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 offers the Teaching and Learning pathway 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)

Early Childhood and Family Studies, Teaching and Learning is a capacity-constrained major. An additional application is required after you enroll at the UW, and admission may be competitive. Visit the department website for more information.

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).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: April 15 for autumn; October 15 for winter
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.

Admission is based on the following criteria:

  1. ECFS 200 SSc with a 2.0 minimum grade
  2. English Composition with a 2.0 minimum grade
  3. GPA minimum for UW coursework: 2.50 cumulative. For transfer students, GPA minimum for community college coursework: 2.50 cumulative
  4. Admission essays (3, 250 word prompts)

Courses required for the major:

  • ECFS 200 SSc – Intro to Early Childhood and Family Studies
  • English Composition


  • The ECFS Teaching and Learning Major requires ECFS 200 Intro to Early Childhood and Family Studies to be completed for a student to be fully admitted to the major. Transfer students who select ECFS as their major on their UW Admissions application will have a seat in ECFS 200 held for them.
  • If you have questions about the application process and requirements, please attend an Undergraduate Majors and Minor Information Session. See the College of Education calendar for upcoming dates.
  • For an online-only track, see the Early Care & Education website.

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 99
Total from Washington community colleges: 14

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 6
3.50 – 3.74: <5
3.25 – 3.49: <5
3.00 – 3.24: <5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes