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Secure your future with an online bachelor of science degree in 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. Except for the infant and toddler minor, select any minor to complete this degree, including early intervention, applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorder, early childhood special 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.

Quick Facts

  Next Start Date: August 19, 2024

Plus, the program is offered online and designed 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 people who teach our on-campus classes.

Ball State’s early childhood bachelor’s degree was developed in accordance with the standards outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our early childhood 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 transition to teaching program for early childhood education may be right for you.

Why an Early Childhood Degree from Ball State?

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.

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.

Transfer Credits

Many adult students already have some college credit completed when they begin their studies with Ball State Online. In fact, more than 90 percent of bachelor’s degree seekers transfer some or all of their previous credits. If you fall under this category, contact your student success specialist to learn more about transferring your credits to Ball State.

Ivy Tech and Vincennes Graduates

If you have an associate of science degree in early childhood education from Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University, you can begin earning your Ball State bachelor’s in early childhood education (non-licensure) entirely online, and with a Junior status.

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

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 early childhood education positions that do not require a teaching license. Otherwise, apply to the on-campus program.

Before You Apply

You will need to meet the admission requirements for the Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies in order to gain acceptance into the online early childhood education program. Those requirements are:

  • An associate degree in early childhood education (including a practicum) or at least 45 credits that apply toward our early childhood education degree (approved by the program coordinator). Both must be from an accredited college or university.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher of transferable credit.

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

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

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