As more emphasis is placed on high-quality education for children at the earliest stages of development, the requirements for those who teach also are changing. National early childhood organizations want educators to have strong teaching credentials and a holistic understanding of child development in order to create effective learning environments and forge strong partnerships with families.
In Ohio State’s Associate of Arts program, you will learn how to provide the high-quality education that young children need guided by a deeper understanding of the many factors that influence children’s development, including biology, family, and community.
As a student, your coursework is delivered in a completely online format. You will learn from some of the leading researchers in the country who are examining best practices in child development and education.
Successfully completing this program leads to an associate licensure in pre-kindergarten education in Ohio.* You also can apply most of your coursework toward a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences or in early childhood education.
You must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for this AA degree.
Dates & Deadlines
OSU Admission Application Deadlines
For the most updated and accurate deadlines see:
Make sure you receive the financial aid you deserve:
See OSU registrar calendar for all dates:
Costs & Financial Aid
Application Fees - $60
Acceptance Fees - $100
Tuition & Other Fees
Pell eligible students may apply for fee-waivers:
For all financial aid information see:
A very helpful step-by-step process for getting the financial aid you deserve:
Program Curriculum Requirements
Entirely Online – Internet Access Required
All coursework and required materials will be available or only-available online.
60 Total Required Hours
University Requirements 31cr
Writing and Related Skills 6cr
Quantitative and Logical Skills 3-5cr
Natural Science 7cr
Social Science 9cr
Core Requirements 28cr
13 hrs covered by VLS (for registered VLS users only)* see VLS section below
Cynthia Buettner, PhD, Professor
Sarah Lang, PhD, Assistant Professor
Suzanne Bartle-Haring, PhD, Professor
Michael Betz, PhD, Assistant Professor
Xin Feng, PhD, Associate Professor
Gene Folden, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor
Keeley Pratt, PhD, Associate Professor
Kelly Purtell, PhD, Assistant Professor
Natasha Slesnick, PhD, Professor
Anastasia Snyder, PhD, Associate Professor
Deanna Wilkinson, PhD, Associate Professor
Jen D. Wong, PhD, Assistant Professor
Arya Ansari, PhD, Assistant Professor
Transfer & VLS Credit
Transfer Credits to OSU
- OSU has a residency requirement of 30 credit hours, which means that no matter how many credits a student transfers in, 30 credit hours must be completed at OSU in order to graduate.
- Official OSU transfer credit policies: https://registrar.osu.edu/transfer_credit/index.asp
- Additionally, another third-party site that assists with showing equivalencies is: http://www.transferology.com
Virtual Lab School Credit
If you are a registered VLS user, and have completed all 15 Foundational Courses within the Infant Toddler, Preschool, or School-Age track:
- You must still complete all 32 credit hours of University Requirements
- You must still complete 15 credit hours of University Core Coursework
- 13 credit hours will applied to your OSU AA degree at the end of completing all OSU AA degree coursework
13 credit hours will cover the following Core Courses:
- HDFS 2200 Family Development 3cr
- HDFS 2410 Child Development 3cr
- HDFS 3189.01 Field Work with Targeted Populations: Children 1cr
- HDFS 3450 Managing and Supporting Behavior in Social Contexts 3cr
- HDFS 3800 Professional Development 1cr
- KNSFHP 1103 Introduction to Health and Wellness in American Society 2cr
Licensures & Post Degree Options
- Does not lead to teacher licensure
- Associate licensure in pre-kindergarten education in Ohio
- You also can apply most of your coursework toward a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences or in early childhood education.
Applying & Process
Step 1: Be Informed
Be sure you understand all of the information provided here about this online degree. Make sure you're eligible and aware of time and financial commitments, and online requirements.
Need more info? Schedule an Advising Appointment.
Step 2: Apply
To begin the application process you'll need the following required items:
- Unofficial transcripts
- Professional references
- Personal statement
- Application Fee - $60
Next, you can begin the official OSU application making sure to follow the notes outlined below to apply for this online AA degree program.
Application Form Notes
Create an Account.
Select Application Type: “undergraduate”.
Then select “Additional Populations”.
Search Academic Plan:
Type “Early Childhood Development and Education”.
Select the term that you want to start the program, and then select the “Start Application” button.
Select “College of Education and Human Ecology”.
Under 'campus', select “Columbus”.
- Complete the Application.
Step 3: Pay Admission & Tuition Fees
Upon acceptance, you will be prompted to pay admission and tuition fees. (see above costs & financial aid section)
Step 4: University Orientation – online only
It is important to note that the OSU automated mailers sometimes sends out notices to online-AA degree students that is only meant for campus-based students. This is a small technical glitch that is being worked out as this is the first online AA degree program offered at Ohio State. Apologies for any confusion.
Step 5: Placement tests
If you are required to complete placement tests, this is the time for those.
Step 6: Begin Coursework
Your coursework will begin online with all regular semester commencement dates. See the OSU Academic Registrar for calendar information.
Step 7: Submit VLS Coursework for Credit
This only applies to registered VLS users with official VLS certificates of completion.
Additional Hints & Tips
- Tips for Online Learning Success - https://online.osu.edu/5-tips-online-student-learning-success
- Student Support Resources - https://online.osu.edu/student-services-benefits
- Video: Student online course testimonial - https://youtu.be/oboXG8bZnv0