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Parent Education Certificate

The 16-credit online parent education certificate program is designed to prepare professionals to plan, coordinate, and teach parent education programs and services for families with children from early childhood through adolescence.

In addition to working in educational settings (including public-school parent education programs, preschools, child care centers, and Head Start programs) certified parent educators may also work in health care, social-service agencies and institutions, and faith-based settings.

In Minnesota, a parent educator license is required for employment in ECFE (early childhood family education) programs offered by public school districts. Learn more about the Parent and Family Education Licensure.



Admission to the Department of Family Social Science (FSoS) is based on a review of multiple sources of information with no single factor determining an applicant's success or failure.

Admission Criteria

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. academic institution or foreign equivalent
  • Complete the equivalent of six semester undergraduate or graduate credits in child development courses before entering the parent education certificate program, completed within 10 years of admission to the certificate program. If these credits have not been completed at the time of application, the applicant may be admitted conditionally until they are completed and recorded on a transcript. The following CEHD courses are examples of child development courses that may meet this requirement:
    • CPSY 4331 - Social and Personality Development
    • CPSY 4343 - Cognitive Development
    Applicants may be asked to submit syllabi of child development courses they have taken to determine that they include the content required to meet this prerequisite.

Application Procedures

Application Deadlines:
Summer/Fall Admission: March 1
Spring Admission: October 1

Faculty are not obligated to review incomplete applications.


Apply using the ApplyYourself online admissions system (all supplementary information must also be submitted online).

For more information visit the Graduate School's Admissions page.


The following information is requested specifically by the Department of Family Social Science's parent education program.

1. Application Form (PDF)
Upload in Program Supplementary Information section of online application, as Upload #1.
Indicate the degree you are applying for; verify that all required information has been submitted and that your application is complete. Download the form.
2. Transcripts/Academic Records
Upload in Educational Background section of online application.
You must upload unofficial transcripts or academic records for each higher learning institution where you have earned credit, including partial or incomplete transcripts. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts. There is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of these materials.

Find more information about transcripts and academic records.
3. English language assessment tests (TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS)
Report in Test Information Self-Reported section of online application.
Our program utilizes the operational standards set by the Graduate School for English language proficiency requirements. Visit the Graduate School Admissions website for more information on minimum standards.
4. Letter of Recommendation
See Recommendations under Important Links on the application site.
One letter of recommendation is required. Ask someone to write a letter of recommendation who can speak to your experience and promise in working with families, parents, and/or children. If possible the letter should also address the likelihood of success in post-baccalaureate study. When you apply, list the name and email of your recommender.
The online application includes a section for you to enter the contact information for your recommender. Please notify the individual you select as your recommender that they will receive an email from the application system with instructions on how to submit their letter.
5. Statement
Upload in Applicant Statements section of online application as Statement #1.
Write a statement (500-1000 words) describing your responses to the following:
  • How do your long-term professional goals fit with the purpose of the family education program? The purpose of the family education program is to prepare practitioners to design, deliver, and evaluate educational programs in a variety of settings for parents and families.
  • How does your background contribute to your desire to seek professional development in family education?
  • Describe any additional experiences that have prepared you for the parent education certificate in family social science (e.g., experience with online courses, previous graduate level coursework).
6. Resume
Upload in Program Supplementary Information section of online application.
Tailor your resume to highlight your experiences and achievements working with parents and families.
7. Extenuating Circumstances Statement (Optional)
Upload in Program Supplementary Information section of online application, as Upload #2.
While this is not required, if there is something on your transcript that does not accurately reflect who you are as a student, please write up to 500 words documenting unusual circumstances or hardships you have faced and the ways in which you have overcome or responded to them.

After Applying

As your application is reviewed, you can log back into your account to view your current application status. Your admission decision will also display in your online application account.


Please submit the enrollment confirmation form, located in your decision letter.

All courses must be selected with your adviser and submitted to the Parent Education Certificate Checklist (PDF).

Learn more about the parent education certificate in the Parent & Family Education Program Manual.


Visit CEHD's Tuition, Costs, and Aid page for information on tuition, fees, and financial aid.

Visit Assistantships, Fellowships, & Other Funding for more information on funding opportunities through CEHD and UMN.

If you have questions contact us:, 612-625-2705