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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Early Childhood Education

Whether you are a seasoned educator or new to the field, this online bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in early childhood education will help you develop the knowledge you need to open your own child care center, become a preschool educator, or advance your career within public or private child care programs such as Head Start, YMCA, 4-H, scouting, and a variety of preschools and afterschool programs.  

Through the UWW Interdisciplinary Studies, you can also tailor your degree to your professional interests with online courses in multicultural education, early childhood curriculum, reading, math and science methods, inclusion, and children's behavior and behavior management. 

Program Benefits 

  • You’re in the Driver’s Seat: Design your own degree concentration through your perfect mix of 100% online courses, and optional blended, or on-campus offerings to fit your busy life. Plus, most of our courses are asynchronous, meaning you can complete them on your schedule. 
  • Accelerate Your Degree: Bring in or earn up to 105 credits for your prior coursework, prior learning, and life and work experience to accelerate your degree, saving you time and money. 
  • Cross Disciplinary Boundaries: Craft your individualized degree concentration to suit your goals and interests, from taking online courses in arts management to run an arts-based preschool program, to focusing on online business courses to study early childhood education administration. 
  • Community College Friendly: Learn about the Mass Transfer Gen Ed Foundation and benefit from our 50-year history of support for community college students
  • Scholarships for Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators: If you live and work as an early childhood educator in Massachusetts, you may qualify for a state scholarship. 
  • Attention Montessori Teachers: You can even earn degree credit for your Montessori trainings.
  • Boston Children's Hospital and Mass General Brigham employees: Receive a 10% discount and more. Learn more about how you can benefit from our employer partnerships

Your Future in Early Childhood Education 

While this is not a teacher licensure program, we may be able to help you prepare for provisional licensure in the state of Massachusetts. Also, if you work in a Massachusetts community-based early education center, each center has specific requirements for each level of certification (Infant-toddler Teacher, Infant-toddler Lead Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Preschool Lead Teacher, Director I, and Director II). Please contact your Supervisor or Human Resources Office to determine what coursework would benefit you. 

Our staff member Jesse Lederman would be happy to help you identify the state board or agency you will need to contact to determine if our program meets your state’s early education and care licensure requirements.

Flexible, Cross-Disciplinary Courses 

You will study with distinguished instructors at the College of Education, the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, and other related departments.

To give you an idea of the types of online early childhood education and related courses that you could choose from, here is a sampling offered over the past few years.  Want to build a degree concentration in Early Childhood Education Administration? Add business courses.