Meet Your Major

As an education major concentrating in early childhood education (PreK-2), you’ll gain the expertise, skills and confidence to teach young children.

Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our programs provide you with the training required to earn your state teaching license in early childhood education. Bonus? Through hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll develop your education philosophy, create a portfolio and hone your classroom-management skills.

In the early-childhood education program, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of how young children develop and learn.
  • Gain practical experience teaching the all-important foundation topics of reading, math and science.
  • Build your expertise by choosing from a wide variety of electives, including cultural diversity in the schools, children’s literature and comparative politics.

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Hands-On Learning

100% of education majors participate in at least one practicum. You’ll gain invaluable classroom experience during your pre-practicum and practicum student-teaching. It’s your chance to take what you’ve learned at Merrimack and apply it at one of the many schools in the area.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the education program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue a career in education. Positions may include:

  • Nursery school, kindergarten or first-grade teacher
  • Guidance counselor
  • School administrator

What You’ll Take

All early-childhood education majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy human-development, teacher-education, and subject matter knowledge requirements. Of the 124 credits required for your degree, you must complete 24 credits of human development courses, 48 credits of teacher education courses, and 24 credits of subject matter knowledge courses in addition to a semester of student teaching.

You must have a minimum of a 3.00 GPA in your required courses prior to entering your student-teaching semester. To graduate with a degree in early-childhood education and teach in Massachusetts, you must also pass the MTELs.

Courses in the School of Education and Social Policy are scheduled to account for instructional time that is commensurate with credits earned.

Required Courses

Human Development Core (complete all four)

BIO 1106

Human Biology

HDE 2130

Diversity, Social Justice and Ethics

HDE 1000

Introduction to Human Development

HDE 3000

Research Methods and Applied Statistics in Human Development


Human Development Electives (choose one)

EDU 2230

Applied Adolescent Psychology

EDU 2240 

Adult Development

EDU 3200

Language and Social Processes

EDU 4500

Curriculum Design Across All Content Areas for Children with Moderate Disabilities

HDE 1050

Applied Infancy Development

PSY 3340

Developmental Psychopathology

PSY 3380

Psychology of Aging

SOC 3850

Sociology of Aging 


Teaching and Education (complete all of the following)

EDU 2210

Child Growth and Development

EDU 2310

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

EDU 2410

The Exceptional Learner

EDU 3210

Psychology of Learning and Assessment

EDU 3310

Teaching Reading and Language Arts

EDU 3340

Teaching Mathematics and Technology

EDU 3360

Teaching Science, Health and Physical Education

EDU 4220

Differentiation and Instruction

EDU 4221

Positive Learning Environments and Behavior Interventions

EDU 4320

Teaching Social Studies

EDU 4340

Children’s Literature

EDU 4500

Language Acquisition and Literacy Development

EDU 4582

Sheltered English Instruction

EDU 2500

Pre-Practicum I

EDU 2510

Pre-Practicum II 

EDU 2520

Pre-Practicum III

EDU 4905 

Practicum: Early Childhood Education, plus and Seminar 

EDU 4920

Seminar: Practicum Organization

EDU 4921

Seminar: Practicum Implementation


Electives I (choose one)

CRM 2000      

Youth, Deviance and Crime

HDE 3620

Diversity in Practice with Families and Communities

HDE 4260

Foundations of Counseling Across Professions

PSY 3250

Cultural Psychology

SOC 3330

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

SOC 3450

Sociology of the Family

WGS 1010

Gender and Society

WGS 2010

Intro to Ethnic Studies


Electives II (choose seven, as outlined)

American Civilization: 

  • HIS 1106 U.S. History I

Literature (choose one):

  • ENG 1550 Major American Authors
  • ENG 2050 Introduction to Literary Studies

Math (complete all):

  • MTE 1410 Foundations of Mathematics I
  • MTE 1411 Algebraic Thinking for Educators
  • MTH 1412 Foundations of Mathematics II


  • STM 1010 Introduction to STEM  

World Civilization (choose one): 

  • HIS 1119 Euro Experience: Antiquity to Reformation
  • POL 1500 Comparative Politics