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May 13, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour
Military Pricing Applies


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

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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"As a graduate of WVU, I look forward to helping future students begin their own journeys to becoming a Mountaineer. At WVU Online, we are eager to guide you through the enrollment process with ease and want to provide you with the information and resources you need to be successful. Online degrees give everyone an opportunity to further their education and I can’t wait to help you do just that."

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Child Development and Family Studies Admission Requirements

  • 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
  • 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.

Apply Now

Student Spotlight

Learn more about student experiences in the Child Development and Family Studies B.S. program.

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Alexandrea Ashworth

"Not only did the faculty promote confidence in my learning, but they pushed me to be the best version of myself that I could be."

Read More About Alexandrea

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Ashton Frame

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my degree and am excited to put my knowledge into action!"

Read More About Ashton

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.

The Child Development and Family Studies B.S. requires 120 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $451.
$54,120 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $451
3 $1,353
6 $2,706
9 $4,059

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Courses and Curriculum

Child Development and Family Studies B.S. Requirements

General Education Foundations (GEF) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (31-37 Credits)
Outstanding GEF Requirements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8
A minimum grade of C- is required in all Child Development and Family Studies Major Coursework.

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 191 First-Year Seminar 1

General Electives: 23-49

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

Child Development Requirements

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 211 Infant Development 4
CDFS 316 Child Development Practicum 3
CDFS 431 Infant Toddler Language and Literacy 3
CDFS 432 Early Socio-Emotional Development 3
CDFS 491 Professional Field Experience 6
CDFS 491A Professional Field Experience 3

Additional Requirements

Course Title Credit Hours
C&I 410 Early Childhood Education 1 3
C&I 411 Early Childhood Education 2 3
HLSC 172 First Aid and Emergency Care 2
RDNG 423 Literacy and the Young Child 3
ECSE 311
or ECSE 312
or ECSE 317
Developmental Assessment for Young Children with Special Needs
or Differentiated Instruction for Young Children with Special Needs
or Technology for Young Children with/without Special Needs


Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 430 Best Practices in Pre-K Movement 3

Classroom Creativeness

Choose one of the following courses:

Course Title Credit Hours
Art 103 Materials and Procedures 2
C&I 414 Creative Experiences in Early Childhood 2
MUSC 182 Music in the Elementary School 2

The Business of Child Care and Education

Choose two of the following courses:

Course Title Credit Hours
BCOR 350 Principles of Marketing 3
BCOR 370 Principles of Management 3
CDFS 420 Leadership in Early Childhood 3
CDFS 421 Child Care Center Administration 3
CDFS 422 The Business of Child Care Management and Financial Strategies 3
CDFS 423 External Funding: Early Childhood Programs 3

Total credit hours: 120

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, hospitals, afterschool programs, and childcare centers. The CDFS degree 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 Benefits to Choosing Our Program

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.

Why choose a career in Child Development and Family Studies?

A career in the area of child development and family studies provides opportunities to support children, families, and communities to meet their greatest potential. This type of career allows for individuals to work with people to build better communities. Also see more examples of why social science careers are impactful here:

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

Child Care Director
Projected Growth: (11%) Faster than average

Curriculum Coordinator
Projected Growth (10%) As fast as average

Social and Community Service Managers
Projected Growth (15%) Faster than average

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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