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College of Applied Human Sciences: School of Counseling and Well-being

Child Development and Family Studies, BS

This major prepares you for careers working with young children and their families, including careers as a developmental specialist, parent educator and early childhood resiliency specialist.

You may select a professional focus from a wide variety of areas, such as:

  • Child Care Specialist
  • Early Childhood Daycare Teacher
  • Developmental Specialist
  • Child Life Educator

Field placements offer opportunities to apply classroom theory in real-world settings.

Your Degree Plan


Aerial view of Martin and Woodburn Halls

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.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework 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.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Hands-on experience at the state-of-the-art WVU Nursery School.
  • Opportunities to participate in research with faculty and present at local and national conferences.
  • Internships in community centers for direct experience with children, adolescents and families.
  • Mentoring from experts in early childhood education, infant and child development, adolescent development, family science and public policy.
  • Partnerships with numerous local agencies, such as the Boys and Girls Club and child care centers, for student internship/placement hours.
  • Funding available to support travel to local and national conferences.

90% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2020-2021).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Hands-on Learning

  • Field placements allow students to apply classroom theory in real world settings.


  • 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 may also participate in WVU’s Research Apprenticeship Program.

Extra Credentials

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

View all of the student organizations you can join.

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

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Teaching Assistants, Preschool, Elementary, Middle and Secondary School, Except Special Education

Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher with instructional duties. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

Median Salary: $29,360

Possible job titles include: Instructional Assistant, Paraprofessional, Special Education Teaching Assistant, Teacher Assistant.

Explore Career

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program

Plan, direct or coordinate the academic and nonacademic activities of preschool and childcare centers or programs.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $47,310

Possible job titles include: Administrator, Director, Preschool Director, Site Coordinator.

Explore Career

Preschool Teachers

Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $30,210

Possible job titles include: Lead Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Pre-K Teacher), Preschool Teacher, Teacher.

Explore Career

Instructional Coordinators

Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $62,460

Possible job titles include: Curriculum Coordinator, Curriculum Director, Curriculum Specialist, Instructional Systems Specialist.

Explore Career

Childcare Workers

Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing and overseeing play.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $27,490

Possible job titles include: Child Care Provider, Child Care Worker, Child Caregiver, Childcare Worker.

Explore Career

Meet Your Community

The Child Development and Family Studies family will inspire and support you.

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

A student observes children working puzzles at the WVU Nursery School

WVU Nursery School

The WVU Child Development Laboratory (Nursery School) is designed to provide observational and practicum experiences for University students majoring in child development and family studies, curriculum and instruction, and other related fields.

Explore the WVU Nursery School
  • Virtual Tour
    It's the next-best thing to being here – you can virtually tour residence halls and the WVU Morgantown Campus.
  • Student Life
    You will have it all here — epic traditions, quality academics and a supportive community that feels like home.
  • Visit
    Experience WVU in person and start imagining life as a Mountaineer!

Admission Requirements

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. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition 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 2022-23 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


Per Semester


Fall & Spring Semesters



Per Credit


Per Semester


Fall & Spring Semesters



Per Credit


Per Semester


Fall & Spring Semesters


Scholarship Chart

Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Visit the Scholarship Chart
Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Child Development and Family Studies major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

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.

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

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

Request Info

Want to know more about Child Development and Family Studies at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

Request Info


​​Experiencing campus is the best way to see if WVU is the right fit. Choose from in-person and virtual options.

Visit WVU


Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission using our convenient online application.

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