Doctoral Training

The concentration in early childhood studies is designed to offer transdisciplinary graduate education by combining coursework and applied research opportunities focused on areas within the field of early childhood studies including health, mental health, early education and care, early intervention, policy and law, and family and community-based social supports. Students have the unique opportunity to interact with faculty with diverse academic backgrounds and areas of research and expertise across disciplines.

“The faculty and staff here are truly addressing the research-practice-policy gap in early childhood. This gap has been a national topic of contention for years. At the Center, we don’t just talk about all these issues – we’re actually addressing them with evidence-based strategies.”


Jennifer Jaramillo

Doctoral Student

Preparing Leaders in Early Childhood Studies and Implementation Science (PLECSIS)

PLECSIS doctoral students engage in a variety of unique research, training and applied experiences necessary to prepare them to become the next generation of leaders and scholars in the field of early childhood.

The PLECSIS program of studies includes coursework, seminars and mentoring using an apprenticeship approach and situated community-based leadership experiences to promote the development of doctoral students’ expertise in early childhood studies and implementation science.

Doctoral students eligible to enroll in PLECSIS must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, attend full time and adhere to the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education and implemented by the Personnel Development Program Data Collection Center.

Program Completion:

~4 Years

Accepting Applications:


Master’s Required: