Child Development and Family Studies B.S.

May 13, 2019
Next Start Date
Per Credit Hour


Working with preschool children as they develop their academic, social, and cognitive skills is a rewarding career and one that has increasing job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 10 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The College of Education and Human Services is offering an online bachelor’s degree which prepares students for a career with young children and meets the West Virginia Department of Education requirements for Pre-K Certification.


Students will learn best practices for early childhood and focus on advocacy and leadership in the field of early education. The program incorporates the West Virginia Core Knowledge and Core Competencies and the West Virginia Early Standards Framework in order to include the most recent requirements set forth by West Virginia agencies. The curriculum follows the standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


All of the courses are offered online except for CPR/First Aid and field experience which can be completed in the students’ home location under the supervision of experienced educators.


West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. West Virginia University's Professional Education Preparation Unit is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


Applicant must have:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

Application Requirements

  • Apply with the online Undergraduate Application
  • Pay undergraduate application fee
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU), or high school transcripts if fewer than 20 college credits and send to:
    WVU Office of Admissions
    PO Box 6009
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6009


Residents Non-Residents
Tuition and Fees

for academic year 2018-2019


Per Credit Hour


Per Credit Hour


There are two areas of emphasis: Child Development (non-certification track) and Preschool Education Birth-4 (with Pre-K certification).


View Curriculum



Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

  • 41-43 credits general education
  • 31 credits child development
  • 20 credits additional required courses
  • 20-22 credits electives
  • 9 credits Internship/field experience in child development.

The Pre-K certification track requires students to pass the PRAXIS Core Exam prior to completing two semesters in the program or to have a score of 26 on the ACT or 1170 on the SAT.

CDFS 110. Families Across the Life Span. 3 Hours.

Explores the physical, psychological, and cognitive developmental changes of individuals who are functioning in family systems that change across the life-span.

CDFS 112. Introduction Marriage & Family. 3 Hours.

Explores various dimensions of self-development and personal preference relevant to dating, mate selection, marriage, having children, parenting, divorce, and remarriage.

CDFS 210. Introduction to Parenting. 3 Hours.

Introduction of terminology, descriptions, and explanations of the parental role and parent-child interactions. Emphasis on social and personal definitions of the parental role and on the problems and changes in parent-child relationships.

CDFS 211. Infant Development. 4 Hours. PR: CDFS 110.

Developmental characteristics and environmental effects on the child during the prenatal period and the first two years with implications for guidance and care, includes practical experience working with infants and toddlers.

CDFS 212. Early Childhood Development. 3 Hours. PR: CDFS 110.

Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from conception to seven years with implications for guidance and care in practical settings.

CDFS 250. Research Methods/Data Analysis. 3 Hours. PR: CDFS 110 and CDFS 112.

Overview of principles and methods of CDFS research; developmental research challenges and strategies; descriptive statistics and statistical inference (hypothesis testing).

CDFS 316. Child Development Practicum. 3-4 Hours. PR: CDFS 212 or PSYC 241.

Application of child development principles. Involves planning developmentally appropriate activities for three-four-and five-year old children.

CDFS 413. Contemporary Issues-Family Relations. 3 Hours. PR: Senior or graduate standing or consent; CDFS 110, CDFS 112, and CDFS 250.

Study of recent research findings in the major areas of family relationships. Topics include effects of family violence, substance abuse, poverty, and health. Pre-requisite(s) and/ or co-requisite(s) may differ on regional campuses.

CDFS 420. Art of Leadership-Early Childhood. 3 Hours.

The course will prepare students to develop effective leadership skills in early childhood settings, advocate for children and families and develop collaborative partnerships.

CDFS 421. Child Care Center Administration. 3 Hours.

Focuses on skills necessary for directing a high-quality child care center. Participants will gain knowledge in program planning, development, and maintenance.

CDFS 422. Business of Child Care. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide essential business and management lessons in operating a high quality early child care center.

CDFS 430. Best Practice Pre-K Movement. 3 Hours.

The course will prepare students to plan, develop and implement an appropriate structured movement program so young children can be physically active and to set the stage for lifelong physical activity.

CDFS 431. Infant Toddler Language/Lit. 3 Hours.

Focus on language and literacy development in infants and toddlers for teachers and others working with infants and toddlers.

CDFS 432. Early Socio-Emotional Growth. 3 Hours.

An advanced course in infant and toddler socio-emotional development. The course will focus on the development of emotion, relationships, and the curriculum to promote infant socio-emotional well-being.

CDFS 491A. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours. PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.)

Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development working with children ages birth through 5 years old.

Note: Students must earn grades of C- or better in all courses with the CDFS course designator. If a student’s overall GPA drops below 2.5, he or she may be subject to academic probation and potentially dismissal from the program.


Note:All CDFS courses are delivered 100% online, with two exceptions. Students will be required to obtain CPR & First Aid certification from their local Red Cross Agency, and all professional field experience courses (CDFS 211, 212, 316, & 491A) will be completed in the student’s hometown and must be approved prior to placement by the instructor of record. When possible, the student’s place of employment may qualify for certain field experience requirements.


In addition to General Education Foundation Courses (course options may be found here), the following courses are required:

SPED 304. Special Education in Contemporary Society.

Overview of special education principles and practices, interactions between disability and diversity in identification and intervention, and influences of family, professional, school, and community infrastructures on educational programs and outcomes for children and adults.

SPED 312. Differentiated Instruction for Young Children.

PR: SPED 304. Individualized instruction for young children with special needs in early childhood education programs through curriculum modifications, instructional adaptations, and environmental accommodations. Differentiated Instruction for Young Children

SPED 317. Technology for Young Children with/without Special Needs.

Developmentally appropriate use of technology in early childhood education programs; assistive devices and services to accommodate young children with special needs; integration of technology into curriculum to address early learning standards. Technology for Young Children with/without Special Needs

RDNG 423. Literacy and the Young Child.

This course studies essential emergent literacy skills in young children and examines ways that these skills are developed in primary grade classrooms and at home.

C&I 410. Early Childhood Education

PR: CDFS 316. An introduction to curriculum objectives, instructional methods and materials, and evaluation in early childhood education (pre-K to 4th grade) that includes a field experience with individualized instruction for one child.

C&I 411. Early Childhood Education

PR: C&I 410. This course is designed for individuals who will be working in early childhood education Pre-K to 4th grade. Topics include: working with families of young children; designing, teaching and evaluating experiential lessons for small groups of children; and gathering and assessing developmental data on small groups of children. A semester-long field experience with a class of young children is required.

Information Sessions

Career Information

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Child Development and Family Studies B.S. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.


Child, Family and School Social Worker

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Kindergarten Teacher

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Secondary School Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Special Education Teacher - Kindergarten & Elementary

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Elementary School Teacher

Projected Growth: 5-9% *Bright Outlook
Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).