Human Services
Child Development

​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

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

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Preschool/child care director$43,950 per year17% (10,900 more jobs)
Social worker$44,200 per year19% (114,100 more jobs)
Psychologist$69,280 per year12% (18,700 more jobs)

Program Overview

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
(12 hours)
Development and Professional Foundations
HDF 100
Lifespan Development
HDF 219
Field Work
HDF 307
Parent-Child Relations
HDF 308
Theories of Child and Adolescent Development
Core Courses II
(3 hours)
Family, Diversity, and Developmental Context Select one of the following:
HDF 211
Marriage and Close Relationships
HDF 291
Human Environmental Studies: Family Ecology
Core Courses III
(3 hours)
Family, Diversity, and Developmental Context Select one of the following:
HDF 110
Oppression: Roots and Impact on Human Development in the United States
HDF 212
Families in Cultural Perspective
SPE 126
Introduction to Special Education
SPE 550
Teaching Culturally Diverse Students
Required Courses I
(6-7 hours)
Developmental Emphasis Select two of the following courses:
HDF 302
Human Growth and Development: Infancy
HDF 306
Adolescent Development
Required Courses II
(3 hours)
Professional Methods Select one of the following courses:
HDF 490
Independent Study in Human Development & Family Studies
CDO 130
Normal Speech and Language Acquisition
HDF 303
Early Childhood Development
HDF 510
Child Development Seminar: Promoting Resilience
HDF 319
Family Studies Skills and Methods
HDF 414
Human Development and Family Studies Research Methods
HDF 506
Practicum in Parent Involvement
Required Courses III
(1-12 hours)
Professional Methods 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.
HDF 419
HDFS Internship
(2-6 hours)
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.
CDO 230
Introduction to Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders
ENG 381
Children's Literature
HDF 213/WST 213
Introduction to Human Sexuality
HDF 315
Family Management Theory
HDF 411
Families in Social, Legal, & Political Contexts
HDF 508
Early Childhood Program Administration and Learning Environments
IET 232
Technology for Children
PSY 322
Psychology of Infancy and Early Childhood
PSY 324
Childhood and Adolescence
RPL 206
Recreation Activities Leadership
SOC 222
Juvenile Delinquency
SOC 412
Sociology of Adolescence
TAI 373
Oral Interpretation for Children
TAI 585
Creative Dramatics

 Grads on Fire

Kirsten Hissong, ’14, is a graduate student at Indiana University studying school psychology.

Tracy Waters, ’06, completed her Ph.D. at Clemson University.

CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. | CentralLink
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