Early Childhood Education | Age 3 - Grade 3

major | UF Online

The Early Childhood Education major prepares students to teach at the pre-kindergarten level through grade 3.

About this Program

  • College: Education
  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • Credits for Degree: 120
  • Contact: 1.855.99GATOR
  • More Info

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

Students in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies are uniquely positioned to learn from leaders in the field while simultaneously applying that learning in individually relevant professional settings.



P.O. Box 117050


The Early Childhood Education major prepares students to become educators of young children. With a universal design and instructional practices for all learners, the program prepares students with the necessary content and skills to teach diverse children, with and without disabilities, within an inclusive environment. The program integrates knowledge and skills for working with young children and families from culturally, linguistically, ability, and economically diverse backgrounds.

This major is a professional teacher preparation program, approved by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Graduates of the major are prepared for professional certification in Prekindergarten/Primary (Age 3 - Grade 3) with endorsements in Prekindergarten Disabilities, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and Reading.

In addition to teaching young children, graduates of this program may also pursue careers as teaching coaches for early childhood programs or as childcare program administrators. 

Coursework for the Major

This is a limited access major with selective admission to the upper-division program in Fall semesters only.  Students must accumulate 60 credits and meet all Semester 4 critical tracking requirements to be a candidate for admission.  The college admissions committee will consider an applicant’s entire record, including educational objectives, quality of courses completed, criminal or disciplinary actions, and test date.  The application period is February through April for the following Fall semester. An approved applicant would be assigned a course schedule and field placement schedule in Semester 5-8.  

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.


  • Complete coursework with minimum grades of C
  • 2.0 UF GPA required


  • Complete coursework with minimum grades of C
  • Complete 1 of 3 critical-tracking courses: EDF 1005 or EDF 2085 or EME 2040
  • 2.3 UF GPA required


  • Complete coursework with minimum grades of C
  • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course
  • 2.6 UF GPA required


  • Complete coursework with minimum grades of C
  • Complete all 3 critical-tracking courses with a 3.0 critical-tracking GPA
  • Complete all General Education requirements
  • Complete the university Writing Requirement
  • Document passing general knowledge test scores from the FTCE series. Please see audit and/or advisor to determine which test to take.
  • 2.6 UF GPA required

Students cannot register for courses in semesters 5-8 before program admission, which is competitive and available in Fall semesters only. Students should meet with the admissions coordinator in 1002 Norman Hall to complete an application for admission in February of their sophomore year.


  • Complete all required courses with no grade below C
  • 3.0 upper-division GPA required
  • 2.6 UF GPA required


  • Complete all required courses with no grade below C
  • 3.0 upper-division GPA


  • Complete all required courses with no grade below C
  • Document passing Prekindergarten/Primary subject area exam scores from the FTCE series
  • 3.0 upper-division GPA


  • Complete all required courses with no grade below C
  • Earn acceptable ratings for all Florida Educator Accomplished Practices
  • Document a passing score on the professional education test from the FTCE series
  • 3.0 upper-division GPA

For electives, students are encouraged to select courses that will strengthen their knowledge of the content areas of literature, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics.

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
State Core Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences 3
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement: 6,000 words 3
State Core Gen Ed Mathematics 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Semester Two
EDF 1005 Introduction to Education (Critical Tracking) 3
Select one: 3
Human Growth and Development (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Developmental Psychology (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences; PSY 2012 is a prerequisite)
Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement: 6,000 words 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Gen Ed Mathematics 3
Semester Three
EDF 2085 Teaching Diverse Populations (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and Diversity) 3
Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences 3
Elective (Gen Ed Diversity or International) or a foreign language 3
Elective (Writing Requirement: 6,000 words) 3
Elective 3
Semester Four
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Biological or Physical or Social Sciences) 3
EME 2040 Introduction to Educational Technology (Critical Tracking) 3
Elective (Gen Ed International) 3
Elective (Writing Requirement: 6,000 words) 3
Elective 3
Semester Five
EDF 3122 The Young Child 3
EEC 3012 Intro to Early Childhood Educa 3
EEC 3404 Families, Diversity, and Multicultural Considerations in Early Childhood 3
EEC 3941 Practicum in Early Childhood Education (The first practicum may be taken Semester Five or Six.) 2
EEC 4712 Social-Emotional Learning and Behavior Support in Early Childhood 4
Semester Six
EDF 3433 Introduction to Educational Measurement and Evaluation 2
EEC 3213 Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood 3
EEC 3941 Practicum in Early Childhood Education (The second practicum may be taken Semester Six or the Summer after Semester Six.) 3
EEC 4252 Inclusive Early Childhood Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment I 3
EEX 4294 Differentiated Instruction 3
Summer After Semester Six
EEC 3421 Early Childhood Math, Science, and Technology 6
Semester Seven
EEC 4253 Inclusive EC Curriculum II 3
EEC 4945 Internship in Early Childhood 4
RED 3309 Emergent Literacy and Beginning Reading Instruction 3
TSL 4324 ESOL Strategies for Content Area Teachers 3
Semester Eight
EEC 4247 Integrated Humanities, Social Studies, and the Arts 3
EEC 4942 Practicum in Early Literacy 3
EEC 4945 Internship in Early Childhood 6
 Total Credits120

Passing score on all subtests of the FTCE general knowledge, subject area exam in prekindergarten (age3-grade 3) and professional education test are required for completion of the bachelor's degree.


Degree completion confers recommendation for:

  • Pre-K/Primary (age 3-grade 3) Certification
  • ESOL Endorsement
  • Pre-K Disabilities Endorsement
  • Reading Endorsement

The Early Childhood Education degree prepares students for certification eligibility in order to teach Pre-Kindergarten to Primary Grade Three in the state of Florida. This undergraduate program develops the foundation knowledge and skills for effective planning, teaching, and evaluating young children’s learning and development.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Pass the General Knowledge Test, the Professional Education Test, and PreK - Primary Subject Area Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination.
  • Demonstrate mastery of effective teaching practices by meeting Florida Educator Accomplished Practices 1-6, as determined by multiple instructors across the program.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major will Learn To

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)


  1. Demonstrate competency for children, age three to grade three, in child development, contemporary research in early childhood, cultural and linguistic diversity, strategies for engaging families, developmentally appropriate instructional practices, special services for children, screening and assessment, safety, and mental and physical health.
  2. Create, select and implement specific learning goals, appropriate teaching methods and instructional materials and evaluation strategies aligned with goals, using knowledge of children and developmentally appropriate practices.

Critical Thinking

  1. Critically evaluate your own instructional effectiveness to plan future lessons and improve your teaching of all students over time.


  1. Effectively communicate with students, including students whose home language is not standard English, as well as parents and other school personnel.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
EDF 3122 I I
EDF 3433 R I
EEC 3213 I
EEC 3404 I I
EEC 3941 A R R
EEC 4252 I I
EEC 4712 I
EEC 4942 R
EEC 4253 R
EEC 4945 A R A
EEX 4294 R I
RED 3309 I A
TSL 4324 R R R


  • UF Literacy Initiative (UFLI) project (RED 3309)
  • Practica & Internship Evaluation (EEC 3941 & EEC 4945)
  • Florida Teaching Certification (FTCE) General Knowledge, PreK - Primary, and Professional Education Tests (EEC 4945)