Applications Now Open!
Spring 2024: June 1 - Sept. 30, 2023
Earning your B.S. in Child Development degree from SDSU Global Campus will give you the tools you need to help children in your community grow into healthy and productive adults. SDSU’s degree completion program is driven by research, community-based learning, and above all, a passion for children.
About the program
The Bachelor of Science in Child Development Degree Completion Program can help you turn your passion for children and healthy childhood development into a rewarding career. Led by renowned faculty from SDSU’s Department of Child and Family Development, this program is designed to help you understand the physical, cognitive, and social development of children in the context of families, communities, and culture. If you’re passionate about building stronger communities through our children, this program is for you!
Courses 100% Online + Field Placement Components*
Whether your goal is teaching, social work, community leadership, or graduate school, this program can help you develop the skills you need to launch a successful career in child development.
From Our Staff
“The Department of Child and Family Development at SDSU has engaged, enthusiastic, and student-centered faculty, with expertise in a wide variety of topics related to child and family development. Our courses are based on the latest research about what is needed for children, families, and communities to thrive, and we are committed to preparing students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed to enter the workforce.”
- Sarah Garrity, Ph.D., Department Chair and Associate Professor
Child Development Program Mission
Our mission is to prepare students to become early childhood educators and professionals who work with children and families in their schools and communities. The focus of the department is on the study of social-emotional development as the underlying foundation for all other areas of development including physical, cognitive, motor, and language. The program represents an interdisciplinary field of study with the basic assumption that development takes place across the lifespan in the context of the family, community, and public policy.
Is This Program Right for Me?
SDSU’s child development degree is designed for students who are passionate about helping children grow and thrive in their communities.
As an interdisciplinary program, you’ll be prepared to launch careers in many different types of fields, including:
- Early childhood education
- Early intervention
- Social work
- Work in nonprofit organizations
Many students aspire to become educators, and use the knowledge they’ve gained throughout the program to enter teacher credential programs. Others choose to enter graduate-level programs in child or family development, psychology, social science, and education.
The majority of this B.S. in Child Development Program is held online, which makes the program ideal for students who are working professionals and adult learners. And best of all, you’re working towards the same degree as SDSU’s on-campus students: a Bachelor of Science in Child Development from San Diego State University.
Amazon employees are eligible to take this program. More details here!
From Our Staff
“SDSU faculty and students know the importance of taking evidence-based practice, and disseminating it into the community. Students leave with not only the textbook knowledge, but the ability to put that knowledge to work in improving the lives of children and families in their communities.”
- Dan Bacon, M.A., BCBA, Lecturer
What Can I Learn?
SDSU’s Child Development Program examines how individuals develop throughout their lifespan, from birth through adolescence and into adulthood. You’ll learn about the different social and cultural contexts in which children develop, including schools, families, communities, and cultures. You’ll also learn about the role that special needs (e.g. developmental disorders), conflict, trauma, and family violence can play in development.
As a student in the program, you’ll focus a variety of topics, including:
- Developmental perspectives
- Early childhood education practice, including administration
- The development (physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social) of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, adolescents, and adults
- Development within context, such as culture, socioeconomic status, etc.
- Anti-bias and culturally sustaining teaching techniques
- Family violence and child maltreatment
- Building a developmentally-appropriate curriculum
- Children with special needs
- Advocacy and public policy
- Parenting, coparenting, parent-child, and peer relationships
- Community engagement
- Understanding and conducting research
You’ll learn about these topics in courses developed by expert faculty from SDSU’s Department of Child & Family Development. Our faculty produce cutting-edge research in the field of childhood development, and many are actively engaged in applying their scholarly research to improving the lives of children in their own communities. They bring expertise to every lesson, turning your virtual classrooms into a forum for experience-based learning guided by a curriculum designed to tackle the issues that children are facing today.
From Our Staff
“The Child and Family Development faculty at San Diego State University are passionate about preparing students for a variety of careers related to helping children and families. They put quality work into creating their classes, and they really focus on helping their students succeed through promoting quality teacher-student relationships.”
- Alyson Shapiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Most courses in the program are 100% online. However, several courses (CFD 378A, 378B, 578, 590) contain on-site field experience components. You’ll also complete a 120-hour community-based learning experience over an eight-week period at the end of your program, where you’ll work with child and family service providers in the San Diego or Imperial Valley communities.
