Major & Minor Options in Education
Earn your bachelor’s degree in child development or choose any other undergraduate major and pursue a minor in child development at the same time. Through this program, you’ll build a deep understanding of growth and learning in children from birth to eight years of age. You’ll gain the skills to improve the lives of children from a wide variety of backgrounds as a master teacher or through work in preschools and day care centers. With a foundation in child development, you also will be prepared to earn advanced degrees at graduate schools such as the Mills College School of Education.
This unique major will give you a foundation in the study of human growth and development and provide training for careers in education, psychology, and social work. You’ll acquire knowledge in wide-ranging academic areas including linguistic diversity, cognitive development, urban education, and child development. At the Mills College Children's School you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience developing early childhood curricula with children from infancy through preschool. You’ll also be eligible to participate in several accelerated degree programs in education and earn advanced degrees at graduate schools such as the Mills College School of Education.
Our education major will give you a solid foundation in urban education that places emphasis on equity and social justice. Your course work will draw from the diverse disciplines of education, public policy, economics, and sociology and explore the impact of teachers' unions, community-based organizations, as well as as local, state, and federal governments. You’ll choose a concentration within the major, gain hands-on experience working directly in educational settings, and complete a senior capstone project that grapples with a meaningful educational issue. You’ll graduate prepared for a career in education where you can be a powerful advocate for underserved communities, and you'll be eligible for advanced degree and teacher credentialing opportunities.
Drawing on our Oakland location, this minor gives you a foundation in educational policies, practices, and challenges faced in urban settings, with an emphasis on bringing equity to urban education. Choose any undergraduate major and simultaneously pursue an urban education minor. You’ll graduate with the skills for a career in education where you can be an effective voice for underserved children, and you will be prepared for advanced degree and teacher credentialing opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your major is the specific area of study that you choose to focus on, with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in that area of study. At a liberal arts college like Mills, we’ll provide you with both a broad base of knowledge and, through your major, an in-depth understanding of your chosen field.
You aren’t required to declare a major when you apply to Mills, but knowing your academic interests during the admission process can help us provide you with more personalized guidance. Once admitted to Mills, first-year students have until the end of their sophomore year to declare their major officially; transfer students who enter as juniors have until the end of their first semester at Mills.
Some students choose to double major—pursuing two areas of study at the same time and graduating with two bachelor’s degrees. Students tend to double major when they are interested in careers that combine knowledge and skills from two different fields, such as economics and international relations, art history and chemistry, or music and psychology.
A minor is a completely optional secondary area of study that you can pursue in addition to your major. Minors require fewer courses to complete than majors, providing you with an opportunity to gain useful knowledge in less time than what is needed for a double major.
Earn a bachelor’s degree in child development and, in just one additional year of study, an accelerated master’s degree in early childhood education. Together, these degrees prepare you for leadership and teaching roles in a range of organizations that focus on early childhood education—such as preschools and child development programs—as well as for doctoral study and careers in research, policy design, and college teaching.
Like the BA/MA in early childhood education, this option combines a bachelor’s degree in child development and an accelerated master’s degree in early childhood education. In addition, you’ll complete course work that prepares you to earn a special education teaching credential from the State of California, enabling you to work with infants and preschoolers diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Through this work, you’ll have the opportunity to change the lives of these children and their families.
Choose any undergraduate major for your bachelor’s degree, then earn an an accelerated master’s degree in education. You’ll also complete course work that prepares you to earn a teaching credential from the State of California. Completing the MA and credential programs requires just one year beyond your bachelor’s degree. These degrees and credential together prepare you to teach children from kindergarten through high school—and empower you to help shape the future of urban education.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common college degree earned after high school is the bachelor’s degree, also known as a “baccalaureate.” At liberal arts colleges like Mills, the bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years of full-time study; nationwide, however, students take an average of five years to finish it. A liberal arts baccalaureate provides you with both a broad base of knowledge and in-depth understanding of a specific field (your major). Mills awards two kinds of bachelor’s degrees: the bachelor of arts (BA) and the bachelor of science (BS). A bachelor’s degree is required to pursue a graduate degree.
