Purdue University Office of Admissions logo

Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

Purdue University in West Lafayette

The Early Childhood 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 educational programs in the community.

The culminating capstone experience in this major is a full-time, semester-long 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 (through third grade).

The home of the Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs major is the Department of Human Development and Family Science, located in Hanley Hall and Fowler House. In HDFS, all 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 third 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
  • Developmental therapist
  • Special needs coordinator

This degree also offers excellent graduate preparation for graduate programs, including:

  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Special Education
  • Educational Administration
  • Literacy Specialist
  • Occupational Therapy

Share this page: