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Major in Early Childhood Studies

Download the Early Childhood Major Program Information Packet


The Early Childhood Studies Department is no longer accepting applications to join the major for Fall 2017. Please check back in January 2018.

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The Early Childhood Studies major will be impacted starting Fall 2017. Please check the Impaction Criteria at SSU Admissions Impacted Major Criteria for First Time Freshmen. First Time Freshmen applying for Fall of 2017 will be informed about their admission status to the ECS major by March of 2017.

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies provides students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with children in early childhood (birth to age 8). Students will study multi-disciplinary theories, research, and best practices in early care and education, with an emphasis on socio-cultural factors that affect learning and development. They will learn how to use theories and research from anthropology, child development, education, health, psychology, sociology, and multicultural studies to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of diverse young children. Students will study the science of assessing children’s growth and development, and they will acquire skills in effectively communicating these findings to families and community partners. The program will also focus on preparing professionals to be leaders and advocates on behalf of all children and families.

link to ECS Undergrad Handbook

The B.A. with a major in Early Childhood Studies requires that you complete a total of 120 units. Units fall into the following categories:

  • 50 GE Units (For more information on GE units, see Sonoma State University 50-Unit GE Pattern Worksheet.)
  • 43 Major Units (37 Core + 6 ECS Electives)
  • 27-36 Units of Electives from across the University (Depends on how many courses double-count towards the major and GE.)

The program offers two concentrations:

1. The Early Childhood Education concentration prepares students for a career in an early education setting including:

  • Infant, toddler, and preschool teacher
  • Administrator of an early education program
  • Support services in agencies that serve young children and families
  • Elementary teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Multiple Subject credential program)
  • Special education teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Special Education credential program).

2. The Early Childhood Development concentration prepares students for a career working with young children and families in non-education settings. Students work with an advisor to prepare for a career in entry-level positions in social services or for graduate school in counseling, social work, child life specialist, etc.

Additional information about the Early Childhood Studies Department and the School of Education can be found at www.sonoma.edu/education.

For questions about this major, or if you wish to meet with an advisor about the Early Childhood Studies major, please visit the ECS Advising page.

For additional information about the program see the Early Childhood Major Program Information Packet.