2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Child Development

The child development major and minor are administered by the Department of Psychology; students should contact the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development for information about these programs.

Child development is available as a major and a minor on both the BA and BS degrees.

The child development major is a multidisciplinary program drawing upon the strengths of nine disciplines:

      Child Development

      Communication Sciences and Disorders


      Criminal Justice


      Nutritional Sciences



      Social Work

Its interdisciplinary focus is designed for students who wish to go into jobs or areas of study in child development, such as children’s mental health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and non-profit organizations that serve children. The major provides comprehensive insight into the issues of child development, as well as knowledge and skills in developmental trauma and intervention. The major also works well for students who double major in areas such as psychology, social work, criminal justice, communication sciences and others. This major provides students who want to work with children in these disciplines an advantage in their chosen field of study due to the global influence and impact of the Purvis Institute’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®).

Students who wish to major in child development should first declare a child development pre-major (CHDP) and then apply for the major after their first year. To apply to the major, students must have either a minor OR a second major. Major requirements include having a sophomore standing, a minimum 2.5 GPA, a clear criminal background check (sent to students after the application is screened) and a completed application. Applications are emailed to child development pre-majors at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.

Pass/No-Credit Option

See the Bachelor's Degree Definitions and Regulations in the Bachelor's Degree section of the University requirements.