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The Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program at the University of Kentucky prepares students to work in a variety of settings (e.g., First Steps, Publicly Funded Prek, Head Start, kindergarten) with children with and without disabilities from birth through age five. You will learn to develop age-appropriate lesson plans; assess child behavior; plan, implement, and monitor interventions, and assist families. You will learn to consider all aspects of the child’s environment- home, school, and neighborhood. 

Earning a degree from our program means you have proven yourself to be an effective teacher, gained valuable field experience, and forged important connections in the schools where you may one day be teaching.

We encourage you to explore our Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and our world-class program faculty.

The Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program is approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.


Option 9 Program

Through Kentucky's university-based alternative route to certification known as Option 9, students who are employed by a school district may complete an accelerated program of study to acquire their (a) Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and (b) teaching certification, in just three years. Individuals and school districts interested in the Option 9 pathway to certification should contact Dr. Sarah Hawkins-Lear.​


Why You Should Enroll

In the UK College of Education Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program, students are immersed in field experiences from the start. You’ll get hands on experience in our Early Childhood Lab located on campus and other field settings to prepare you as you begin your teaching journey.

Our students gain over 200 hours of field experience in classroom observations, community-based outreach, school board meetings, and other school visits in addition to a full semester of student teaching.


Program Details

Delivery Method: In-person

Credit Hours: 120

Time to Completion: Refer to the Curriculum Guide in the following section for the courses needed to complete this program.

Tuition Cost: Refer to Full-time per Credit Hour Rates for Undergraduate Students on the UK Tuition and Mandatory Fees page.


Curriculum Guide

The B.S. in Education degree contains three steps:

  1. UK Core requirements
  2. Program related studies courses
  3. Professional education component

Below is a template of the course progression followed by Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education students.


Year 1

Semester 1 (16 course hours)

UK Core- Composition & Communication I : CIS or WRD 110 (3)

UK Core- Quantitative Foundations: MA111- Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics (3)

UK Core- Social Science: EPE 174- The College Student (3)

PSY 100- Introduction to Psychology (4)

IEC 120- Introduction to IECE (3)


Semester 2 (15 course hours)

UK Core- Composition & Communication II: CIS or WRD 111 (3)

UK Core- Humanities: HIS 108- UK History Until 1877 (3)

STA 210- Statistical Inferential Reasoning (3)

EDS 375- Introduction to Teaching Exceptional Children (3)

BIO 102- Human Ecology (3)


Year 2

Semester 3 (15 course hours)

UK Core- Global Dynamics (3)

UK Core- Arts and Creativity (3)

UK Core- US Citizenship: HIS 109- UK History after 1877 (3)

IEC 255- Child Development (3)

EDP 202- Human Development and Learning (3)



Semester 4 (16 course hours)

Check with your advisor to make sure requirements are completed for applying to the Teacher Education Program.

Graduation Comp and Comm Requirement (GCCR): EPE 301- Education in American Society (3)

IEC 256- Guidance Strategies for Young Children (3)

IEC 260- Curriculum Planning in IEC (4)

BIO 103- Introduction to Biology (3)

BIO 111- Introductory Biology Lab (1)

Free Elective Course (2)


Year 3

Semester 5 (15 course hours)

Apply to the Teacher Education Program

IEC 512- Language and Literary for Young Children (3)

EDS 513- Legal Issues in Special Education (3)

EDS 530- Moderate/Severe Disabilities (3)

SOC 101- Introduction to Sociology (3)

Free Elective Course (3)


Semester 6 (15 course hours)

EDS 516- Principles of Behavior Management and Instruction (3)

IEC 546- Transdisciplinary Services for Young Children (3)

IEC 557- Infant Development (3)

IEC 522- Children and Families (3)

Free Elective Course (3)


Year 4

Semester 7 (16 course hours)

*EDC 317- Technology in the Classroom (3)

*IEC 507- Assessment of Young Children (3)

*IEC 508- Advanced Curriculum Planning in IEC (3)

*IEC 509- Intervention Planning for Children with Special Needs (3)

*IEC 510- Practicum in IECE (1)

*IEC 552- Admin and Supervision in IEC Programs (3)


Semester 8

*IEC 411- IEC Student Teaching (12)


*requires prior admission to the Teacher Education Program




Advising & Contacts

Prospective Students who are not currently enrolled in courses at UK can contact the College of Education Director of Recruitment for information on the program.

Advising for Current Students: Current Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education majors who have not been admitted to the Teacher Education Program are required to meet with a professional advisor in the Taylor Education Building Room 151 each semester prior to registration. Students are assigned to an advisor based on the first letter of their last name.

AAQEP Accredited

AAQEP seal

The University of Kentucky is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The programs listed at this link have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP through December 31, 2030. Accreditation acknowledges that a program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to maintain quality.