Child and Family Studies

Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies – Child Development


100% Online

Learn From Anywhere

120-125 Credit Hours

to Graduate

Up To 90 Hours

Transfer Credit
Cost per Hour


Per Credit Hour
EKU Online > Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies – Child Development

Become a Leader in the Human Development and Family Services Fields

EKU’s 100% online child and family studies program prepares you to work with children in educational, institutional and human service settings. Early childhood education and development is a rewarding career that allows you to leave a lasting impression on the lives of children from various backgrounds as you work to ensure they reach their developmental milestones and achieve their full potential.

Career Outlook

 The demand for professionals with backgrounds in childhood development and early childhood education has grown steadily in recent years, and is expected to continue to increase through 2031.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Job Titles for Child and Family Studies Graduates

Early childhood development and early childhood education are challenging and rewarding fields.

> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Job Titles Include:

  • Head Start/Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Afterschool Teacher
  • Assessment Specialist


Where Have EKU Child and Family Studies Graduates Worked?

EKU child and family studies graduates are prepared to teach or administer in private early childhood programs.

> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Employers Include:

  • KinderCare Learning Center
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • University of Kentucky Hospitals
  • Wild Health
  • Cumberland River Behavioral Health

EKU Online Career Services

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search

> Learn More About Career Services



By submitting, you consent to EKU contacting you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text using the information you provided. 


Benefits of EKU Online

Rooted in the latest research and child development best practices, EKU’s online child and family studies degree prepares students for a variety of rewarding career options as well as graduate and professional school programs.

Program benefits include:

  • Accelerated 8-week terms
  • Personalized graduation plan
  • Free textbooks through EKU BookSmart
  • No application fee
  • Reduced tuition for active duty military members and their spouses
  • Credit hours that count toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) and can be applied toward your state’s credentials**
  • Free online tutoring and career services assistance
  • Coursework including child development and family studies that incorporates National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) professional preparation standards
  • Two practicum experiences to help you discover your calling
  • Quality courses from respected faculty who teach the same classes online and on campus
  • Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best universities offering online degrees

**Review your state’s requirements and speak to your advisor about how your coursework may transfer.


Complement your child and family studies degree with a specialized certificate based on your interests and career goals. Earn a certificate in your chosen area as you complete your degree – at no additional cost.

Infant/Toddler Care and Education Certificate
The infant/toddler certificate focuses on strategies and practices for the development of young children from birth to age three. The program prepares early childhood professionals to provide a strong foundation to young children and meets preparation standards for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Early Childhood Director Certificate
The early childhood director certificate focuses on the knowledge and strategies needed to manage a childcare center. The program prepares early childhood professionals to provide strong leadership in group care settings and meets preparation standards for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Family Studies Certificate
The family services certificate focuses on the knowledge and skillsets needed to provide educational and support services to families, parents and children. The program prepares human service professionals to take on leadership roles and make a lasting impact on the lives of children and families within the community. 



EKU’s curriculum blends academic and professional preparation through course topics such as interaction and guidance, early childhood observations and assessment, family involvement with young children, foundations of the early childhood professional, ethics and advocacy.

Degree Requirements

A total of 120-125 credits are required to graduate, including 42 upper-division credits.

View the child and family services program degree requirements:

Please review the admissions requirements before applying for this or any program. If you have questions about the program or are planning to register for classes, please speak to the program advisor.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer up to 90 hours of credit from accredited institutions. Please note that a minimum of 30 credit hours in this degree program must be completed at Eastern Kentucky University.

Previously earned credits must be reviewed upon admittance to EKU for appropriate articulation. Learn more about transferring to EKU.

Sample Courses

For a full list of course descriptions please see section 7 of the University graduate catalog.

CDF 235 – Child Development: Conception-Eight Years (3)
Developmental characteristics and theory pertinent to children conception to age eight. Special emphasis on early childhood theoretical frameworks.

CDF 236 – Interaction and Guidance (3)
Overview of guidance strategies in fostering children’s social competency within group or individually. Adults’ role in various interactions (e.g. parent-child, teacher-child) and resources for working with families/parents (e.g. parent education workshop) will be explored.

CDF 327S – Family Involvement with Young Children (3)
Study of effective relationships with families. Methods and materials useful in fostering family life education, including adult learning principles. Experiences include implementing family service plans, planning discussion groups, conducting home visits, and parent-teacher conferences. Includes 15 service learning hours

CDF 424 – Diversity Awareness for Professional Practice (3)
Professionals working with individuals and families today must develop cultural competency. With a focus on sensitivity and respect, this course provides an overview of diversity in society, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, and other forms of diversity.


Special Program Requirements

These instructions are for students enrolling in the online child and family studies program. For information related to the on-campus program, visit the departmental website.

Child and family studies courses require interaction with children and/or the elderly. Therefore, a criminal background check and negative TB skin test results are required prior to registering for some classes. Speak with an advisor for details. If you have a record of criminal behavior or positive TB results, you may be required to drop the course(s) and select another major. In addition, some courses will require Professional Liability Insurance (PLI).

