Secure your future with an online bachelor’s degree in family and child: early childhood education. Our degree can give you a distinct advantage within a variety of early childhood settings that do not require a teaching license. Select any minor to complete this degree, including early intervention, applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorder, exceptional needs: early childhood education, psychology of human development, and more. Your studies will prepare you for a workplace where Head Start and pre-K teachers are required to hold advanced degrees, as this degree focuses on ages birth through age five. (NOTE: This program is sometimes referred to as the “completer program” and was revised for Fall 2021 and beyond.)

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship

If you live and work in Indiana, you may qualify for the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship that can cover most of your tuition and book costs. Learn more.

Plus, the program is offered entirely online to meet the needs of child care professionals working full time. The flexible, asynchronous format allows you to complete your assignments on your time, just as long as you hit weekly deadlines. Courses are taught by early childhood faculty within Ball State’s nationally recognized Teachers College, the same professors who teach our on-campus classes. Students must transfer in an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Ivy Tech (or equivalent) to complete this as a fully online program. It can also be completed by taking courses on campus.

Ball State’s family and child bachelor’s degree aligns with the standards outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our family and child program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Teaching License Options

If you have a goal of getting a license in early childhood, you can pursue the bachelor’s degree in early childhood (licensure) on Ball State’s main campus in Muncie, Indiana. If coming to campus isn’t an option, but you still hope to teach in the future, the 100 percent online license in transition to teaching program for elementary education (K-6) may be right for you.

Why an Early Childhood Degree from Ball State?

Education with Purpose

Our curriculum has been designed to go beyond simply increasing your knowledge about teaching children from birth to age 5. You will learn theories in child development, practice effective teaching techniques, gain an understanding of diverse family structures and backgrounds, and apply these to your professional experience.

Learning from the Best

Our early childhood faculty professors are known throughout the nation for their early childhood education research, and they are active in their field. Many serve as advisors or supervise student teachers in early childhood centers across the state. And they are active with professional organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Plus, our professors have experiences similar to you because they have been teachers or directors for early childhood programs.

A Degree with Weight

Our course work is rigorous and our graduates are highly desired because of the solid foundation they bring to the workplace. Courses are the same that you would receive as an on-campus student and are taught by the same professors as well. The degree you earn is a Ball State degree, no matter if you completed your education online.

Convenience and Flexibility

Ball State is one of few public universities in Indiana that offers an online bachelor’s degree in family and child: early childhood education. Many of our students in this program continue working full-time while finishing their degrees, taking one to two courses a semester. Students can work with their student success specialists to determine the pathway that leads to their success. Assignments are weekly, but you can complete them at the location and times of day most convenient to you.


Ball State’s history stretches back to its beginning in 1918 as a teacher training institution. We have been offering online courses and degrees since the 1990s. Plus, Ball State’s Teachers College offers one of the largest array of online educator preparation programs of any university in the United States. Additionally, our online bachelor’s degrees are consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Who Should Apply?

Our online program is specifically for child care professionals who have an associate degree in early childhood education and those who are seeking to work in non-licensed early childhood settings. Otherwise, apply to the on-campus program.

Ivy Tech Graduates

If you have an associate of science degree in early childhood education from Ivy Tech after June 1, 2020, the Guaranteed Admission Agreement allows you to seamlessly transfer to Ball State. You can begin earning your Ball State bachelor’s in early childhood education (non-licensure) entirely online, and with a Junior status.

However, if you graduated with an associate of science in early childhood education from Ivy Tech before June 1, 2020, you can transfer your credits toward a bachelor’s in early childhood education (non-licensure).

In order to participate in this program, be sure to indicate on your application that you intend to apply as a Transfer Single Articulation Pathway (TSAP)  student.

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Program Advisors

Contact the program advisor to start developing your personal plan of study. 

Want to Learn More?

Read about the student experience, find course requirements, and learn how to apply.