Early Childhood Studies B.A.Sc.

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Department of Education

150 EduE
412 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
United States

Program Type
Bachelor of Applied Science
College of Education and Human Service Professions

About this Program

As of September 14, 2020, students may no longer be admitted to the Early Childhood Studies major due to program restructuring.

The Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) is designed to prepare professionals to work with young children and their families. With exposure to theoretical and best practice principles, graduates will be prepared to create effective learning environments designed to support early cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

Compelling current research in the field of child development and education emphasizes the importance of early investment in quality programming for young children and families. The recognition of "critical periods of development" has altered the landscape of best practices in early years and hence the required competencies for professionals serving young children and their families. Concentrating on the ages 0-5 years provides students an opportunity to delve deeper into the growing plethora of interdisciplinary literature and resources available to the early childhood field. At the core of the major is the focus on quality services and programing for young children and families.

The ECS major utilizes a comprehensive approach to equipping students with knowledge in the foundation of child development and well-being, drawing from the fields of infant and early childhood mental health, interpersonal neurobiology, early childhood education, and early childhood special education. The major also aims to equip students with developmentally appropriate practices for nurturing curiosity and facilitating the development of creativity and appreciation of the arts during the early years.

In addition to a host of core Early Childhood Studies courses and liberal education requirements, students either select a minor, or recommended interdisciplinary electives offered by the early childhood program or other disciplines in the university.

Acquired Skills

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the skills needed to effectively support infant and early childhood mental health.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the skills needed to effectively support early childhood education.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the skills needed to effectively support children and families enrolled in and early childhood special education.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the skills and strategies needed to act as advocates on behalf of children and families.
  • Students will develop a personal philosophy that addresses working with children and families through an ethical and values informed lens.
  • Through taking electives in other areas students will demonstrate and understanding of the skills needed to support children in various settings other than in an education setting.

Career Possibilities

  • Early Childhood classroom teacher
  • Child Life Specialist (with additional coursework)
  • Early Childhood policy advocate
  • Criminologist (focused on child well-fare)
  • Social Services (focused on child well-fare)
  • Early Childhood Home Visiting Specialist
  • Early Childhood Trauma Informed care specialist
  • Head Start teacher (non-licensed)
  • Montessori teacher (with additional coursework)
  • Early Childhood Environmental Education teacher
  • Early Childhood Workforce specialist
  • Early Childhood Community Outreach/Advocate

Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data

Admissions and Scholarships

Students in CEHSP are eligible for more than 100 scholarships each academic year typically totaling $370,000 annually.  For more information on scholarship opportunities, visit the CEHSP scholarship webpage.

UMD's Education Department has over 25 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Scholarships vary in criteria and some are specifically for subject areas or students entering student teaching in the US or starting their student teaching abroad.

Faculty Highlights

  • Faculty participate in scholarly and service-based efforts at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Faculty have combined experience 100 years in Early Childhood, ECSE, infant mental health, administration, higher education, and family education.
  • Faculty have won campus and college awards for outstanding teaching, advising, and service.