Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 3) Major - Bachelor of Science (BS)

The primary purpose of the Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 3) Program is to advance teaching and learning while preparing teacher leaders for a global society. Our teacher preparation program, in collaboration with our public school partners, contributes to the teaching profession by producing teachers who believe that all students have the ability to achieve high standards, who adapt their teaching to reach all students, and who respect the diversity of all students. We prepare teacher candidates to become teachers who ground curriculum in the lives of students; who embrace multicultural perspectives and uphold just teaching practices; value academically rigorous curriculum; and are culturally sensitive. Our graduates are reflective practitioners who continuously improve their abilities and are responsive to best practices.

Completion of the Early Childhood Education Program and associated benchmark assessments will lead to endorsement for the following Wisconsin teaching license:

  • Early Childhood - Regular Education, birth - grade 3 (2088).

Students in all teacher education programs must satisfy the School of Education (SOE) core requirements.

Students in all teacher education programs must be admitted to the School of Education in order to complete their program requirements and be eligible for endorsement for the appropriate teaching license(s). Students majoring in early childhood education (birth - grade 3) must meet specific program admission criteria.

Retention and advancement

Teacher candidates may be retained in their teacher education program provided they fulfill the conditions described in the SOE Retention Policy. Students must complete all course requirements and other benchmarks prior to student teaching as described in the Student Teaching and Internship Policy. Additional SOE program requirements, including the culminating assessment of pedagogical knowledge, are described on the SOE catalog page.


The Early Childhood Education Program is aligned with InTASC Teacher Standards and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards.

Required general education courses (21 credits)

Besides the courses specified below, early childhood education majors must satisfy additional general education requirements. The General Education Program requires a total of 42 credits.

EDS 203School, Society, and Teachers 1, 93
EDS 206Multicultural Education 2, 93
MTH 115Mathematics for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers I 33
MTH 116Mathematics for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers II 32
HIS 110World History 43
GEO 200Conservation of Global Environments 53
Physical science course from the GE Natural Lab Science list 64
Total Credits21

Recommended general education courses

PHY 106Physical Science for Educators 64
ART 302Visual Language in the Global Classroom 73
HED 207Youth Health Issues 83
One of the following:
Mathematics for Middle School Teachers I 3
Mathematics for Middle School Teachers II 3

Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Self and Society (GE Category 6).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Minority Cultures or Multiracial Women's Studies (GE Category 3).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Mathematical/Logical Systems and Modern Languages (GE Category 2). MTH 115 and MTH 116 must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: International and Multicultural Studies, World History (GE Category 4-1).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: International and Multicultural Studies, Global and Multicultural Studies (GE Category 4-2). Also satisfies a WI statutory requirement.


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Natural Laboratory Science (GE Category 5).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Arts (GE Category 8).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Health and Physical Well-Being (GE Category 9).

Professional courses not requiring admission to the School of Education (33 credits)

SPE 200Foundations of Special Education 93
TSL 250Educating Multilingual Learners3
EDS 308Foundations of Literacy3
EDS 309Teaching Global Perspectives Across the Curriculum3
EDS 311Curriculum and Pedagogy: Elementary/Middle Education3
EDS 318Literacy Methods I3
ECE 214Child Growth and Development for ECE: Birth-Age 3 93
ECE 215Child Growth and Development for ECE: Ages 4-8 (PK-Grade 3) 93
ECE 316Early Childhood Administration, Advocacy, and Leadership3
ECE 330Social and Emotional Foundations of Learning3
ECE 335Learning with Nature3
Total Credits33

Professional courses requiring admission to the School of Education (45 credits)

SPE 300Designing Sustainable Inclusive Classrooms3
ECE 435Creative Arts and Play in ECE3
ECE 442Emergent Literacy and Language Development in Young Children3
Pre-field block courses (must be taken concurrently)
ECE 413Teaching Social Studies: Early Childhood/Elementary Education3
ECE 418Literacy Methods II: Early Childhood/Elementary Education3
Field I block courses (must be taken concurrently)
ECE 415Field Experience I in Early Childhood Education: Grades K-3 93
ECE 421Science Methods: Early Childhood/Elementary Education 93
ECE 422Mathematics Methods: Early Childhood/Elementary Education 92
Field II block courses (must be taken concurrently)
ECE 424Curriculum and Assessment for Preschool-Kindergarten 94
ECE 455Field Experience II in Early Childhood Education: Birth-Kindergarten 93
ECE 460School, Family and Community Partnerships 93
Student teaching semester 10
EDS 492Student Teaching Seminar 91
One of the following: 911
Student Teaching: Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 3)
Teaching Internship
Total Credits45

Also satisfies an SOE core requirement.


Must complete all course requirements and other benchmarks prior to student teaching. For more information, please see the Student Teaching and Internship Policy.

Additional teacher education requirements are listed on the School of Education catalog page.

All teacher education students must complete the general education, School of Education, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with 15 or fewer credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy-Written)3CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Oral)3
EDS 203 (Gen Ed Self & Society)3EDS 206 (Gen Ed Minority Cultures)3
MTH 115 (Gen Ed Math/Logical Systems)3MTH 116 (Gen Ed Math/Logical Systems)2
FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3GEO 200 (Gen Ed Global Studies)3
HIS 110 (Gen Ed World History)3Gen Ed Humanistic Studies3
 Gen Ed Arts12-3
 15 16
Year 2
EDS 3083SPE 2003
EDS 3093EDS 3113
ECE 2143EDS 3183
TSL 2503ECE 2153
Gen Ed Natural Lab Science-Physical24Gen Ed Math/Language/Logical Systems42
Apply for admission to SOE3  
 16 14
Year 3
ECE 4133SPE 3003
ECE 4183ECE 4153
ECE 4423ECE 4213
ECE 3353ECE 4222
ECE 3303ECE 3163
Apply for Field Experience I5 Gen Ed Arts12-3
 Apply for Field Experience II5 
 Apply for Student Teaching6 
 15 16
Year 4
ECE 4553All course requirements and other benchmarks must be completed prior to student teaching.8 
ECE 4603EDS 4921
ECE 4244EDS 49011
ECE 4353 
Gen Ed Health & Well-Being73 
 16 12
Total Credits: 120

ART 302 is recommended. 


PHY 106 is recommended.


See the SOE admissions website for complete admission and application details. Students are required to complete a criminal background check at the time of application for admission.


MTH 215 or MTH 216 recommended.


Students applying for field and student teaching placements will be asked to disclose any criminal charges.


Students must apply for student teaching through the Office of Field Experience one year prior to the student teaching semester.


HED 207 is recommended.


For more information, please see the Student Teaching and Internships Policy.