Majors & Minors in Child Development and Education


The Department of Education & Child Development offers studies in two distinct fields: child development and education.

Child Development

Child development offers an undergraduate major and minor, leading toward a variety of careers in working with children, as well as coursework for a Child Development Permit, which can be used to work in child care centers and after school programs throughout the State of California. Some CHDV courses also count toward a minor in education and an Elementary Teaching Credential.

Child Development majors develop a deep understanding of child behavior and growth through the study of developmental psychology. We prepare students for graduate-level academic work, child advocacy, and/or entry-level careers serving children and families in a variety of fields.

The Department offers a variety of classes on child development by specific age ranges (infancy through early childhood, middle childhood), as well as on specific topics (language development and developmental psychopathology). Most classes are designed to connect research and theory on child growth and development to their practical applications.

Our majors also engage in valuable experiences outside of class, from helping faculty carry out research projects that study child behavior to working at The Broadoaks Children’s School, our laboratory school on campus, to serving as Jumpstart mentors in local preschools to advocating for children’s rights as a member of OMEP, students work alongside faculty and members of the Whittier community while gaining experiences to build their resumes for graduate school and future careers.

Child Development graduates become teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, child care providers, or enter other careers working with children.


Many students who major in Child Development remain at Whittier for our graduate program, which includes the Masters of Arts in Education and credentialing programs. For more information, please visit our Graduate Programs in Education website.

Any Whittier College current student, regardless of major, who is interested in beginning their credential as an undergraduate, is welcome to pursue a hybrid option. Whittier’s hybrid education options, along with any major Whittier College offers, lead toward the following teaching credentials, which will be completed at the graduate level, California law does not permit students to major in education.

An undergraduate minor in education and a program leading to a master's degree are also offered in education.