Major in Early Childhood

Download the Early Childhood Major Program Information Packet (For students who declared the major prior to Fall 2020)

Download the Early Childhood Major Program Information Packet (For students declaring the major in Fall 2020 or later)

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.

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:

  • 48-50 GE Units (For more information on GE units, see Sonoma State University GE Pattern)
  • 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.
  2. The Early Childhood Development concentration prepares students for a career working with young children and families in non-education settings.



Students wishing to add the Early Childhood Major or Minor are required to have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5.

Declaring the Early Childhood Studies Major

If you wish to apply for the Early Childhood Studies major, please take the following steps:

  1. Ensure your GPA is 2.5 or higher.
  2. Pick up a "Change of Major" form from the School of Education Office or Admissions and Records (2nd floor of Salazar Hall).
    • Students must declare a concentration in Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Education when the ECS major is declared. Please see your ECS major advisor for more information about the concentrations.
  3. Schedule an appointment with the Early Childhood Studies Major Advisor.
  4. Bring the above documents with you to your advising meeting.

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.