About Us

"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world." — Maria Montessori

Photo: school girl raising her hand

Welcome to the Department of Child and Family Development!

The Department of Child and Family Development is a highly integrated academic unit within the College of Education. The Department offers a B.S. in Child Development in Applied Arts and Sciences, a Master of Science degree in Child Development, and a graduate certificate (EC-TEaMH) in early childhood mental health. In addition, the department offers a Master of Science in Child Development with a specialization in Early Childhood Mental Health that meets licensure requirements for students wishing to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Our Mission

The SDSU Child and Family Development (CFD) Department’s mission is to prepare students to become early childhood educators and professionals who work with children, families, schools and communities. The focus of the department is on the study of social emotional development as the underlying foundation for all other areas of development including physical, cognitive, motor and language. The program represents an interdisciplinary field of study with the basic assumption that development takes place across the lifespan in the context of the family, community, and public policy. The Child Development department’s emphasis on primary prevention prepares students with hands-on experiences through community-based learning.

Help support our mission!

Learn about giving opportunities to help support us in our mission.

Our Students

We are very proud of the diverse and dedicated students our of department. Read below for a more in-depth view of our students and their awards, research, and experiences.

Degree Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map

Please see the attached document for our degree learning objectives. 

Informed and Inspired: COE Grads 2020 for Katie and Hannah

Katie Dennison

Katie Dennison

Being a Child and Family Development Major at San Diego State University has been a truly amazing experience. I’ve been given opportunities to explore my interests, work with wonderful mentors, and make an impact in the community. I’ve always known that I wanted to work with children, but my classes, professors, and field experiences have fostered that passion further. The Child and Family Development program is special and I feel so fortunate that I was able to be a part of it. After graduation, I am pursuing my goal of becoming a Pediatrician. I’m looking forward to exploring possible specializations with children and families such as early childhood developmental disorders, child abuse pediatrics, or neonatal-perinatal medicine. I believe that having a unique background in child and family development will make me a better physician. I hope to continue doing what I love and making positive impacts on the lives of the children and families I work with in the future.

View Katie's Spotlight Video

Hannah Zimmerman

Kate McClure Read her story on SDSU NewsCenter