Please note that in order to complete the program, students living outside of San Diego and Imperial Counties will need to travel to San Diego County or Imperial County to fulfill these in-person requirements once in-person education resumes.
Childcare Teachers and Directors
Childcare Teachers and Directors
When you earn your Bachelor in Child Development from SDSU, you can look forward to a bright future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 70,000 jobs looking for individuals holding the same skills as you’d earn in a B.S. in Child Development Program, with nearly 10% of those job postings located in California. Most graduates of undergraduate child development programs find employment in social work, human services, and education.
Nationwide, the job market for those holding a B.S. in Child Development is expected to grow by 15% over the next decade. For those individuals, yearly salaries currently range from $37,000–$64,000, compared to an average yearly salary of $29,000 for those holding an Associate’s degree or less.
Why Should You Choose Us?
This program goes beyond theory. You’ll have the opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve learned outside the virtual classroom through in-person* learning experiences with child and family service providers. You can make a difference in your community while gaining invaluable hands-on experience for your future career in child development.
The majority of the program takes place in a virtual format. Other than the hands-on* community learning opportunities, you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to come to campus, and you won’t have to put your professional life on hold in order to earn your degree. And because your courses are designed and delivered by renowned faculty and lecturers from SDSU’s Department of Child & Family Development, you can be sure that you’re getting a degree that’s going to carry weight in the professional world.
SDSU’s online degree completion programs are designed to give you access to SDSU's online programming no matter where you’re located. By accepting lower division coursework as prerequisites for admission, you can join the Aztec community and work towards your degree in as little as two years.
In order to earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Arts and Sciences with a Major in Child Development, you’ll need to complete the following online components:
- A minimum of 50 Upper Division Units, including:
- 35 Units of Required Upper Division Courses
- A Reflective Learning Portfolio
- 14 Units of Specialization Courses
- 3 Writing Proficiency Units (if applicable)
- 9 General Education Exploration Units
- 3 Units of a Community-Based Learning Opportunity
Required Upper Division Courses (35 units)
CFD 335: Interactions in Culturally Diverse Families (3 units)
CFD 354: Parenting: Context, Application, and Research (3 units)
CFD 370: Research, Assessment, and Evaluation of Children and Families (3 unit)
CFD 375A: Human Development and Learning: Infant/Toddler (2 units)
CFD 375B: Human Development and Learning: Early/Middle Childhood (2 units)
CFD 375C: Human Development and Learning: Adolescence/Adulthood (2 units)
CFD 475: Promoting Behavior Support and Classroom Organization in Early Childhood Settings (3 units)
CFD 537: Child Abuse and Family Violence (3 units)
CFD 560: Theories in Socio-Emotional Development (3 units)
CFD 575: Public Policy and Professional Ethics in Child and Family Development (3 units)
CFD 578: Conflict Resolution Across the Life Span (4 units) (in person placement component)*
CFD 590: Children with Special Needs (4 units) (in person placement component)*
Reflective Learning Portfolio (1 unit)
CFD 598: Reflective Learning Portfolio (1 unit) Cr/NC
Child Development Specialist Courses (14 Units)
CFD 377: Leadership and Adult Supervision in Child and Family Development Programs (3 units)
CFD 378A: Laboratory Experiences: Infants/Toddlers (1 Unit) (in person placement component)*
CFD 378B: Laboratory Experiences: Preschool/Kindergarten (1 unit) (in person placement component)*
CFD 380: Early Language and Literacy Development in a Linguistically Diverse Society (3 units)
CFD 477: Administration of Child Development Programs (3 units)
CFD 577: Professionalism and Advanced Administration of Child Development Programs (3 units)
Writing Proficiency Requirements (3 Units)
RWS 305W: Writing in Various Settings (3 units)
General Education Explorations Courses (9 Units)
Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning (3 Units)
Social and Behavior Sciences (3 Units)
Humanities (3 Units)
Study Area Requirements (3 units)
CFD 497 (Field Placement) or CFD 499 (Research Experience) is required. We are currently planning to offer CFD 497 to fulfil this requirement, but we are considering making the CFD 499 Research Experience course available as an alternative to the extensive field placement. Please talk to your program advisor for more information.
