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Children's Studies

The curriculum of this interdisciplinary program provides a strong holistic background in the study of children, from birth to adolescence. Theory and practice, from a variety of disciplines, form the basis for this integrated curriculum. Children's studies courses provide foundational and global perspectives of children and childhood. A choice of concentration areas, culminating in a capstone experience, allows students to connect effectively with specific career opportunities.  The Children's studies perspective emphasizes comprehensive studies of children's lives and respect for children's experiences.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Acquire and apply knowledge and skills concerning multicultural, communicative, interdisciplinary, ad international perspectives pertaining to children and families;
  • Acquire and apply knowledge concerning Children's Studies theoretical perspectives and methods for working with children and families with an emphasis on diversity;
  • Acquire and apply knowledge of the scientific method through individual research and/or analysis of scholarly literature;
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for professional success in a wide variety of careers related to children and families;
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to engage the community through service learning and internship opportunities related to children and families.

What are the degree options?

Core Courses

  • Foundations of Children's Studies - Parts I & II
  • Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • Children and the Family
  • Children's Rights, Laws, and Ethics
  • Children's Studies Senior Capstone
  • Inequalities and Impacts on Educational Equality
  • Geography of Childhood
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Option-specific Internship

Concentration Areas

  • Option A: Child Life and Health

Designed for students interested in pursuing certification in Child Life with the Association of Child Life Professionals, and for those pursuing graduate work for future employment in medical fields working with children (e.g. Medical Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Pediatric Physician or Dentist, etc.). *Please note that medical degree programs may have additional prerequisite courses to complete as part of the bachelor's degree that may not be included in this option.

  • Option B: Child Services

Designed for students interested in pursuing work with children and/or families at the agency level. The scope of applicable careers is vast (e.g. adoption agencies, district health and services agencies, court appointed special advocates (CASA), program directors, agency support.

  • Option C: Child and Family Support

Designed for students interested in assisting young children and their families in accessing early learning opportunities and providing case management services, and assisting parents in meeting the needs of their children, empowering parents in their roles as primary influencers on their children's education and development, and facilitating positive parent, school, and student relationships. Students who specialize in option C will receive a certificate in child and family support.

  • Certificate in Child and Family Support

Separate from the three options will be a certificate in Child and Family Support. This certificate will be available to majors who specialize in option C and to non-majors throughout the University. This certificate will provide a foundation for work as a child and family support specialist.


What can I do with my degree?

The BA in chidren's studies boasts breadth and depth, offering students the benefit of perspectives from varied disciplines as well as research opportunity with practitioners in the field, relevant internships and career counseling.

Some career options for students pursuing a major in children's studies:

  • Child and Family Support Specialist
  • Center/Program director
  • After-school program director
  • Children's museum staff
  • Community recreation program staff
  • County extension specialist
  • Researcher
  • Youth shelter worker
  • Facility provider for at-risk children
  • Adoption counselor
  • Parent and family support
  • Family literacy
  • Social worker
  • Home visitor
  • Child care resource and referral agency counselor
  • Foster care supervisor
  • Juvenile justice worker
  • Family mediation (court)
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Child health worker
  • Early interventionist

*Please note some of these career options will require additional graduate-level degrees in the applicable fields of study.

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