Early Childhood Education B.A.

Undergraduates at UMass Amherst may major in education with a concentration on early childhood education, leading to Massachusetts initial licensure (PreK - 2) . Early childhood education students engage in a rigorous academic program as well as a carefully sequenced series of field experiences in diverse educational settings. They apply to the major once they have completed their prerequisites, generally in the spring of their sophomore year. Graduates have been very successful in securing teaching positions in public and private schools in Massachusetts as well in as other states.

Teacher reading book to young children

Course of Study

The major is 50 credits, 11-12 of which are field-based in schools. Students complete field experiences in a variety of settings and grade levels. Throughout their course of study, students also use the UMass-Tk20 online course management and e-portfolio system to keep an organized record of their pre-practicum and practicum work. 

Search education courses being offered.

Level 1 Core Courses (Junior Year)

Course Description Credits
EDUC 393M Introduction to Early Childhood 3
EDUC 282A  Pre-Practicum in ECE (taken concurrently with EDUC 393M) 1
EDUC 325 Introduction to Special Education 3
EDUC 428 Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood Curriculum 3
EDUC 461 Principles and Methods of Teaching Reading and the Language Arts 3
EDUC 482E School-Based Field Experience (taken concurrently with EDUC 461) 2
EDUC 463*  Principles and Methods of Mathematics PreK-6th 3
EDUC 490CE* Math/Science Methods Prek-2nd grade 3
EDUC 370 Writing for Education Majors (offered spring semester only) 3
EDUC 503 Sheltered English Immersion 3
  Total over both semesters 23-24

*Students must take either EDUC 463 or EDUC 490CE

Junior Year Elective Courses - 2 elective courses

Students are required to complete 2 electives; one focused on STEM and one focused on diversity.  Electives can be taken prior to admission into the Education major but must be completed by the end of the fall semester senior year.

STEM Electives    
Course Description Credits
EDUC 462 Principles and Methods of Teaching Science in Elementary School 3
EDUC 390D Digital Tools & Apps for 21st Century Students 3
EDUC 390F Teaching and Learning with Technology 3
EDUC 463 Principles/Methods of Mathematics PreK-6th Grade* 3
EDUC 490CE Math/Science Methods PreK-2nd Grade* 3
  *If not taken to meet the level I Core Course Requirement  
Diversity Electives    
EDUC 377 Intro to Multicultural Education 3
EDUC 210 Social Diversity in Education 3
EDUC 167 Education and Film 3
EDUC 115 Embracing Diversity 3
Sociol 103 Social Problems 3
Sociol 106 Race, Gender, Class & Ethnicity 3
Sociol 222 The Family 3
Sociol 224 Social Class and Inequality 3
Sociol 245 Race and Society 3

Students seeking licensure in Early Childhood Education (PreK-2) are advised to pass the Early Childhood and Foundations of Reading MTEL prior to the spring semester of their senior year to ensure they are eligible to license upon graduation.

Level 2 Clinical Courses and Field Experiences (Senior Year)

Course Description Credits
Fall Semester    
EDUC 455 Early Childhood Planning and Assessment 3
EDUC 598A ECE Practicum I: PreK-K (taken concurrently with EDUC 491D) 4
EDUC 491D Seminar Early Childhood Education (taken concurrently with EDUC 598A) 2
EDUC 301 Young Children in Families and Schools 3
  Total 12
Spring Semester    
EDUC 500Y OR EDUC 598B Student Teaching in 1st or 2nd Grade 9
EDUC 491D  Seminar in Early Childhood Education (taken concurrently with either EDUC 500Y OR EDUC 598B 3
EDUC 494EI The Professional Early Childhood Teacher (Integrative Experience) 3
  Total 15

Students seeking licensure in Early Childhood Education (PreK-2) are advised to pass the Early Childhood and Foundations of Reading MTEL prior to the spring semester of their senior year to ensure they are eligible to license upon graduation.

Subject Matter Knowledge - Early Childhood PreK-2 Teacher Candidates

Early childhood teacher candidates are expected to demonstrate the content knowledge needed to effectively support students in mastering the expectations as outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. This Includes content knowledge in the following broad areas:

  • English Language Arts
  • History and Social Science
  • Science and Technology/Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Digital Literacy and Computer Science
  • Child Development
  • Special Education*
  • English Language Learning*

Prior to admission to the Early Childhood Licensure Program, students should work with their advisor to carefully select general education and other courses that support development of this content knowledge. *Special education and English language learning content understanding are developed once student have been accepted to the major.

Academic and Advising forms

For information on academic and advising forms, please click here.

Academic Advising

Students apply to the program in the spring of their sophomore year and admitted in their junior year. Prior to admission, students who plan to apply receive advising from the Education Advising Center (Furcolo Hall). Once accepted, an Early Childhood Education faculty member will serve as the academic advisor.


Early childhood education concentration students complete a major in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Students apply to the program in the fall of their sophomore year and start the program in the fall of their junior year. 

Application Process 

The Application for Early Childhood Education is now closed   The Application will open in November 2023..  (Juniors will require an additional year to complete the program.)


Undergraduate Admissions Timeline:

Application due: January 15, 2023

Notify Applicants about Acceptance:  March

Commitment to the Program: Early April, 2023


  •  MATH 113, MATH 114, HUMDEV 270 with a B or better
  •  Although not required to apply, preference will be given to applicants who receive a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
  •  A minimum GPA of 3.0

Required Materials 

Criteria for admission include cumulative GPA, completion of prerequisites, Communication & Literacy MTEL, resume, and strength of the personal statement. Students interested in the Education major should seek advising through the Education Advising Center (education@umass.edu or 413-545-2231) in their freshman year.

MTEL Preparation Workshops

The College offers MTEL preparation workshops that help students develop skills and provide strategies to help manage your time and test anxiety.  MTEL workshops are free for UMass Amherst, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College.   Click here for registration information


This programs leads to initial teacher licensure in Massachusetts. Because of reciprocity agreements between states, you may be able to transfer your license to another state. However, the College of Education at UMass Amherst makes no guarantees that this program meets teacher licensure requirements in any state other than Massachusetts. If you are seeking licensure in another state, click on the link below for the program of your choice for more information.  For assistance in determining whether this program will be appropriate for you, send your inquiry to the program contact identified in the program description.  Access to your state’s licensing agency is available on the Teacher Licensure Agency Directory.

Contact Information

Please contact the Education Advising Center (education@umass.edu or 413-545-2231) for more information on the Education major.