CFD 497: Field Experiences in Child and Family Development Programs (3 Units)
This is a 120-hour on-site* community based learning opportunity. You’ll work directly with children and family service providers in preselected community outreach programs/agencies in San Diego County or the Imperial Valley region. You’ll need to register in Child and Family Development 597 and work under supervision of faculty as well as service providers. (3 units) Cr/NC
*In-person components are available virtually or are temporarily waived due to COVID-19 restrictions. Once restrictions are lifted and in-person education resumes, these components will be provided as in-person experiences.
To successfully complete the program and earn your degree, you’ll need to complete all required units of coursework. You'll need to complete any remaining lower division CSU and General Education requirements externally before graduation at SDSU (with the exception of approved bridge courses that are offered internally at SDSU Global Campus). Once admitted, please refer to your degree evaluation to determine if there are any remaining degree requirements listed in the SDSU General Catalog for your major, as well as requirements outlined in your degree evaluation. If you have any questions, your Admissions Advisor is here to help.
Learn More About Transferring to SDSU Global Campus
We host a series of application workshops and transfer information sessions throughout the year to answer any questions about finishing your degree.
Below is a list of general admission requirements for the B.S. in Child Development degree completion program.
We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact an Admissions Advisor to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program. Many community college courses will cover equivalent content under different course names and numbers, so please work with your Admissions Advisor to determine if you have met the requirements below.
- You should have a minimum of 60 transferable semester (or 90 quarter) units by the end of the fall term prior to spring transfer and the end of the spring term prior to fall transfer, including the following classes or their equivalent:
- 27-28 Lower Division Preparation Course Units:
- CFD 135: Principles of Family Development
(can be taken as part of the program prior to graduation if needed)
- CFD 270: Human Development Across the Lifespan
- CFD 270L: Principles of Observation: Child Development Laboratory
(waived for fall 2023 admission)
- CFD 272: Child, Family, and Community Engagement
- CFD 275: Learning Environments and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- CFD 278: Nutrition, Health, and Safety for Children
- BIOL 100: General Biology
- PSY 101: Introductory Psychology
- SOC 101: Introductory Sociology: The Study of Society
- Psychology 280 or Sociology 201, or a three unit elementary statistics course
These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC)
- CFD 135: Principles of Family Development
- Please contact Global Campus Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org for a prequalification. Any potential course substitutions are subject to Department approval and will be reviewed at the time of application.
- Complete a minimum of 30 Units of General Education Courses
- Complete the Golden Four Requirement, which includes:
- Oral Communication — complete a basic public speaking course or other communication course with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
- Written Communication — complete a freshman composition course that emphasizes essay writing or reading and writing concurrently with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
- Critical Thinking — complete, with a grade of "C-" or higher, a second semester composition or writing course, or a course in reasoning and effective argumentative writing
- Mathematics — complete a mathematics course above the level of intermediate algebra with a grade of "C-" or higher in at least 3 semester (or 4 quarter) units
- 27-28 Lower Division Preparation Course Units:
- Complete the American Institutions requirement
- The American Institutions requirement is designed to demonstrate that students have an understanding of American history, the United States Constitution, and California state and local government.
- Satisfy the CSU mathematics and writing requirements
- Have an overall GPA of 2.4+
- Background Clearance — you should successfully pass a background check in order to be placed in educational and community settings. Red flag issues which prevent placement may impede progression and successful completion of degree requirements.
- Tuberculin Clearance — you should provide evidence of a negative tuberculosis test for community-based classes. Clearance statements may be secured from SDSU Health Services, private physicians or HMOs, or public health agencies.
A $70 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants at the time of application.
Admission decisions are initially based on self-reported information provided via Cal State Apply. You’ll need to provide complete and accurate information on your application. Any misreporting will jeopardize an admission offer.
Please do not send your official transcripts unless you are offered admission.
Electronic transcripts are highly encouraged. Please ensure that you indicate this preference when making your request. If you are required to provide an email address to send the secure online document to SDSU, please use email@example.com.
For more detailed admission requirements and other application information, please consult our Transfer Admissions Information.
This program is approved for financial aid. To begin the financial aid process, visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website. There, you'll be able to access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
We encourage you to apply for financial aid as soon as possible.
|Unit Cost||Require Units*||Cost|
|Total Estimated Cost||$499||$32,435|
* Everyone is unique, your admissions advisor will work with you to determine the right path that suits your needs.
The cost of this online degree completion program is $438 per unit. With fees included, this makes the total cost of the program $32,435 (subject to change).
You’re also responsible for the costs of required texts and learning materials as well as incidental fees related to your application for admission and graduation.
Want to Learn More?
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