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Early Childhood Education Certificate

Do you have a desire to strengthen individuals, families, and communities? WSU’s online certificate in early childhood education develops your understanding of how a variety of educational approaches, social policies, and prevention/intervention strategies influence the development of children, youth, and families.

The online early childhood education certificate addresses the complex ways in which child development is influenced by biological, family, neighborhood, school, and community factors, and how this knowledge can be applied to designing innovative and effective programs for young children and their families. This certificate is ideal for students pursuing a degree in human development who would like to specialize in early childhood.

The certificate is only available to students living in Washington state who are currently working on a Human Development degree, and who have satisfied the necessary prerequisites.

Program of study
Transfer Credits


Potential Careers

The early childhood education certificate prepares students for careers in institutions and settings that focus on young children. Graduates have been employed at child care centers, pre-school settings, Child Protective Services, and crisis nurseries.

early learning grad student
Watch a video of a graduate explaining the program


Program of Study

Required (28 semester credits)
All courses are 3 semester credits, unless noted.
Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 in those courses that count toward the certificate.
Courses must be taken in the order listed below.

Core Courses:
(6 semester credits)

  • HD 306 – Child Development
  • HD 204 – Family Interactions

Specialized Courses:
(22 semester credits)

  • HD 235 – Introduction to Early Childhood Programs
  • HD 302 – Parent-Child Relationships (Prereq: Sophomore standing)
  • HD 341 – Guidance in Early Childhood (Prereq: HD 306)
  • HD 342 – Curriculum for Early Childhood Programs (4 credits with community based practicum; Prereq: HD 235; HD 341)
  • HD 497 – Professional Preparation for Internship (3 credits; Prereq: junior standing)
  • HD 482 [M] – Child Assessment and Evaluation (Prereq: HD 306; junior standing)
  • HD 446 – Practicum in Early Childhood Programs (6 credits with community based practicum; Prereq: HD 342)

Once all courses are completed, students can download the form to apply for the Early Childhood Education Certificate here.


Transfer Credits

The maximum number of credit hours earned at other institutions that may apply towards a WSU certificate shall not exceed ¼ of the total number of credit hours required for the certificate. 



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