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APUS is an online-only university. The child and family development program focuses on the family as a unit, how family members communicate and interact, the external influences upon the family, and conditions that influence human growth and the development of the individual within the context of the family. Additionally, the program emphasizes basic processes in child development, exploring the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children from birth to adolescence, and prepares graduates for working with children in a variety of educational settings.

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Child Development and Families Studies (CDFS) is a program in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. Both B.S. and M.A. degrees are offered. Students in the B.S. program can select from two options: (a) Birth through Pre-K Early Childhood Education or (b) Family and Youth Studies. Birth through Pre-K Early Childhood Education is best suited for students who are interested in working with young children, from birth to four years, and their parents in pre-school or child care programs. Family and Youth Studies is best suited for students who are interested in working with older children, adolescents, and/or families in youth development or family development programs in community agencies. A M.A. can pursued in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in CDFS. Students complete 33 hours of coursework which includes a six-credit hour research-based thesis. Doctoral studies in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is available as an emphasis within the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education in the College of Human Resources and Education. See details below.

Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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