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Early Childhood Development Undergraduate Certificate

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

Help young children take their first steps toward a positive, learning-filled life.

If you enjoy working with children and would like a career in an educational setting for young children, this certificate will give you the qualifications you need. It will prepare you to make a difference in the life of a child.

After completing the certificate in Early Childhood Education, students will demonstrate knowledge of social, emotional, cognitive, language, motor, and physical development of young children in the family and preschool contexts through course assignments and field placements. They will apply their knowledge of how young children learn in the creation and preparation of educational activities in inclusive environments.

Students will differentiate between the different domains of development, explain how the domains of development are interconnected, and apply that knowledge when working with young children.

Young child learning to read.

There are 15 credit hours in the Early Childhood Development certificate program. You can enroll in the certificate program without prior college coursework, or a degree. The specialized curriculum will prepare you for many careers that make a difference in the lives of young children and their families.

The Certificate is designed for early childhood teachers and providers, Head Start teachers, and others who work with young children from birth to three years of age. Students will engage in field experiences with preschoolers and young school-age children where their knowledge of early childhood development will be applied in the classroom setting.

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Early Childhood Development Undergraduate Certificate Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Applicants should have a minimum 2.0 GPA. They must complete the online application and submit official transcripts for all previous institutions they attended or their official high school transcript if fewer than 20 college credits completed.

Application Requirements

  • Apply with the Online Application
    • Type of Student (please select the correct one):
      • Freshman (if you are a first time college freshman);
      • Transfer (if you have attended any other college or university after high school);
      • Readmit (if you have previously been enrolled at West Virginia University);
      • Change of Campus (if you are currently enrolled at WVU Morgantown, WVU Potomac State College or WVU Institute of Technology)
    • Program Applying To: Child Development and Family Studies B.S.
    • Start Term: The term you would like to begin the program
  • Pay undergraduate application fee
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU), or high school transcripts if fewer than 20 college credits and send to:
    WVU Office of Admissions
    PO Box 6009
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6009
  • After you submit your application for admission, please email Ashley Martucci with your full name and that your application is for the Early Childhood Development undergraduate certificate.

The certificate can be completed alone or within a degree program.

Apply Now

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Visit Student Financial Support & Services for additional information.

The tuition rate per credit hour listed above is for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition and fees increase beginning in the fall term of each academic year.

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your future in Early Child Development

The Early Childhood Development Undergraduate Certificate will prepare you to work with babies and toddlers in preschools, daycare centers, community centers, healthcare settings, or in nonprofits or social service agencies.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

The certificate program is free standing and is not attached to a degree in Child Development and Family Studies. However, credit hours earned in the Early Childhood Development certificate may be applied to degree requirements for those students who want to pursue a degree in this field.

Students will engage in field experiences with preschoolers and young school-age children where their knowledge of early childhood development will be applied in the classroom setting.

Pursuing your degree online gives you the flexibility to earn your degree while working full-time and/or managing family and personal responsibilities.

Career Outlook for Early Childhood Development

There are many exciting and rewarding careers that early childhood educators can have, depending on the size and type of organization they work for. Here are just a few examples:

  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Childcare Worker
  • Education Counselor
  • Preschool Teacher

As you can see, the job titles, roles, and leadership opportunities for early childhood educators are wide-ranging, which makes this field even more exciting!

Whether you’ve worked with young children for many years already and want to improve your skills, or you would like to enter the early childhood education field, an online Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Development education can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed.

Required Courses

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 110 Families Across the Life Span 3
CDFS 212 Development in Early and Middle Childhood 3
CDFS 316 Child Development Practicum 3
CDFS 430 Best Practices in Pre-K Movement 3
CDFS 491A Professional Field Experience 3

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of jobs can I get with an early childhood development undergraduate certificate?

As our society continues to expand and evolve, so too does the need for early childhood development educators who are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. An online undergraduate certificate in early childhood development can give you the skills you need to succeed in today's educational field.

Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth in the early childhood development education field to be 18% through 2030, which is much faster than all occupations.

Is an undergraduate certificate in Early Childhood Development worth it?

Earning your Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Development means more professional opportunities, higher earning potential, and obtaining an advanced skill set that is in demand across a wide range of educational settings.

How do I get a career in Early Childhood Development?

Early childhood development educators in the United States have different education and training requirements, based on settings and state regulations. Earning your Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Development improves your teaching effectiveness and expands your career opportunities.

What are the career options in Early Childhood Development?

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Early Childhood Development Undergraduate Certificate degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

Child, Family and School Social Worker
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Childcare Worker
Projected Growth: 2-3% *Bright Outlook

Elementary School Teacher
Projected Growth: 2-3% *Bright Outlook

Kindergarten Teacher
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Special Education Teacher - Kindergarten
Projected Growth: 2-3% *Bright Outlook

Preschool and Childcare Program
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

How long will it take to earn my Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Development online?

It will take as little as two years to complete the program’s required 15 credit hours. Since it is online, students can take their time with each course based on availability.

Is an online Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Development respected?

The Early Childhood Development Undergraduate Certificate curriculum is aligned with the advanced teaching standards and incorporates the West Virginia Core Knowledge and Core Competencies and the West Virginia Early Standards Framework: Early Learning Standards in order to include the most recent requirements set forth by West Virginia agencies responsible for preschool children.

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