TB Skin Test

Your healthcare provider or local health department can perform a TB skin test. The program requires a skin test, and TB screenings cannot be accepted. Negative TB skin test results should be emailed to the EKU Online child and family studies advisor or faxed to 859-622-7837 Attn: EKU Online Child and Family Studies.

What if I already had a TB skin test?
If the test is less than 2 years old and will not expire during the semester, you do not need a new one. Submit a copy of that test reading.

Can I just have a TB screening instead of the actual test?
TB screenings CANNOT be accepted. Although health departments may tell you that a screening is all you need, the program requires a TB skin test.

How long is the test valid?
A negative test is good for 2 years and must not expire at any time during the semester. If you have submitted a copy of a negative test to us previously and do not know if it has expired, please contact us.

What if I’m pregnant and can’t take the test?
If the test cannot be taken due to pregnancy, a doctor’s statement can be accepted.

Criminal Background Check

EKU has partnered with Verified Credentials, Inc. and QualifiedFirst® to help you complete the required criminal background check. You can review the university’s criminal record policy at any time.

How do I complete a criminal background check?
Clicking the link provided below will take you to the Verified Credentials website. Enter the codes below to begin the online application and verification process. Instructions are provided on the site. For additional information or questions, please call Verified Credentials at (800) 938-6090.

Applicant Code for first-time VC users: FFXMY-39696
Applicant Code for previous VC users: RTXGP-79372

Begin the Verified Credentials Process


What if I have completed a background check with the EKU College of Education or an EKU Nursing program?
We have access to these reports. If the report was completed less than two years ago by Verified Credentials and will not expire during the semester, you do not have to repeat it. However, it is your responsibility to contact us and CONFIRM that your information is still on file.

How much does a criminal background check cost?
There are two types of reports. Initial reports are $48. Once the initial report expires, you can choose to run an updated report for $15. Be careful when selecting the report type. Refunds are NOT available to those who select the incorrect report type. 

How do you know if I have applied for this background check?
We have access to your application and report. You do not have to notify the department or upload documents once you receive a confirmation from Verified Credentials.

How long is the report valid?
Reports are valid for two years. If you already have a report on file in our department, contact us to make sure it has not expired.

Can I give this report to other people?
Absolutely. An online copy is always available within your Verified Credentials QualifiedFirst® account, so you can share it with others such as potential employers. NOTE: If have any problems logging into QualifiedFirst® or sharing your report contact Verified Credentials at 800-938-6090. The EKU Department of Family and Consumer Sciences cannot release copies of your report.

I had a report done somewhere else. Can I use that?
No. EKU cannot accept a report completed by any outside agency. Reports must be completed through Verified Credentials specifically for education, nursing or family and consumer sciences programs at Eastern Kentucky University.

What if I have a criminal record?
You will be contacted by the department chair’s office through your EKU email. Please check your EKU email often.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) protects you if there is a claim of real or alleged damage that results from an error in practice during internships, practicums or field work. A fee of $21 will be charged to your EKU account/bill for this coverage when you are taking courses that require it. Your advisor will notify you when your course schedule requires PLI.

How long is PLI valid?

PLI is based on academic year, beginning each fall semester. 

  • If you register for PLI in the fall semester, it is valid through the following spring and summer semesters.
  • If you register for PLI in the spring semester, it is valid through the following summer semester.
  • If you register for PLI in the summer semester, it is only valid for that semester. 


Emily Calvert

Emily Calvert

Enrollment Advisor

Call or email Enrollment Advisor Emily Calvert for information about the EKU Online Child and Family Studies Child Development Bachelor Degree program.

Contact Info:

Application Deadlines


Term Application Deadline Classes Begin
Fall A July 5 August
Fall B August 31 October
Spring A November 30 January
Spring B January 31 March
Summer A April 5 May
Summer B  May 31 June


Additional Contact Information

Admissions: 859-622-2106
Academic Testing: 859-622-1281
Big E Central (Financial Aid & Student Account Services): 859-622-2361
Military & Veterans Affairs Office: 859-622-2345

Student Success

Child and Family Studies graduates have options upon options. We can work with the public through educational programs, home based programs, court systems, policy or government. I absolutely love the child development program at EKU.

Kara Canterbury-BrownEKU Child & Family Studies Graduate

EKU has been a leader in online education for more than 15 years, providing more than 100 online degree and certificate options.

A regionally-accredited, brick-and-mortar university, EKU is ranked among the nation’s best colleges and has been educating students for more than a century. EKU has received numerous honors, including being named one of the best online colleges in the nation and one of the most veteran-friendly campuses.

Online Military Students

EKU Online offers veterans and active duty military students an unparalleled online learning experience that provides accessibility, convenience and flexibility.

Special Tuition for Active Duty* Military
Eastern Kentucky University offers reduced tuition expenses to $258 per credit hour for undergraduate and $335 per credit hour for graduate courses to all service members currently serving on active duty.

*Active duty is defined as on federal orders for 180 days or more.

“I’d like to thank the EKU College of Justice & Safety for the opportunity to complete my degree online. It’s very user-friendly, and everyone has bent over backwards to make this happen.”

– 1LT Heath Bergmann, EKU Online Graduate

Heath Bergmann
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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