You can use the following formulas in Excel to find the earliest date in a particular column based on specific criteria:

**Method 1: Find Earliest Date Based on One Criteria**

=MIN(IF($A$2:$A$13=F1,$C$2:$C$13))

This particular formula finds the earliest date in the range **C2:C13** where the value in the range **A2:A13** is equal to the value in cell **F1**.

**Method 2: Find Earliest Date Based on Multiple Criteria**

=MINIFS(C2:C13, A2:A13, F1, B2:B13, F2)

This particular formula finds the earliest date in the range **C2:C13** where the value in the range **A2:A13** is equal to the value in cell **F1** *and* the value in the range **B2:B13** is equal to the value in cell **F2**.

The following examples show how to use each formula in practice with the following dataset in Excel that contains information about when basketball players joined various teams:

**Example 1: Find Earliest Date Based on One Criteria in Excel**

Suppose we would like to find the earliest date among players who are on the Rockets team.

We can specify the Rockets team name in cell **F1** and then type the following formula into cell **F2** to find the earliest date:

=MIN(IF($A$2:$A$13=F1,$C$2:$C$13))

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

By default, Excel displays the date in a numeric format.

To convert this to a recognizable date format, select cell **F2** and then click the **Number Format** dropdown menu on the **Home** tab and then click **Short Date**:

The date will now be formatted as **4/13/2009**, which represents the earliest date in the **Join Date** column where the value in the corresponding cell of the **Team** column is equal to Rockets:

**Example 2: Find Earliest Date Based on Multiple Criteria in Excel**

Suppose we would like to find the earliest date among players who are on the Mavs team and have a position of Forward.

We can specify these criteria in cells **F1** and **F2** and then type the following formula into cell **F3** to find the earliest date:

=MINIFS(C2:C13, A2:A13, F1, B2:B13, F2)

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

The formula returns **1/4/2019**, which represents the earliest date in the **Join Date** column where the value in the corresponding cell of the **Team** column is equal to Mavs *and* the corresponding cell in the **Position** column is equal to Forward.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: How to Calculate Age on a Specific Date

Excel: How to Check if Date is Between Two Dates

Excel: How to Use VLOOKUP by Date