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Child Development and Family StudiesMajor

Our hands-on program will prepare you for jobs in nursery schools, child care centers, infant-care and after-school programs, and many other settings. You’ll get real-world experience at the WVU Nursery School and through internships at local agencies and care centers.


What is Child Development and Family Studies at WVU like?


The BS in Child Development and Family Studies offers two curriculum pathways: Birth through Pre-Kindergarten and Family and Youth.

In the Birth through Pre-Kindergarten option, you will study the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of young children in the family and preschool contexts. You'll learn to construct early childhood environments where the young children can develop skills for lifelong learning. The program provides extensive field experiences with various ages of young children.

The Family and Youth option covers human growth and development, adolescent development, human sexuality, family issues and interaction, youth concerns and issues and related topics. You'll learn to work with adolescents and families in various social service and community-based contexts and get applied experience at community agencies.

Child Development and Family Studies program highlights:

At a Glance

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here are some suggested next steps:

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Areas of Emphasis

Tailor this major to your interests by taking courses in one of these areas:

  • Child Development (Non-Certification)
    Prepares students for varied job opportunities that do not require certification.
  • Family and Youth Studies
    Designed for students seeking careers working with children, adolescents and families in youth or family service agencies or in medical settings. This option also provides a solid foundation for pursuing graduate studies in child or human development, family studies, education, developmental psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work or related fields.
  • Preschool Education, Birth-Age 4
    Prepares students for certification in Pre-K.
  • Preschool Special Needs, PreK-K
    Prepares students for certification in Pre-K and Pre-K with Special Needs.

Fast Facts

What makes Child Development and Family Studies at WVU unique?

Research and Academic Opportunities

Research experience is available by working with faculty on their research projects for course credit. Projects include: fathers and fatherhood; child care policy; child care quality in West Virginia; and parenting.

Students can earn an infant/toddler certificate and/or early childhood development certificate. Depending on the option chosen, the certificates can be earned by taking 1-2 additional courses.

Students can earn a director’s credential by adding four additional courses.

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Transfer Articulation Agreements

In addition to guaranteed admission agreements WVU has transfer articulation agreements with:

Student Organizations

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

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How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees in school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, educational psychology, public health, special education, human development and family studies, developmental psychology and child life.

Graduates find employment in a variety of fields, including education and human services.

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Child Development and Family Studies major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:


What are the courses like in Child Development and Family Studies at WVU?

Plan of Study

Check out a program overview, learning goals, course descriptions and suggested plan of study for WVU's Child Development and Family Studies major.

View the Plan of Study

Popular Courses

CDFS 211:
Infant Development

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 414:
Adolescent Problems and Disorders

Focuses on non-normative aspects of adolescent development including social, behavior, emotional, and psychological problems. Prevention and intervention strategies are examined.

CDFS 415:
Family Interaction and Communication

The family as a social group; processes related to well-being for a variety of family relationships.

CDFS 430:
Best Practices in Pre-K Movement

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.

Cost and Aid

How much does Child Development and Family Studies at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates for the 2021-22 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current West Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

West Virginia Resident
Per Credit $409
Per Semester $4,908
Fall and Spring Semesters $9,816
Per Credit $1,115
Per Semester $13,380
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,760
Per Credit $1,115
Per Semester $13,680
Fall and Spring Semesters $27,360
Scholarship Chart

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Ways to Save

Here is a way for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. In addition to guaranteed admission agreements Child Development and Family Studies has transfer articulation agreements with:

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for Child Development and Family Studies at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's Child Development and Family Studies major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2022-23 academic year. They also must meet the following admission requirement. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

For direct admission to the Child Development and Family Studies program:
  • GPA: 2.50

If you don't meet the admission requirements for WVU's Child Development and Family Studies major, check out some related programs.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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