UMass Amherst University Without Walls

The University Without Walls (UWW) is an academic major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst designed to help adults complete a bachelor's degree at a world-class public university. At UMass UWW, you can design your own program of study, take 100% online, blended, or on-campus courses that fit into your busy life, and earn up to 100 credits for your prior learning and experience. 

Our curriculum was specially built for early childhood educators like you. As a UMass UWW early care and education student you will study with distinguished instructors at the UMass College of Education, Psychology Department and other related departments. Course topics include: multi-cultural education, early childhood curriculum, reading, math and science methods, inclusion, and children's behavior and behavior management. And although this is not a licensure program, we may be able to help you prepare for preliminary licensure in the state of Massachusetts.


  • Nontraditional (working adult) students
  • Individualized degrees (see sample ECE concentrations below)
  • UMass Amherst residency credit given for learning from work and other life experience.
  • Academic credit for college level trainings.
  • Ability to transfer in courses related to ECE that may not transfer elsewhere
  • High touch, responsive advising
  • Non-licensure and Massachusetts preliminary licensure options
  • Accept up to 75 transfer credits
  • Online and hybrid delivery options
  • Access to on-campus courses

Degrees Offered: 

  • BA
  • Various ECE Areas of Concentration (e.g., Early Care and Education, Early Care and Education Administration, Early Care and Special Education, Early Education and Family Advocacy)

Formats offered:

  • 100% online, hybrid, on-campus
  • Residential credit for life, work and training experience (prior learning assessment and special transcript evaluation to accelerate degree completion)
  • Accelerated summer and winter course sessions available

Resources available:

  • Early Childhood Educator Scholarship (through EEC and OSFA)
  • Federal financial aid (grants and loans)
  • Various UWW and Continuing and Professional Education scholarships


  • High touch, responsive advising, including pre-admission counseling
  • Student’s advisor provides support from their first course through graduation.
  • 24/7 online learning support
  • Online writing tutorials
  • Access to UMass Libraries via online databases and online books and journals
  • Free math exemption test (waiver of general education requirement)  available on campus or by proctor

Credit for Prior Learning:

  • UWW has been granting credit for learning from experience for over 40 years
  • 3-30 credits possible for learning from experience
  • 3 Credits for CDA
  • Accepts training hours

Contact persons: 

  • University Without Walls
    UMass Amherst
    Phone  (413) 545-1378
    Fax 413-545-4258

BA ECE and Child Development Online Credit for Prior Learning; 3 Credits for CDA; Accepts CEUs

Programs Available

Bachelor of Arts in UWW: ECE Concentration

With the assistance of faculty mentors, students design a degree-completion program with concentrations in Early Care and Education. This degree plan includes college coursework, academic credit for college-level training, and credit for prior learning from experience.