Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Studies

Help young children from all backgrounds thrive and meet vital developmental milestones during the early years of their lives. 

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Use Your Expertise to Support Families and Their Young Children

The early years of a child’s life are crucial. As they go through rapid developmental phases, children and their families need the support and insight of experts who understand how children learn and grow. California Baptist University’s innovative Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Studies program trains you to be a competent professional skilled in understanding children’s cognitive, social, emotional, perceptual-motor and spiritual development. 

With a Christ-focused approach, the early childhood studies degree transforms you into a leader and equips you with the skills and strategies to make a lasting impact in early intervention, research and early childhood advocacy.

57 Units

*42-57 Units

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1 Optional Concentration
14 Required Major Courses

Why Major in Early Childhood Studies at CBU?

The BA in Early Childhood Studies is a relational major based on serving the local community and connecting with children and their families to provide support and share God’s love. 

Foster the Next Generation

With coursework focusing on early childhood development and education, you receive comprehensive training and learn how to integrate developmental learning theories in the classroom with children 0-8. You also learn the role of early childhood intervention and how to effectively manage a classroom, childcare operations and other childcare workers and volunteers. 

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies allows you to merge your passion for working with younger generations with your academic interests in how children learn and develop emotionally, socially and cognitively.

Focus on Social Justice and Advocacy

One of the early childhood studies degree’s primary focus is for students to understand the importance of loving all children, especially those marginalized through disabilities, race or poverty.

To nurture this commitment to child-focused care, students can participate in the Early Childhood Studies Club and be an active force in sharing God’s love. The Early Childhood Studies Club serves children and families in the surrounding community by hosting canned food drives, donating books to Olive Crest foster care and gathering Thanksgiving meal donations.

Gain Valuable Field Experience

The most important learning happens outside of the classroom and in the field. To gain valuable hands-on experience, students conduct observations and practicums in local school districts, including Riverside, Alvord and Corona-Norco. In past semesters, students have also served as “health scholars” at Riverside Community Hospital or volunteers at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Olive Crest foster care.

What You'll Learn

As you prepare to work with young children, you will learn about:

Program Details

Through the degree program, CBU instills the following values and skills into early childhood studies majors:

  • Apply the Christian worldview and ethical standards to decision-making in early childhood settings.
  • Promote effective learning environments for children with diverse backgrounds and educational needs, as well as promote social justice for diverse populations, including those with disabilities.
  • Use theories of children’s development to design a theoretically-based learning environment that supports learning across all domains for young children.
  • Apply abilities, dispositions and knowledge to collaborate effectively with families and other professionals, and to plan for ongoing learning and improvement as a practitioner.

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The BA in Early Childhood Studies consists of 14 upper-division course requirements (42-57 units), including traditional coursework and practicums. Additionally, students must also meet CBU’s general education requirements.


Students have the option to add an early childhood studies minor to their major to gain a fuller understanding of child development and support their work with children and families.

Early Childhood Intervention Concentration

Early childhood studies majors interested in tailoring their education and specializing their expertise can select an optional concentration in early childhood intervention. In this concentration, students participate in a practicum course to gain real-world experience working in early childhood settings and a capstone course in which they create a portfolio to showcase the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired throughout their time in the program.

ECH 350: Social and Emotional Development in Infancy and Early Childhood

This course introduces students to the process through which a child develops a sense of self within a socio-cultural system.

ECH 370: Spiritual Development in Young Childhood

Students will examine the role of the early childhood intervention specialist as a member of interdisciplinary teams through readings, observations, interviews with professionals and family members. 

ECH 440: STEM Curriculum Integrated with the Arts

This course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of curriculum development in Pre-K settings with a specific focus on STEM integrated with the arts.

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What is the difference between the liberal arts major, the elementary education major and the early childhood studies major?

The liberal arts major covers general knowledge and is designed to offer both depth and breadth of context. The purpose of the elementary education degree is to provide courses aligned with state standards and prepare students for the demands of the classroom. 

The early childhood studies major focuses on coursework in both early childhood studies and early childhood intervention. This is a very specific degree program that prepares students to teach young children while also equipping them for other fields outside of education.

Are there prerequisites for the BA in Early Childhood Studies program?

Yes, students must take English 113 and English 123.

Do students in the ECS major have to take the CBEST?

Students interested in teaching K-12 in public schools must take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST).

Does the ECS major prepare students for the CSET?

The elementary education major may be better prepared to take the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET); however, not all ECS students are interested in teaching in the public school system. 

At CBU, you receive a holistic education that challenges you academically, personally and spiritually. Here, you discover the many talents that will support your career and help you positively impact generations to come.

To learn more about applying to CBU, review the undergraduate admissions requirements.


My professors pushed me to think outside of the box and to not only work on assignments and projects but see how those projects and assignments can be used in the field one day.

Alexis Cutz '15

Read Alexis's Story

Ashleigh Filer

I want to become a second-grade teacher and this major has been preparing me. The professors are amazing and so intentional. They are genuinely here to help us grow into professionals who love children.

Ashleigh Filer '19

Megan Dimsey

I like that this program is small. You get to know the professors and other students very well. We have the opportunity to go into local schools and put into practice what we learn in class.

Megan Dimsey '18

Amelia Horton

All of my assignments include hanging out with children. We get to go out into the field and write papers about our experiences.

Amelia Horton '20

Careers for Early Childhood Studies Majors

With your bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies, you are equipped with a deep understanding of child development, how to assess infants and young children with and without disabilities to gauge their social, emotional and cognitive levels and to create safe, nurturing environments for young children to learn and explore.

Our childhood studies program prepares you to pursue a career as:

The employment rates for careers in early childhood education are growing each year and offer promising earning potential, which makes this a stable career path for those who want to inspire young children and affect meaningful change.

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Learn More about CBU’s Early Childhood Studies Bachelor’s Degree

Through CBU’s Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies program, you are equipped with the practical skills and knowledge to work with young children and their families, ensuring they receive supportive care that promotes healthy cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual development. To begin your journey at California Baptist University and connect with your God-given calling, request more information or apply today!