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This online Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a concentration in Child Development program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of children and families. Students enrolled in this program will learn about typical and atypical child development and will graduate with knowledge of working with children and families in an effort to support positive child outcomes.

Graduates are qualified to work as teachers and administrators in early childhood programs, child development specialists in a variety of settings, or in child advocacy. Students who intern under the supervision of a licensed teacher have the opportunity to obtain a Mississippi Pre-K/K-5 teaching license.

The coursework for this program prepares students to become competent early care and education professionals, parent educators, child advocates, and early interventionists within the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Graduates enter diverse public and private sectors which focus on enabling children and families to function effectively in today's complex society. The occupational outlook for students emerging into early childhood education or other areas of human services is excellent, with job predictions maintaining an increase over the next several years. The Human Development and Family Science -Child Development program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Students completing a major in Human Development and Family Science with a concentration in Child Development and choosing to pursue Pre-K/K licensure take both the Praxis II Education of Young Children (0021/5021) and the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood (0621/5621).”

Program Structure

To graduate with the Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a concentration in Child Development degree:

  • Students must complete a minimum of 124 hours
  • Up to 62 hours may be transferred from an accredited community college
  • Students will take a total of 36 hours in General Education courses
  • Students will take a total of 29 hours in major core courses
  • Students will take at least 59 in the child development concentration
  • Students must have a GPA of 2.0 on all college work prior to entering the major A grade of C or better must be earned in all HS and HDFS courses required for graduation

Core Curriculum

All students who enter MSU must meet the common core curriculum requirements as set by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi to qualify for any bachelor's degree.

  • English Composition (6 hours)
  • Mathematics (6 hours)
  • Fine Arts (3 hours)
  • Natural Sciences (9 hours)
  • Humanities (6 hours)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)
    • 3 hours must be HDFS 1813 for all HDFS students
    • 3 hours from social science general education requirements

Major Required Courses

Course Number Course Title Hours
HS 1701 Survey of Human Sciences 1
HDFS 2813 Child Development 3
HDFS 3303 Consumer Economics 3
HDFS 4333 Families, Legislation and Public Policy 3
HDFS 4424 Teaching Methods in Agricultural and Human Sciences 4
HDFS 4701 Internship Placement 1
HDFS 4702 Research and Application in Human Sciences 2
HDFS 4803 Parenting 3
HDFS 4853 The Family: A Human Ecological Perspective 3
HDFS 4883 Risk, Resilience and Preventive Interventions 3
AELC 3203 or EDF 3413 or EPY 3513 or MGT 3213 Writing competency requirement 3
Total Hours: 29

Child Development Concentration Courses

Course Number Course Title Hours
HDFS 2803 Prenatal and Infant Development 3
HDFS 3803 Creativity & Play in Young Children 3
HDFS 3813 Lifespan Theory 3
HDFS 3823 Methods & Materials for Early Care and Education Programs 3
HDFS 3843 Guiding Young Children’s Behavior & Social Development 3
HDFS 3853 Language and Literacy in the Early Years 3
HDFS 4740 or HDFS 4760 PreK-K Teacher Candidacy Internship or Child Development Internship 12
HDFS 4823 Development and Administration of Child Service Programs 3
HS 2283 Child Health and Nutrition 3
EDX 3213 Individualizing Instruction for Exceptional Children 3
CO 1003 or CO 1013 Fundamentals of Public Speaking or Introduction to Communication 3
COE 4013 or HDFS 3123 Facilitative Skills Development or Global Child Advocacy Issues 3
Elective Hours: 14
Total Hours: 59

Transfer Credit

All courses taken at another accredited institution are recorded on the student’s permanent record; however, the student’s academic advisor determines the applicability of the work toward degree requirements. The university will accept no more than 62 semester hours from a two-year institution (Community College) toward degree requirements. The remaining 62 hours needed for the degree must come from a four-year college.

Admissions Process

New Admissions

If you have never attended Mississippi State University, please complete the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.

  • You will choose Human Development and Family Sci/ Child Development (BS) as your major and Online Education as your campus.
  • Request that official ACT or SAT scores be sent to MSU.
  • Request that your high school send your official transcript. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Submit a separate official final transcript from each college or university attended; faxed transcripts will not be accepted. An applicant may not ignore previous college attendance and must list all colleges attended on the application for admission. You must be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • If you are unable to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them via U.S. Postal Service to:
    Office of Admissions & Scholarships
    P.O. Box 6334
    Mississippi State, MS 39762-5507
  • All new admits will pay a non-refundable application fee online.

