Learn to work with children, families, and allied professionals to instruct, supervise, and support: You’ll do that here.

The study of child development encompasses the human life span from conception through adolescence and provides a foundation for your professional role in human service and education. 

What You’ll Do     

  • Interact one-on-one with qualified faculty in face-to-face and online classes. 
  • Acquire first-hand knowledge of child development in action through experiential learning with children and families in a variety of university and community settings. 
  • Apply child development knowledge to create healthy, supportive learning and care environments. 
  • Complete a Child Development Career Internship, the capstone of integrated study. 
  • Be prepared to collaborate with allied professionals in government, corporate, education, and social service settings. 
  • Gain real-world experience. 100% of Southeast programs offer real-world experience. During the final year, majors complete a Child Development Career Internship, which is the capstone of integrated study. 

What Can You Do with a Child Development Degree?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Internship and Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Child Advocacy Specialist
  • Child Care Assistant or Lead Teacher
  • Child Care Program Director
  • Child Development Consultant
  • Children’s Department Service Worker
  • Community Service Specialist
  • Developmental Assistant
  • Early Interventionist
  • Family Child Care Provider
  • Head Start Educator, Administrator, Field Supervisor, orSpecialist
  • Maternal Health Program
  • Child Care Coordinator/Trainer
  • Out-of-School/School-Age Child Care Educator
  • Parent Education Specialist
  • Pregnancy Prevention Program Coordinator/Trainer
  • Resource and Referral Professional
  • Women’s Safe House/Shelter
  • Children’s Program Specialist

Graduate School Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS


Outcomes & Careers 

  • 96% 

    Successful Outcomes Rate 

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Child & Family Studies report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.  

  • $49k

    Preschool and Childcare Center Director   

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a preschool and childcare center director is $49,160.    

  • $32k

    Preschool Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a preschool teacher is $31,930.    

  • $70k 

    Social and Community Service Manager

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a social and community service manager is $69,600. 


Child & Family Studies: Child Development Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

What You'll Study

As child and family studies: child development major, you’ll learn about human life from conception through adolescence. Graduates work with children, families, and allied professionals in instructional, supervisory and support capacities. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, the General Education program, and 39 senior division hours (300-599).

Child Development - 81 Hour Major - No Minor Required

Required Courses:

  • CF102 Relationships in the 21st Century (3)
  • CF120 The Child (3)
  • CF124 Children’s Health, Safety, and Nutrition (3)
  • CF200 Constructive Guidance and Discipline (3)
  • CF209 Introduction to Family Theories (3)
  • CF215 Observation: Perception and Process (3)
  • CF233 Creative Thought/Expression in Children (3)
  • CF250 Family Child Care: Feasibility and Management (3)
  • CF280 Learning Theory and Application: Preschool (3)
  • CF285 Learning Theory and Application: Infant-Toddler (3)
  • CF306 History and Theory of Child Development (3)
  • CF310 School Age Child Care (3)
  • CF315 Administration of Programs for Children and Youth
  • CF330 Middle Childhood and Youth Issues (3)
  • CF410 Culture, Ethnicity, and the Child (3) 
  • CF415 Legal Risks/Administrative Decision-Making in Programs for Children and Youth (3)
  • CF430 Parent-Child Interactions (3)
  • CF480 Child Development Career Internship (6) 
  • CF520 Professional Ethics and Practice (3)
  • CF555 Child Advocacy III-Responding to the survivor of Child Abuse (3)
  • ED535 The Trauma Informed Professional (3)
  • EX390 Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child (3)
  • FE200 Family Finacial Management (3)
  • HS301 Foundations of Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy (3)
  • HS401 Child Advocacy II - Professional and System Responses (3)
  • EX390 Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)     

  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • CF120 (3) 
  • CF124 (3) 
  • PS103 (3) 
  • US105 or US107 (3)     

Spring Semester (19 Hours)     

  • CF102 (3) 
  • CF200 (3) 
  • MA128 (4) 
  • PH218 (3) 
  • SW121 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: 2.0 cumulative grade point average 

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (18 Hours)  

  • CF209 (3) 
  • CF215 (3) 
  • CF233 (3) 
  • CF250 (3) 
  • CF280 (3) 
  • FE200 (3) 

Spring Semester (18 Hours)    

  • BS103 (3) 
  • CF285 (3) 
  • CF310 (3) 
  • CF360 (3) 
  • EX390 (3) 
  • LI243 (3) 

Milestone: 2.0 cumulative grade point average 

(Summer courses are encouraged to avoid 18-hour semesters.) 

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (12 Hours)    

  • CF306 (3) 
  • CF330 (3) 
  • Track Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (12 Hours)     

  • CF410 (3) 
  • CF430 (3) 
  • Track Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Milestone: 2.0 cumulative grade point average 

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (12 Hours)     

  • CF475 (3) 
  • Track Course (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (13 Hours)  

  • CF480 (6) 
  • Track Course (3) 
  • General Education (2) 
  • Elective (2) 

Milestone: 2.0 cumulative grade point average 

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.


  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential
  • National Council on Family Relations logo
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Scully Building 114
Mailing Location
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701