As a child development major, you’ll examine the long-range effects of growth and development from birth through adolescence. Learn how critical the childhood years are for building the foundation for health and well-being across the lifespan. Throughout this program, you can work in real-life settings that lead to careers in adoption agencies, early intervention programs and after-school programs or position you for graduate school. Child development majors may become infant mental health specialists, social workers, counselors and school psychologists.
Points of Pride
CMU is the only university in Michigan and one of three in the nation with a Future Child Advocates of America organization.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Preschool/child care director||$43,950 per year||17% (10,900 more jobs)|
|Social worker||$44,200 per year||19% (114,100 more jobs)|
|Psychologist||$69,280 per year||12% (18,700 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Child Development Major:General Concentration
Child Development is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the growth and development of children in their social contexts. The general plan of study is a flexible major designed to prepare students for a wide variety of careers in human and service settings working with children and families. It may also be used as preparatory training for graduate studies in child developmental and professional programs in health- and counseling-related fields.
All students must take Section I - Core Requirements and select a concentration.
Total: 36 semester hours
Core Courses I
Development and Professional Foundations
Study of the basic principles of human development and their relation to family interactions throughout the lifespan. (University Program Group III-A) Recommended: Students who have taken EDU 280 or PSY 220 should seek departmental advice prior to enrollment.
This course examines service learning and potential career paths for professionals in Human Development and Family Studies. Field placements required. Prerequisites: A signed major in Child Development or Family Studies; HDF 100 or HDF 211 or PSY 220.
The study of the parent-child relationship, and the impact of that relationship on the development of both children and parents. Prerequisite: one of: HDF 100, EDU 280, or PSY 220.
Theories of Child and Adolescent Development
Survey of child and adolescent theories of development. Prerequisites: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220; Signed major or minor in Child Development, or in Family Studies.
Core Courses II
Family, Diversity, and Developmental Context
Select one of the following:
Marriage and Close Relationships
This course examines the cultural and historical factors and processes that affect the development of marital, familial, and other close relationships across the life course.
Human Environmental Studies: Family Ecology
Holistic approach to studying families: emphasis on the dynamic interaction of families with surrounding environments and career options associated with interaction of families and environments.
Core Courses III
Family, Diversity, and Developmental Context
Select one of the following:
Oppression: Roots and Impact on Human Development in the United States
Examines the roots and impact of different forms of oppression on the development of individuals within the family context. (University Program Group IV-C) This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Families in Cultural Perspective
The varieties of family forms and resulting patterns of interpersonal relations to be found throughout Western history and in selected Western and non-Western cultures. (University Program Group III-B)
Introduction to Special Education
Education of students who deviate significantly from the norm intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, or educationally.
Teaching Culturally Diverse Students
Survey of sociocultural influences on the performance of students from varying backgrounds, and educational provisions made for them in public schools including an anti-bias curriculum. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. Prerequisites: Junior standing or graduate status.
Required Courses I
Select two of the following courses:
Human Growth and Development: Infancy
Pregnancy, prenatal development, childbirth, and the development of infants and toddlers (to 3 years) within the family and the larger social systems. Prerequisite: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
Early Childhood Development
Principles for growth and development of preschool and early elementary children (ages 3-8) from diverse backgrounds and observation of children in early education settings. Prerequisite: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
Study of adolescence and issues relating to the family of a teenager. Prerequisite: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
Child Development Seminar: Promoting Resilience
Through integration of theory, research, and practice, this course focuses on encouraging positive developmental outcomes and resilience in children and adolescents facing stressful life circumstances. Prerequisites: Two of: HDF 302, 303, 306, 308; or Human Development and Family Studies graduate standing.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following courses:
Family Studies Skills and Methods
An introduction to the skills and methods essential for work with individuals and families in service fields. Prerequisites: HDF 219 with a grade of C+ or better; a signed major in Child Development or Family Studies.
Human Development and Family Studies Research Methods
This course is an introduction to research methods within human development and family studies. Prerequisites: HDF 100 or PSY 220 or EDU 280; HDF 211, HDF 291; PSY 211; 3 other HDF credits in human development and family studies.
Practicum in Parent Involvement
Analysis of goals, trends, methods and models of parent involvement with opportunities to plan programs for parents, and to work with parents in professional settings. Prerequisites: HDF 307; one of HDF 302, HDF 303, HDF 306; or Human Development and Family Studies graduate standing.
Required Courses III
Select one of the following:
Students must complete one of the required Professional Methods courses in Required Courses II prior to enrollment in HDF 419 or HDF 490.
A structured internship that provides students with an opportunity to work in a professional setting serving the needs of individuals and families. No more than 6 credits may be taken each semester. Prerequisites: HDF 317 or 319 or 506 with a grade of C+ or better; a signed major in Child Development or Family Studies.
Independent Study in Human Development & Family Studies
A student-initiated learning activity focusing on a faculty approved topic in Human Development and Family Studies. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor
Electives to complete minimum 36 hours required for major. Any course not used from above list to fulfill requirements may be used for elective credit. Additional approved electives include:
Note: Select only one of: CDO 130 OR 230; PSY 322 OR 324; SOC 222 OR 412; TAI 373 OR 585.
Normal Speech and Language Acquisition
Normal acquisition of language and speech by children examined on the basis of current linguistic theory. (University Program Group III-A)
Introduction to Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders
Aspects of speech-language pathology and audiology for elementary, secondary, and special education teachers, parents, and allied professionals in the management of speech, language, and hearing disorders. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Literary analysis of prose and poetry suitable for children grades K through nine. Prerequisite: ENG 201 with a grade of C or better. Recommended: ENG 134 or 234.
HDF 213/WST 213
Introduction to Human Sexuality
Human sexual development throughout the life cycle. Emphasis on understanding and acceptance of self as a sexually functioning person. Identical to WST 213. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Family Management Theory
Integrated nature of family management; values, goals as reflected in decision-making regarding family resources.
Families in Social, Legal, & Political Contexts
This course examines how factors from social, legal, and political contexts influence family development and functioning over the life course. Prerequisites: HDF 211; Senior standing.
Early Childhood Program Administration and Learning Environments
The functional role of the early childhood program director: legal and administrative controls and creative learning environments will be explored. Prerequisites: HDF 302, 303 and 309; or graduate admission.
Technology for Children
Apply creative thinking and problem solving skills to develop learning activities co-related with core curriculum concepts, utilizing materials, tools, and processes in cooperative learning environments.
Psychology of Infancy and Early Childhood
Human development from conception through preschool years. Emphasis on research relevant to understanding development and implications of research for preventing and lessening common developmental problems. Prerequisites: PSY 220 or HDF 100 or EDU 280.
Childhood and Adolescence
Psychological development from childhood through the college years. Main topics are personality, social, and cognitive development. Prerequisites: PSY 220 or HDF 100 or EDU 280. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Recreation Activities Leadership
Simple crafts, dramatics, games of low organization, individual sports, social events, and hobbies. Methods, techniques, and organization in recreation.
Nature, distribution, social construction, and theories of delinquency. Social reactions to delinquency including development of juvenile court and actions of juvenile justice agencies. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or SOC 201 or SOC 221.
Sociology of Adolescence
Transition from childhood to adulthood. Emphasis on topics such as identity, peers, relationships with parents, school, and the media. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 201 or 221
Oral Interpretation for Children
General education approach to the art of oral interpretation as a dynamic means of experiencing literature for children and communicating it to children.
Techniques of guiding children through original dramatizations. Primarily for the classroom teacher.