Purdue University Office of Admissions logo

For important COVID-19 information and updates, please visit the Protect Purdue page.

Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

The Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs curriculum provides students with knowledge and skills for careers in education and intervention for young children (birth through third grade) and their families. Students gain hands-on experience through practicum courses in the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School within the department and with educational programs in the community. The culminating capstone experience in this major is full-time semester student teaching experience. This major leads to a degree and teaching licensure in the state of Indiana for infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms; early elementary classrooms (K-3); and classrooms for children with exceptional needs (up to grade three).

The home of the Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs major is the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, located in Hanley Hall and Fowler House.  In HDFS, all undergraduate students experience great academics, personal attention, and real-world experience.

Plan of Study

Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs Webpage

Transfer to Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue's overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the closed programs page to confirm this major is open to transfer students. If it is, refer to the information below for major-specific transfer criteria.

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Contact Information

HHS Undergraduate Student Services
(765) 494-8533

College of Health and Human Sciences

Careers in Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

Students are prepared to teach in preschool, primary, and special education classrooms for children aged birth through 3rd grade. Students are also prepared for certification as developmental therapists in state early intervention systems for children birth to 3 years old.  Graduates pursue careers including:

  • public or private school regular or special education teacher (preschool – 3rd grade)
  • community child-care teacher or administrator
  • Head Start teacher or administrator
  • public or private preschool teacher
  • family support specialist
  • developmental therapist
  • family life specialist
  • special needs coordinator

Consistently, the employment rate in the field for ECEEN graduates is above 95%.

Share this page: