College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Infant and early childhood mental health online graduate certificate

Our online certificate program prepares students and professionals to address the socioemotional and mental health needs of young children and their families.

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

While we are not accepting applications for the CEU option of the IECMH certificate at this time, we still welcome applications for the academic credit/tuition option. Applications are open now until February 15th.

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.

Students studying in this program will earn:

  • a certificate of completion from the University of Minnesota (U of M)\
  • 20 academic credits

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


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

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)

About this program

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.

Career advancement

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.

How to apply

    Admissions requirements and deadline

    Deadline: February 15

    Accepted students will begin the program in the fall semester. View the University of Minnesota's academic calendar

    Submit all materials through the online application system. Please do not submit materials via mail.

    You’re eligible to apply if you:

    • hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a related area, such as child development, social work, or child psychology.
    • have at least two years of experience in early childhood research or practice.

    Test scores: We don't require GRE scores. Upload your TOEFL test scores, if necessary. We also must have an official copy of your scores on file. Send test scores to institution code 6874.

    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 their courses online qualify for the Minnesota resident tuition rate.

    Irving B. Harris Foundation Diversity Scholarship

    The Irving B. Harris Foundation promotes equity of academic and life outcomes for all children by enabling access to comprehensive, high-quality care in nurturing environments for pregnant women, very young children, and families to promote success in school and in life. Limited scholarship funds are available through the Harris Foundation as part of an effort to recruit students from underrepresented populations. This scholarship is only available to Minnesota residents.

    Application instructions

    Before you begin

    Before you begin the online application, gather the following materials:

    • Unofficial transcripts: You must submit an unofficial transcript or academic record for each institution you’ve attended.
    • Personal statement: Describe your interest in the infant and early childhood mental health field. You should also explain how the certificate program training may be related to your previous training or experience and to your future career goals. (Limit 500 words)
    • Diversity statement: Briefly describe the range of diversity in the children (ages 0-5) and families you work with and how your work reflects an awareness of cultural differences. Each individual or family represents a unique constellation of experiences and culture. Diversity may encompass age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, country of origin, religious or spiritual beliefs, physical characteristics, motor or cognitive abilities, family constellation, or other differences for purposes of this application. (Limit 200 words)
    • Two letters of recommendation: Identify and get contact information for two people who will serve as your recommenders. We suggest that you seek recommendations from a college instructor, advisor, or mentor, and an employer. current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work.
    • Resume or CV
    • Application fee: $75. Must be paid online with a credit card.

    Optional materials

    • Copies of your current professional licenses or credentials: You have the option to submit copies of any professional licenses or credentials you currently hold.
    • Irving B. Harris Diversity Scholarship Statement: To apply for the Harris scholarship, write a statement on how your background and experiences will support their mission (Limit 500 words). This scholarship is only available to Minnesota residents.


    Simply complete this form or reach out to a member of our support staff. We are eager to help. 

    Quote from Megan Troje

    As the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Institute of Child Development, it is my role to help align your academic and career goals. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions!