Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

College of Health and Human Sciences

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).

Take a virtual tour of Hanley Hall and Fowler House.


Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs Website

Plan of Study


Transfer GPA and Course Requirements

Purdue admits to individual majors. Many majors require that applicants have completed specific coursework, and all have a suggested minimum GPA. The criteria for this major are listed below. Students who meet or exceed these criteria are the most competitive candidates for admission. Before applying, review the closed programs page to confirm your desired major is open to transfer students.

Minimum GPA: 2.8


Contact Information

Phone: 765-494-8533


The employment rate for 2013 and 2014 graduates was 100%. Students are prepared to teach in pre-kindergarten, primary and special education classrooms through grade three. Students are also prepared for certification as developmental therapists in the early intervention system (birth to 3 yrs.)  Graduates pursue careers including public school regular or special education teacher, child-care teacher or administrator, Head Start teacher or administrator, preschool teacher, family support specialist, developmental therapist, family life specialist, and special needs coordinator.

Related Career Interests

Community Service

Teaching and Education