While degree requirements vary by school, most universities require roughly two years of core classes and two years of classes in the major. A degree in early childhood development is typically either a Bachelor of Arts or Education, though some schools offer an associate's degree in the subject.
As of 2015, California State University, Chico offers a Bachelor of Arts in child development. The degree requires completing 120 credits, with 48 of those being in general education. The general education classes include foundational courses such as oral communications, writing, critical thinking and history. The degree also requires earning 40 credits in child development classes. The remaining 32 credits can be made up of elective courses of the student's choosing.
State universities such as North Dakota State University offer online degree options, as do primarily online institutions such as Ashford University. With Ashford, students start with introductory courses before earning a minimum of 39 credits in the early child education major. Ashford also offers students the ability to specialize further with courses related to infants and toddlers.
Penn Foster College offers an associate's degree in early childhood education that requires four semesters of work or 63 credits. Essentially the program cuts out the core requirements necessary to complete a bachelor's degree. Penn Foster's program also incorporates field experience.