Courses

HS 1701 Survey of Human Sciences: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. Introduction to the field of Human Sciences through a study of its history and the variety of professional careers available


HS 2283 Child Health and Nutrition: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Nutrition requirements during pregnancy and lactation, and of infants and young children; birth defects from metabolic errors; related health of young children. (Same as FNH 2283)


HDFS 2803 Prenatal and Infant Development: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Biological and environmental influences; behavioral and developmental patterns, from the onset of pregnancy to toddlerhood


HDFS 2813 Child Development: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Developmental characteristics of children with emphasis on the early years; implications for care and guidance


HDFS 3123 Global Child Advocacy Issues: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Exploration of global child advocacy issues and the multidisciplinary cultural approaches used to address them


HDFS 3303 Consumer Economics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Economic principles as they apply to consumer situations, and the consumer's relation to the American and world economy


HDFS 3803 Creativity & Play in Young Children: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 2813). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Selection of appropriate equipment, materials, and activities; program planning for birth to age 5; observation and participation at the Child Development and Family Studies Center


HDFS 3813 Lifespan Theory: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: HDFS 2813 or HDFS 1813). Three hours lecture. An intensified exploration of human development theory, research and methodology used in the study of individuals across the lifespan


HDFS 3823 Methods & Materials for Early Care and Education Programs: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: HDFS 2813, HDFS 3803 and junior standing.) Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Designing curriculum and programming for children birth to 5 years of age with emphasis on children’s developmental characteristics as related to appropriate learning experiences


HDFS 3843 Guiding Young Children’s Behavior & Social Development: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: HDFS 2803 and HDFS 2813). Three hours lecture. Examine and design appropriate guidance techniques based on developmental growth patterns and individual differences in young children from birth to 5 years old


HDFS 3853 Language and Literacy in the Early Years: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Children’s development of language and literacy through the early years, including roles of parents, community, childcare providers, and teachers


HDFS 4333 Families, Legislation and Public Policy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior/senior writing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An examination of the impact of legislation and public policy on the well-being of the family with emphasis on policy and family change


HDFS 4424 Teaching Methods in Agricultural and Human Sciences: 4 hours.

(Prerequisite: College of Ag and Life Science major and junior standing). Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Planning instruction; selection teaching techniques; developing teaching plans; teaching agricultural/human science topics; using instructional technologies; and evaluating learner progress (Same as HS 4424/6424)


HDFS 4701 Internship Placement: 1 hour.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing and consent of instructor) One hour lecture. Preparation for an internship in a chosen specialization


HS 4702 Research and Application in Human Sciences: 2 hours.

(Prerequisite: Senior standing in FDM or HDFS) Two hours lecture. Focus on conducting original research to integrate fundamental Human Sciences principles. Emphasis on professional development and effectiveness in Human Sciences professions. (Same as FDM 4702 and HDFS 4702)


HDFS 4803 Parenting: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 and junior/senior writing, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Study of the child as a part of the family in a dynamic human ecological system


HDFS 4823 Development and Administration of Child Service Programs: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 3813 or concurrent enrollment). Three hours lecture. Planning, administering, and evaluating the organizational structure of a variety of child service programs


HDFS 4853 The Family: A Human Ecological Perspective: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The impact of internal and external factors on the development of individual and family relationships throughout the life cycle


HDFS 4823 Development and Administration of Child Service Programs: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 3813 or concurrent enrollment). Three hours lecture. Planning, administering, and evaluating the organizational structure of a variety of child service programs


HDFS 4883 Risk, Resilience and Preventive Interventions: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 and junior/senior writing; or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Theory and research relevant to understanding risk and resilience in human development and family studies application of risk/resilience framework to individual and family preventive interventions


EDX 3213 Individualizing Instruction for Exceptional Children: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to differentiating and individualizing instruction for students with mild/moderate disabilities


CO 1003 Fundamentals of Public Speaking: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The psychological processes and adjustments necessary in preparing, organizing, wording, and delivering effective speeches. Honors section available. Students may not receive credit for both CO 1003 and CO 1013


CO 1013 Introduction to Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. To sharpen the student's awareness and to facilitate growth in the human interaction process across a variety of communication situations. Students may not receive credit for both CO 1003 and CO 1013


COE 4013 Facilitative Skills Development: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to the theory and practice of helping with emphasis on the development of basic communication skills. Applicable to a variety of settings

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Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Photo of Dr. Julie Parker

Dr. Julie Parker

Human Development and Family Studies

  • Associate Professor

Program Reminders

  • If you want to deviate from the program of study recommended for you, check with your advisor
  • If you take courses not on your recommended program of study, there is a risk that the classes will not count toward your BS degree
  • You must get a grade of "C" in all classes required in the History Major Core

All programs of study are subject to review by the Registrar's Office for graduation, even from a signed program of study. Courses that do not equal MSU courses exactly may or may not apply to your program as core courses. You can see these course translations through the CAPP report found at my.msstate.edu. To access the report, log into your myState account and click on the "hamburger" icon in the top left corner in order to access the Banner tab; click or hover over the myBanner for Students tab in order to view the Academic Records column where you can click on the CAPP Compliances link.


Contact Information

Photo of Daphne Knox

Daphne Knox

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Dr. Julie Parker

Dr. Julie Parker

Human Development and Family Studies

  • Associate Professor
Headshot portrait of Bailey

Bailey Owens Poindexter

School of Human sciences

  • Student Services Coordinator