Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Early childhood is both effective and efficient as a point of early intervention; children’s trajectories of health and well-being can be improved dramatically, at a relatively lower cost, for their lifetime outcomes. Leveraging deep understanding across relevant disciplines, experts collaborating in teams are best equipped to address challenges facing children and their families. We will train you to be one of these needed experts, working in transdisciplinary teams, to develop, analyze, and advocate for policies that integrate developmental science related to the complexity of influences and dynamic interactions experienced by children in their diverse contexts to support their development and learning. The Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy (TELS&CP) Program is part of The Early Childhood Policy in Institutions of Higher Education (ECPIHE) Initiative and the Early Childhood Policy Network.

Leveraging the wide-ranging expertise at Berkeley, we offer a truly transdisciplinary early childhood policy program certificate—creating innovative training experiences that build the essential knowledge and skills you need to connect science to policy. This includes learning to work in teams to leverage actionable insights from research to inform child policy, as well as skills for using these insights—to design, analyze, implement, evaluate, and communicate effective child policy. The Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy Graduate Certificate will enrich your area of study and give you hands-on skills for working with or on behalf of young children.

The certificate also provides opportunities that may include:

  • A National Early Childhood Policy Fellowship

  • A Washington DC Early Childhood Policy Trip 

  • Monthly Early Childhood Policy Speaker Series

  • Membership on the TELS&CP Student Advisory Board

  • Potential research grants to conduct interdisciplinary work

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Certificate Requirements

Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants must: Be registered and enrolled in a graduate degree program at UC Berkeley and be in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or better


The certificate requires a minimum of 3 courses (totaling a minimum of 9 units) and an internship.

The requirements are:

  • TELS&CP core course: EDUC C264 Early Childhood Policy - Children, Contexts, and Politics in Diverse Societies 
  • Minimum of two elective courses, chosen from the list below, totaling a minimum of 6 units. Other courses will be considered through the submission of the Elective Petition Form
  • A 150-hour internship with an early childhood policy focus. For a list of internship sites, please contact Luvy Vanegas-Grimaud, program coordinator, at

Elective Courses

The following electives count toward the Graduate Certificate in Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Childhood Policy. Select two to three courses from an area outside of your focal area of study (for a minimum of 6 units), determined in consultation with our program advisor. (Note that not every course is offered on a yearly basis.)

Area 1: Developmental Science of Early Childhood
PSYCH 290HSeminars: Developmental2
SOC WEL 210BInfant Development2
SOC WEL 212Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in Its Social Context2
Area 2: Public Policy
PUB POL 200AFoundations for Public Policy Analysis 13
PUB POL 200BProfessional Policy Practice 13
PUB POL 210AThe Economics of Public Policy Analysis 14
PUB POL 256Program and Policy Design4
PUB POL 290Special Topics in Public Policy 21-4
Area 3: Public Health
PB HLTH 207APublic Health Aspects of Maternal and Child Nutrition2,3
PB HLTH W207AMaternal and Child Health Nutrition3
PB HLTH 210Foundations of Maternal and Child Health Policy, Practice and Science3
PB HLTH 212AInternational Maternal and Child Health2
PB HLTH W212Foundations of Global Health3
PB HLTH 220Health Policy Decision-Making3
Area 4: Education
EDUC 260AIssues in Educational Administration and Policy3
Area 5: Social Welfare
SOC WEL 210BInfant Development2
SOC WEL 212Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence in Its Social Context2
SOC WEL 220Foundations of Social Welfare Policy2
SOC WEL 230Social Policy: Children and Families2
SOC WEL 232Social Work and Education Policy2
SOC WEL 254Policy Practice in Social Work2

Only MPP students can use PUB POL 200A and/or PUB POL 200B toward this Certificate.


Special Topics section must include discussions on childhood policy.

Certificate Completion

Submit the Certificate Completion Form by April 15 of your graduating year in order for the certificate to appear on your transcript. If you have certificate courses in progress during your final semester, you can indicate this on the form. Final grades will be verified prior to awarding the certificate.
Completion of the certificate will be noted in the memorandum section of your official transcript (not on the diploma). At the time of completion, you will receive a physical certificate signed by the Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Director of the Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy Certificate Program.


Complete the Application for Admission Form to plan your certificate coursework. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For those in 2-year master’s programs, we encourage you to take the core course and/or at least one elective during your first year to ensure you are able to complete the certificate requirements. This application for admission signals a student’s interest in the Graduate Certificate in Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy but does not guarantee that the certificate will be awarded, nor guarantee a seat in approved courses.

Contact Information

Goldman School of Public Policy / Institute of Human Development

2121 Berkeley Way West, Room 3230

Visit Certificate Website

Program Director

Margaret Bridges

Program Coordinator and Advisor

Luvy Vanegas-Grimaud

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