What is this major?

The Early Childhood and Family Studies major is designed to give students the opportunity to study the fields of early childhood development, early learning, and family studies from a variety of perspectives. Students will take coursework that is specifically developed for the major, as well as take courses from other departments across the University. Students may enter the major during their freshmen, sophomore, or in the first quarter of their junior year, and may begin participating in fieldwork and/or research each quarter during their Junior and Senior years.

This major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

How do I apply?

Application materials are submitted online and are accepted in Autumn and Spring quarters each year. Please visit this web page for detailed admissions information.

When should I apply?

Students will generally apply during their freshman or sophomore year for enrollment in the major beginning in their sophomore or junior year. Students are encouraged to meet with an ECFS adviser prior to applying. The adviser will assist in making course selections that meet both General Education and ECFS requirements. Transfer students need to be aware that there are two application processes required for direct admission to ECFS. Please visit this website for more information. 

Are there any prerequisites?

No, the ECFS Major does not require students to have completed coursework in education or early learning. Current UW students are encouraged to complete ECFS 200 as an avenue to explore the breadth of major and the professional field of early learning. Many required and elective courses are open to non-majors and we encourage you to enroll in these courses while also completing your general education classes. Transfer students are not required to have prior coursework in early learning. Transfer students who complete a DTA degree from a Washington community college are the most competitive for admission, these degrees may or may not include early learning coursework. As with choosing any major, we encourage you to seek out your paid or volunteer positions that help you learn more about working with young children and families.

What do I do if I plan to transfer to the UW?

There are several resources for prospective transfer students. The UW Transfer Student Portal is a central resource for a wide range of services and information specific to transfer students. It is recommended to attend a Transfer Thursday to find out about being prepared for successfully getting admitted to UW. Getting admitted to UW and getting admitted to the ECFS Major requires two application processes. You must follow the UW transfer student application process and deadline and the ECFS Major's application process and deadlines in order to be directly admitted as an ECFS Major. 

How do I find an adviser?

Academic advisers are available to answer questions for prospective students and current UW students. Advisers are available during drop-in (no appt required) and scheduled appointments. For location, hours, and scheduling, please visit this webpage

What courses can be used as electives?

The current list of electives is available on the Courses webpage. New electives are offered each year as faculty develop new coursework in their area of expertise. 

Is there a fieldwork (service learning, practicum) requirement?

Yes, the major requires students to complete service-learning as a part of the program. Details on these experiences and requirements can be found on the Service Learning webpage. 

How do I arrange for my fieldwork/service learning?

The Early Childhood and Family Studies major works with the assistance of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center to help students in locating fieldwork placements, contacting the location, and creating a schedule. Service learning placements will be finalized in the second week of each quarter. Students will be expected to be at their fieldwork placements 3-5 hours per week.

What jobs are available for people who graduate with this major?

A bachelor's degree with a major in ECFS prepares students for positions in social service agencies/mental health, early learning programs, child care centers, parent and family support programs and research. 

Will I be able to get into graduate school with this major?

An ECFS undergraduate major may also serve as a pathway for students interested in graduate studies in education, speech and hearing sciences, occupational therapy, special education, nutrition, psychology, social work and other related fields. Students who plan to go to graduate school should obtain graduate school admissions requirements relevant to their proposed field of study. ECFS academic advisers serve as a resource for students to help identify an effective strategy to gain admission to a graduate program.

Will I be a certified teacher when I complete this major?

No. You will not complete student teaching or other requirements for certification as a teacher. At the present time, most early learning programs (including Head Start and ECEAP) do not require certification. 

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