Early Childhood (New! Early Care & Education)

young children and an adult surrounded by nature

Future career possibilities include:

  • Infant-Toddler Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Center Director
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Family Child Care Provider
  • And more!

Starting in Fall 2022, “Early Care & Education” is a new concentration title that is available for students to pursue. The existing “Early Childhood” concentration title is currently still available. Starting in Fall 2023, the “Early Childhood” concentration title will no longer be available for students to declare.

The concentration in Early Childhood (or the new Early Care & Education concentration) is for students who wish to work primarily with young children (infants, toddlers and preschoolers) and their families in settings such as child care centers and preschools. This concentration is aligned with the California Child Development Permit (the teaching credential for preschool and younger) and the Early Childhood Special Education graduate program at SF State. ​


  1. View the Change of Major or Minor Guide for steps on how to request to change your major. During the request process, you will be prompted to select the “Requested College” – please choose “38 CHSS”. Please be sure to select the correct CAD major concentration that you want to pursue (there are various concentrations).
  2. After you submit your request, the CAD Department will review your request. If we find that you have more than 96 units completed, we may request that you meet with an advisor to ensure switching your major is in your best interest. Additionally, if you are a lower division student and you have less than a 2.0GPA, we may request that you reapply after bringing up your GPA to at least a 2.0.
  3. A welcome letter will be sent to your SF State email account & your request will be confirmed.

We highly recommend that students declare CAD as their major before starting their junior year (before completing 60 units).

Please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website for current and detailed information on how to apply to SF State and to view important dates and deadlines.

When applying to SF State, please select Child & Adolescent Development as your primary major. Also, please be sure to indicate which concentration of CAD you would like to pursue.

We look forward to welcoming you back to SF State! Please visit the Registrar’s website for next steps on how to return to SF State. 


Your Degree Progress Report (DPR) is an important tool that evaluates where you stand with all of your graduation requirements - General Education, University-Wide, and Major Requirements.

Please visit the appropriate SF State Bulletin Year for the degree requirements of the bachelor of arts in Child & Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Childhood or Child & Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Care & Education. Current CAD majors can find their bulletin year at the top of their Degree Progress Report (DPR).

A grade of C or higher (C- is not accepted) is required for all courses in the Child and Adolescent Development major including core and concentration.


Click on the link below for your specific bulletin year and CAD concentration. This document is a tool designed to support you with planning what courses to take and your progress to meet major requirements. 

Bulletin Year = Requirement (Catalog) Term on your Degree Progress Report (DPR)
It refers to academic year requirements for general education and major
Find your CAD major bulletin year at top of your DPR

CAD Major Planning Worksheets
Early Care & Education Concentration Early Childhood Concentration





Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, you can request to change your major on your student center. View the Major & Minor Change Guide for steps on how to change your major.

If you have already completed CAD 450 in the CAD core major requirements, please email cad@sfsu.edu to request to course substitute CAD 450 for the new CAD 411 requirement.

Yes, students in the Early Childhood and Early Care & Education concentrations can qualify for different levels of the CA Child Development Permit based on their specific coursework history and field experiences. We highly encourage current students to use the Early Childhood Recommended Courses for CA Child Development Permit document that is included in their CAD Major Planning Worksheet (please see above). For more information about Child Development Permits, including funding, resources and support for permit applications – please visit our CA Child Development Permit webpage

If you want to be a public general education Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten (TK) school teacher, we recommend declaring the CAD Elementary Education Teaching Pre-Credential concentration and the minor in Early Childhood Development.

If you want to obtain the Early Childhood Special Education Credential (ECSE), to be able to work with young children with disabilities from birth through kindergarten, we recommend declaring the CAD Early Care & Education concentration.

If you want to work in classroom setting (but as a supervisor, director, or owner of a family childcare facility), we recommend reviewing the Early Care & Education concentration.  

If you want to work outside the classroom (e.g, counselor, Child Life Specialist, social worker), we recommend reviewing the Community, Health, & Social Services concentration.

If you are still unsure, we recommend meeting with a CAD Faculty Advisor.

Please visit our advising webpage.

Please visit SF State’s Undergraduate Admissions website for details on eligibility.

Please contact Student Outreach Services.

You may transfer no more than 70-semester units to a CSU campus from an institution which does not offer bachelor's degrees or their equivalents, e.g., community colleges. Given the university's 30-unit residency requirement, you may transfer no more than 90 total units into the university from all sources.

General education requirements are the same for all CSU campuses, so California community college articulations of general education courses (about one third of degree requirements) are handled centrally and may be accessed at ASSIST.

Yes – students can take articulated equivalents of some of the CAD major courses at California Community Colleges. You can visit the ASSIST website to view the articulation agreement between SF State and your specific Community College.  
For the Early Care & Education concentration, there are community college equivalent courses for CAD 210, CAD 260, and CAD 215.