A graduate degree, such as a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, provides you with advanced expertise in a particular field (such as education) and qualifies you for specialized positions. In many fields, the master’s degree is the next step after the baccalaureate. Some master’s programs require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, while others do not. The time required for a master’s varies, but two years of full-time study is common. Mills awards several kinds of master’s degrees, including the master of arts (MA), master of fine arts (MFA), master of business administration (MBA), and master of public policy (MPP).
Our bachelor’s-to-master’s accelerated degree programs in education enable you to complete an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree in education, and a teaching credential program in just five years of study. That’s one year less than it would take to earn these degrees separately and about the same time it takes the average US student to complete just an undergraduate degree. We help you accomplish this by allowing you to take courses as an undergraduate that count toward your master’s degree. You save time and money and graduate equipped with advanced skills and knowledge that improve your job opportunities right from the start of your career.
A California teaching credential authorizes you to teach in preschools, kindergartens, grades 1 through 12, or classes for adults. California issues credentials for specific types of teaching. When you enroll in one of the accelerated degree programs at Mills that includes a teaching credential, you’ll decide which kind of credential you want.
- The multiple subject teaching credential is required for teaching in elementary schools.
- The single subject teaching credential is required for teaching specific subjects in middle or high schools.
- The education specialist instruction credential is required for teaching special education.
After completing an accelerated degree program with a credential component, you can apply for a preliminary/level I teaching credential issued by the State of California.
If you already have experience in teaching or providing certain professional services in schools, this program enables you to earn the administrative services credential required to serve as a principal or other school administrator in California's K–12 public school system. Most students complete the Administrative Services Credential Program in conjunction with either our MA in educational leadership or EdD in educational leadership, although it’s possible to enroll in the credential program alone.
Offered in combination with our MA in early childhood education, this credential program trains you to work in early intervention and preschool special education settings with infants and young children who have developmental disabilities. You’ll meet requirements for a California preliminary education specialist instruction credential with the specialty area of early childhood special education. This credential program may also be combined with our MA in child life in hospitals or MA in infant mental health.
The Multiple Subject Credential Program equips you to teach kindergarten through grade 8 in multi-subject classrooms. Once you finish the program, you’ll be qualified for a California preliminary teaching credential. You can choose to complete only the credential program or continue your studies at Mills to earn the MA in early childhood education or MA in education with an emphasis in teaching.
Prepare to teach art, English, or social science in grades 6 through 12. When you finish the Single Subject in Humanities Credential Program, you’ll be eligible for a California preliminary teaching credential. You can choose to complete only the credential program or continue your studies at Mills to earn the MA in education with an emphasis in teaching.
Prepare to teach mathematics, biology, chemistry, or physics in grades 6 through 12. When you finish the Single Subject in Mathematics and Science Credential Program, you’ll be eligible for a California preliminary teaching credential. You can choose to complete only the credential program or continue your studies at Mills to earn the MA in education with an emphasis in teaching.
Frequently Asked Questions
A California teaching credential authorizes you to teach in preschools, kindergartens, grades 1 through 12, or classes for adults. After completing one of the state-approved credential programs at Mills, you can apply for a preliminary/level I teaching credential issued by the State of California, which is valid for five years. Later, after satisfying additional state requirements, you are eligible to upgrade to a clear/level II credential. California issues credentials for specific types of teaching:
Learn more about the State of California’s requirements for teaching credentials.
The California administrative services credential authorizes you to perform specific types of administrative work in grades 12 and below and in classes for adults. This work includes:
- Developing and assessing instructional programs
- Managing school site, district, or county fiscal services
- Hiring, assigning, supervising, and evaluating certificated and classified personnel
- Developing student support services and disciplining students
You can satisfy requirements for the preliminary administrative services credential by completing a state-approved professional preparation program such as the Administrative Services Credential Program at Mills. You also need prior experience and credentials in teaching or providing other school services.
Learn more about the State of California’s requirements for the administrative services credential (PDF).
The State of California awards all teaching credentials, education specialist instruction credentials, and administrative services credentials. The credential programs offered by Mills enable you to satisfy state requirements for teacher or professional preparation programs and prepare you to pass state examinations. To receive your credential after you finish your program, you apply to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. For more information on the commission’s application process and requirements, visit their website.