is $375 per credit.

Irving B. Harris Foundation Diversity Scholarship

The Irving B. Harris Foundation promotes infant and early childhood mental health through professional training and education. Limited scholarship funds are available through the Harris Foundation as part of an effort to recruit students from underrepresented populations. To apply for a scholarship, write a brief explanation of why you feel you would qualify and upload as part of your application. This scholarship is only available to Minnesota residents.