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Child Development

A student pursuing a child development degree sits with a young child who points to the letter ‘M’ on a teaching card.

Child development students gain practical experience working with children by first observing, then planning activities and finally culminating with a semester of student teaching in the MSU Child Development Laboratories, which is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The Child Development Laboratories provides a multicultural experience for students and children and families from more than 20 countries. 

The child development elementary education degree program allows students to earn an elementary education teaching certificate through the nation’s top-ranked College of Education teacher preparation program or to complete the State of Michigan-approved preschool teaching concentration. 


Graduates in child development are recognized as having expertise working with young children, including infants and children with special needs. 

Alumni work at: 

  • Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Head Start
  • Great Start Readiness
  • Elementary schools and preschools
  • Child development centers
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Hospitals and health-care agencies

Alumni work as: 

  • Applied behavior analysts
  • Behavior treatment specialists
  • College advisors
  • Family support workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Research assistants
  • Resident advocates
  • Youth care workers

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