Who is this degree for?

This program will provide you a deep, interdisciplinary understanding of early childhood development. It is excellent preparation for professional or leadership roles in the full range of disciplines and systems that serve young children and their families.

Our graduates have had notable success in a whole range of fields — from child care and education to social service and mental health, from policy-making and analysis to health care and even the arts. These are the fundamentals that everyone needs to be effective working with or for children and families.

Request more information


You can take your study even deeper by adding a specialization:


Explore the planning and implementation of administrative systems that effectively carry out an organization’s mission, with an option to seek the Illinois Director Credential.

Child Life

Learn to advocate for children and families as a child life specialist — helping them face the unknown, making the complex understandable, and facilitating the optimal development of children whose medical treatment has deprived them of the typical opportunities for learning and growth.

Children’s Law and Policy

Learn how the law impacts children and their families, and gain skills to advocate for children across a range of disciplines and organizations.

Children with Special Needs

Gain expertise in working with young children with developmental delay/disabilities and their families, in early education, community, and home environments.


Be prepared for the complex role of the infant specialist, working with infants and families in the context of their community, with an option to apply for the early intervention credential.

Infancy and Administration

Combine deep expertise of working with infants with the organizational understanding gained through the Administration Specialization.

Course Work

To give you the most comprehensive understanding of child development of any program in the country, our core courses include relevant aspects of every discipline, including developmental psychology, neurobiology, anthropology, psychiatry, education, sociology, health, and social work.

Sample course schedules

Core Courses:

Assessment Elective Courses: