Young child playing with legos with markers and coloring sheet on table
  • Program Type
    Major
  • Degrees Offered
    B.A., B.S.
  • School
    Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Gain the professional and personal skills you need to positively impact the lives of children and families.

What You'll Learn

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In child development studies, you’ll develop an essential understanding of human and child development. You’ll work closely with an advisor to create an interdisciplinary course of study suitable for your personal and professional goals that complements our core set of early childhood and development courses. The program pairs well with majors and minors in liberal arts, business, behavioral sciences, and health-related fields.

Learn how to collaborate effectively.

You’ll cultivate the knowledge and skills to collaborate with a variety of different agencies to support the development of a child.

Strengthen critical thinking and communication skills.

You’ll think critically about and clearly communicate critical components of child development and child development studies.

Grow professionally and personally.

Gain skills for both professional and personal growth in a curriculum firmly grounded in Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine values.

Course Requirements

Please visit our catalog for a list of all courses and credits.

Careers & Outcomes

Employment Trends

Child development studies prepares students for a variety of career paths — from education and pre-school childcare to graduate study. Because the major can be tailored to your interests and professional goals, your child development studies degree is an asset for entering and advancing in a wide variety of fields.

Career Paths

  • Educator
  • Childcare provider
  • Entrepreneur 
  • Nonprofit manager
  • Guidance counselor
  • Family services provider  

Featured Faculty

Janet Bassingthwaite, MEd

Director of Early Childhood Education Program, Director of Child Development Studies Program, Assistant Professor of Education

As a former Head Start teacher, Early Head Start Coordinator, Infant Toddler Specialist, and current ECE consultant, I bring over 20 years of early care and education experience to faciliate rich learning opportunties in a wide range of professional avenues. Through collaboration with local, private, and public systems, key partnerships have been established with agencies, programs, and schools serving children birth to age 8, allowing UMary students the opportunity to explore a variety of professional options in the field and gain the knowledge and practice to prepare them for work with young children and their families. As an early childhood advocate I participate on local and statewide early childhood initiative committees, which allows continued growth of the ECE program and keeping current with the pulse of the profession.

Take Your Next Step in Child Development Studies