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CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES B.S.

Aug. 17, 2022

Next Start Date

40

Courses Required

$439

Cost Per Credit Hour

120

Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Formats

Milestones and Beyond, the Inspiration to Spread Joy in Learning

Working with preschool children as they develop their academic, social, and cognitive skills is a rewarding career with increasing job opportunities.

Students will learn best practices for early childhood development 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 the courses are offered online except for field experience which can be completed in the student's home location under the supervision of experienced educators.


Young female child drawing in a book.

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 Applied Human Sciences is offering an online bachelor’s degree which prepares students for a career with young children.

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Thank you for your interest in the Child Development and Family Studies B.S. program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Child Development and Family Studies B.S.

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Enrollment coach, Gary Phillips.

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Gary Phillips, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

"Being a WVU graduate and a first-generation college student, I’m happy to be back to help you navigate the WVU System. Something WVU Online wants to do is assist you in creating your sense of community and continuity, making sure you have the answers to any and all questions."

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Child Development and Family Studies Admission 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
    or
    Email: GraduateAdmissions@mail.wvu.edu
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • For additional requirements specific to first time freshman, online students, and internal/external transfer students, please email Gary.

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827. Please contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or financialaid.wvu.edu for additional information.


The Child Development and Family Studies B.S. requires 120 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $439.
$52,680 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $439
3 $1,317
6 $2,634
9 $3,951

Courses and Curriculum


Child Development and Family Studies B.S. Requirements

The 120 credits needed for graduation will be comprised of the 47 Child Development and Family Studies Major Requirements listed below, plus the additional University credits needed to total 120.

Child Development and Family Studies Major Requirements

A minimum grade of C- is required in all Child Development and Family Studies Major Coursework.

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 110 Families Across the Life Span (GEF 4) 3
CDFS 112 Introduction to Marriage and Family (GEF 8) 3
CDFS 210 Introduction to Parenting 3
CDFS 212 Development in Early and Middle Childhood 3
CDFS 250 Research Methods (fulfills Writing and Communication Skills requirement) 3
CDFS 413 Stress in Families 3
SPED 304 Special Education in Contemporary Society (GEF 8) 3

Area of Emphasis: 24-49

Total Hours: 45-70

Your future in Child Development and Family Studies

The online Birth through 5/Pre-K non-certification option focuses on development from birth through age eight, with an emphasis on preparing students to work with young children and families.

Students will also complete field experiences and internships in early childhood settings, including Pre-K classrooms, the West Virginia University Nursery School, and childcare centers. The Early Childhood option is best suited for students interested working with young children and their families, including careers as a developmental specialist, parent educator, and early childhood resiliency specialist.

The other major options in CDFS (Family and Youth Studies; Birth through 5/Pre-K certification; Birth through 5/Pre-K certification, with an endorsement in Pre-K Special needs) are not currently accepting students. Students interested in these major options should contact cls@mail.wvu.edu for information on the new majors in the Department of Counseling and Learning Sciences that prepare students for careers in these fields.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

The BS degree in Child Development and Family Studies offers two curriculum options: Birth through 5/Pre-Kindergarten and Family and Youth Studies.

Students in the Birth through 5/Pre-Kindergarten option of Child Development and Family Studies will acquire:

  • Knowledge of the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of young children in the family and preschool contexts.
  • Skills in implementing appropriate curricula as well as developmental and performance assessments.
  • Ability to construct positive and enriched early childhood environments where the young have the opportunity to develop skills for lifelong learning.
  • Knowledge of current best practices that prepare young children to be competent, independent learners.
  • Ability to reflect on one’s knowledge and skills of teaching and interacting with young children.
  • Knowledge of how young children learn in order to prepare educational activities in inclusive environments.
  • Extensive field experiences with various ages of young children--infants, toddlers and preschoolers and young school age.

Students in the family and youth option of Child Development and Family Studies will acquire:

  • Knowledge in human growth and development, adolescent development, human sexuality, family issues and interaction, youth concerns and issues, and related topics.
  • Understanding of the various social contextual influences on adolescent development and family functioning and the interactive relationships between families and other societal institutions such as schools.
  • Various strategies for working with adolescents and families in various social service and community-based context.
  • Hands-on experience working with children, adolescents, and/or families at community agencies.
  • Awareness of the multiple career paths for students in this area of study along with options and opportunities for graduate studies.

Why choose a career in Child Development and Family Studies?

Content TBD

Career Outlook for Child Development and Family Studies

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: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Special Education Teacher – Preschool
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Kindergarten Teacher
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Secondary School Teacher
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Elementary School Teacher
Projected Growth: 2-3% *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).

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from an online Child Development and Family Studies Bachelor program?

The BS degree in Child Development and Family Studies prepares students for working with children, adolescents and families in various settings, while encouraging children to become competent, independent learners.

Can you study early childhood education online?

Yes, and our program is 100% online.

Is a Bachelor’s in Child Development worth it?

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.

Are Child Development majors in demand?

Yes. There is a growing demand for Child Development majors. Healthy children have a better chance of developing into healthy adults. Child Development professionals work to assist children in staying on track as they progress through their formative years.

What can you do with an early childhood education besides teaching?

There are several things you can do with your degree besides teach. Some additional occupations/areas to consider would be: School Administration, Educational Consultant, Curriculum Designer, After School Program Director or a position in Education Policy and Research.

What is the highest paying job in early childhood education?

Some of the highest paying jobs in early childhood education are: early childhood special education teacher, pre-school childcare directors, early childhood instructional specialists and early childhood education professors.


Related Programs

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