Launch a career in human service and education.

Earning your bachelor’s degree in child development gives you the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life in human service and education fields. Majors learn to apply child development theory and experience to create healthy, supportive learning and care environments.   

Students acquire first-hand knowledge of child development in action through experiential learning with children and families in a variety of University and community settings. 

What You'll Do

You’ll learn about the development of children from conception through adolescence, preparing you to take on professional roles in human service and education careers. With two track options of either administrative or child and youth services, you can earn a degree that fits your goals and interests. More specifically, you’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Learn about dynamics of families and how they affect children. 
  • Continue working, secure an internship or balance life’s other responsibilities by taking online courses. 
  • Earn your associate’s degree in child care and guidance while working towards your bachelor’s degree at no extra cost with our stackable degree path. 

What Can You Do with a Child Development Degree? 

Child Development graduates work in daycare, corporate, government and social service settings with children, families, and allied professionals. 

With the flexibility of choosing an area of study relevant to your ambitions, you’ll be prepared to tackle the challenges of the career path you choose. 

Program graduates can earn jobs as a: 

  • Child Life Specialist 
  • Adoption Counselor 
  • Early Childhood Interventionist 
  • Community Service Specialist 
  • Children’s Program Specialist 

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. 


Online: Child Development Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Child Development Curriculum

The child development degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours. “Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

  • 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) 
  • CF330 Middle Childhood and Youth Issues (3 
  • CF360 Family Life Education (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) 
  • CF475 Action Research for the Practitioner (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 Financial Mangement (3)
  • HS301 Foundations of CHild Maltreatment and Child Advocacy (3)
  • HS401 Child Advocacy II - Professional and System Responses (3)
  • LI243 Childern's Literature (3)

Choose One Track 

Administrative Track 

  • CF315 Administration of Programs for Children and Youth (3) 
  • CF350 Assessing and Teaching Young Children (3)  
  • CF415 Legal Risks/AdministrativeDecision-making in Programs for Children and Youth (3)  
  • CF420 Leadership and Advocacy for the Administrator (3)  

Child and Youth Services Track- Choose 12 hours 

  • CF 520 Professional Ethics and Practice (3)  
  • ED 535 The Trauma Informed Professional (3) 
  • HS 301 Foundations of Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy (3) 
  • HS 401 Child Advocacy II - Professional and System Responses (3)  
  • HS 402 Child Advocacy III - Responding to the Survivor of Child Abuse (3) 
Note: Several courses within this program will require observation hours.

  • BS103 Human Biology (3) 
  • FE200 Family Financial Management (3)  
  • LI243 Children’s Literature (3)  
  • MA128 Mathematics I (4) 
  • PH218 Physical Science: A Process Approach (3) 
  • PS103 US Political Systems (3)  
  • SW121 Helping Skills for Human Services (3)  
  • US105 American History I (3)  


  • US107 American History II (3) 

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in a 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 


  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • 1st 8 Week: Aug. - Oct. (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 8 Week: Oct. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Total: 15 hours 


  • Wintersession: Dec. - Jan. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Jan. - May. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Jan. - May. (3 hours) 
  • 1st 8 Week: Jan. - Mar. (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 8 Week: Mar. - May. (3 hours) 
  • Total: 15 hours 


  • 1st 4 Week: June (3 hours) 
  • 8 Week: June-July (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 4 Week: July (3 hours) 
  • Total: 9 hours 

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

This degree is housed within the College of Education, Health and Human Studies. The college boasts programs that train students in mind, body, and soul. So, whether you want to teach, to care, to support, or to fix, we have a program to get you there.

Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies

"As a professor of Child Development and one who was trained in Agriculture, I see the university setting as a field of opportunities to plant the seed of ideas, inspiration, and purpose; I do this with the hope and expectation that the minds and efforts of future student professionals evolve to produce outcomes that are fruitful to their professions and their communities."

Victor Wilburn, Ph.D.

Dr. Victor Wilburn stands for a portrait.

Online Learning at Southeast

When it comes to your success, we do whatever it takes. Online learning at Southeast takes the same reputable college courses taught by Southeast faculty and makes them available anytime, anywhere.

Become a Redhawk.

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

Getting the Job

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.

Stackable Degree Path

Earn credentials faster with our stackable degree path! You can earn your Associate of Arts in childcare and guidance while working towards your Bachelor of Science in child development. There are no additional classes needed with this option, getting you to a degree faster without extra work.

98% of College of Education, Health and Human Studies graduates are employed or enrolled in grad school within a year.

Alumni are employed by

  • Bootheel Counseling Services logo
  • Community Counseling Center logo
  • Saint Francis Healthcare System logo
  • SSM Health logo
(573) 651-5184
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