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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.

Rapid Growth in Child Development & Psychology Degrees Awarded

#72 Most Popular Major
13k Degrees Awarded
8.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, child development and psychology was the 72nd most popular major nationwide with 12,985 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 1,151 over the prior year, a growth of 8.9%.

There are 143 schools offering degrees in child development and psychology in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom child development rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Child Development & Psychology

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.

Prior Education for a Child Development Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific child development careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Child Development & Psychology Degree Types

Child Development degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in child development and psychology to the highest child development degree, a . How long it takes to complete some common child development degree levels is shown below.

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. People currently working in careers related to child development tend obtained the following education levels.

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%

About 60.4% of workers in careers related to child development obtain at least master's degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in child development and psychology careers have.


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

Career Opportunities for Child Development Majors

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%

How Much Money Do Child Development Grads Make?

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 543 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.

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

Majors Similar to Child Development

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Psychology 130,560
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 28,126
Other Psychology 2,784

View All Child Development Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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