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Child Development & Psychology

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2021 Child Development & Psychology Degree Guide

A major in Child Development and Psychology involves the study of child and adolescent behavior. Many of your classes will explore the impact of genetics and environmental influence on the growth and development of a person. Other subjects of study are the mechanisms and process of learning and thinking; this includes encoding, decoding, and processing information.

There are many concentrations in this major. Depending on what college you go to, you may have the opportunity to specialize in Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics; Comparative Psychology; Developmental and Child Psychology; Experimental Psychology; Personality Psychology; Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology; Social Psychology; Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology; or Psychopharmacology.

A Spike in Child Development & Psychology Degrees

#72 Most Popular Major
13.2k Degrees Awarded
9.0% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, child development and psychology was the 72nd most popular major nationwide with 13,150 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 1,182 over the prior year, a growth of 9.0%.

The United States has 143 different schools where you can get a degree in child development and psychology. Explore this or one of our many other custom child development rankings further below.

Child Development & Psychology Degree Requirements

Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills will be important in this major as you work with professors, peers, and patients. Practice active listening and empathy as you interview patients, observe behavior and write accurate reports and papers on your findings. Compassion and understanding is necessary as you encounter people from diverse backgrounds who could suffer from mental disorders. You will be relied on to be trustworthy, approachable and keep information in confidence.

A psychology major involves time spent in the lecture hall, as well as lab work and research. This requires mathematical and science skills. You will need to memorize theories and formulas and use them to solve real-life issues. Logic and analytical skills will help you evaluate data and complete research.

Many programs require students to work at an internship or do fieldwork through participating organizations. Take advantage of any opportunity for experience in the field. This will help you when applying to grad schools or future jobs.

Child Development Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most child development degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional child development certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Child Development & Psychology Degree Types

There are various different levels of child development degrees. Child Development & Psychology programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest child development degree you can get. Depending on the child development and psychology degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to child development, with approximately 33.0% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for child development workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 32.6%
Master’s Degree 22.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 19.4%
Doctoral Degree 10.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate 7.0%

Most workers in child development have at least a master's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in child development and psychology have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the child development career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Child Development Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$32.7k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Many graduates continue their education to achieve a Master's or Doctorate in psychology. This can lead to a career as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Psychology grads also work in schools, research, counseling, or clinical studies. Those interested in child psychology may be interested in becoming a school psychologist or family counselor.

Solid Growth Projected for Child Development Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your child development degree? Child Development & Psychology careers are expected to grow 9.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to child development and psychology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists 168,500 14.2%
Psychology Professors 54,000 15.1%
Psychologists 19,200 10.3%

Child Development Degree Salary Potential

Child Development & Psychology graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $32,673 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $21,900 to as high as $74,000. As you might expect, salaries for child development graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Child Development Careers

Salaries for child development and psychology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers child development grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Psychologists $95,610
Psychology Professors $88,490
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $85,340

Getting Your Child Development & Psychology Degree

With over 577 different child development degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased child development school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Child Development & Psychology

Child Development & Psychology is one of 3 different types of Psychology programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Psychology 130,917
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 30,532
Other Psychology 3,056

View All Child Development Related Majors >


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