Early Childhood & Family Studies

College of Education

The Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) major provides the opportunity to study early childhood development, early learning, and family studies from a variety of perspectives across a range of disciplines. The degree will prepare you for careers in early learning, childcare, policy, parent and family support and education, and social/mental health services. It is also a pathway to graduate studies in education, child and family studies, and other areas.
The ECFS major has developed two pathways for students to pursue in their degree program. The first pathway, ECFS Core, allows for the flexibility of integrating other areas of interest with the coursework in child development and family studies. The second pathway, the Teaching and Learning Option, is intended for students who wish to pursue a teaching position in preschools and other childhood settings or for those who plan to apply to a master’s in teaching or other teacher certification programs.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Teaching & Learning

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: April 15 for AUT; Consult department for WIN
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes