Early Childhood Education (B.A.)


Learn to work with children from birth to age 8 by majoring in early childhood education. In class, you’ll discover how children develop during their early years, which will help prepare you to educate them from birth to third grade. Our program emphasizes diverse experiences and populations with a focus on early literacy and early mathematical and scientific development. From the moment you step on campus, you'll gain field experience in numerous areas that will help you hone your teaching skills. In addition, University partnerships with several local school districts will give you necessary hands-on experience with different populations. Your classes will range from infant and toddler development to methods courses in major areas — such as literacy, math, science, language arts, social studies and curriculum. We encourage all our students to develop a global perspective by participating in cross-cultural experiences.


  • The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly NCATE, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
  • Before starting your student teaching, you'll have 91 hours more of additional field work than the state requires.
  • Our 72-day student teaching internship exceeds the state's certification requirements for student teaching by 12 days.
  • Our faculty are recognized experts in early childhood because of their teaching, research and service activities.
  • With a wide range of experiences and interests represented, our faculty present unique perspectives of the profession.


Our goal is for you to develop and apply a home-school-community perspective with an appreciation of diverse family structures, customs and beliefs. We want you to understand child development and curricular applications for infants, toddlers, and preschool and primary child populations.

After gaining an appreciation of the field’s history and how it has evolved, you’ll be prepared to analyze and critically examine different curricular models and approaches and the theoretical and applied elements of each. You’ll become familiar with early learning standards at the state and national levels, and will develop appropriate instructional and assessment plans and strategies for children from infancy through third grade.

Time will be spent developing your skills to accommodate English language learners and students with special needs. In addition, you’ll learn to recognize the importance of early intervention, IFSPs, IEPs and co-teaching with other professionals.

When you graduate, you’ll leave Clemson with knowledge about integrated content and teaching strategies in mathematics, science, social studies, reading and language arts, and creativity. You’ll be able to apply appropriate principles of assessment and develop diverse methods of assessment. In addition, you’ll be prepared to engage in diverse practicum experiences and complete relevant assignments and field-based requirements to meet certification in early childhood education in South Carolina.

Popular Minors

  • Modern Languages (Spanish)
  • Psychology
  • Sociology


The College of Education is committed to providing all students with purposeful, challenging and diverse experiences. It is through a range of diverse, carefully constructed and challenging classroom-based instruction and field-based experiences that students will recognize the inherent dignity and value of all individuals, promote equity in education and advocate on behalf of children, families and communities.

 Participate in research projects such as the
 Clemson is the S.C. training site for Reading Recovery, coordinating training and professional development for the program's teachers and leaders. Students can volunteer with children in the program and listen to them read.
 The South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children provides students with opportunities for professional development. Members of the student chapter also receive reduced conference costs.
 The Reggio Emilia Study Abroad program provides students with the chance to live with an Italian family, study beginning Italian, learn the program's history and elements, take tours of Italian cities and gain cultural experiences.
 Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society dedicated to scholarship and excellence in education. The organization fosters mutual cooperation, support and professional growth for educational professionals.
 The International Literacy Association Student Council's purpose is to promote reading and reading instruction and to allow preservice teachers to join a professional organization. Members are University students, faculty and staff.



Your college decision isn't really about the next four years. We get it. It's about what doors are opened by your degree and whether those opportunities are what you had envisioned for yourself. Here's a snapshot of what life after graduation looks like for some of our most recent students.


  • Kindergarten Teacher

    Anderson School District 5, S.C.

  • Kindergarten Teacher

    Greenville County Schools, S.C.

  • Kindergarten Teacher

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.

  • First grade Teacher

    Anderson School District 1, S.C.


  • M.Ed. Teaching and Learning

    Clemson University

  • M.S. Child Life

    University of Georgia

  • M.Ed. Special Education

    University of Georgia


    • Most graduates go on to teach in the state and region, while some continue with graduate education.
    • Pre-K Programs
    • Kindergarten through third grade


Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Valerie Oonk

Academic Adviser