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Child Studies

Summary of Major

Peabody College has a history of great strength in the area of Child Studies. The 36-hour interdisciplinary major in Child Studies draws on courses from psychology, education, special education, and human and organizational development. The major is excellent pre-professional preparation for students interested in graduate school in psychology or education, in law (e.g., child and family advocacy), or in various health related areas involving children (e.g., pediatric medicine, pediatric nursing, child-life specialist). It is also appropriate for students who are interested in gaining a broader understanding of children and families in contemporary society. The major areas covered are Learning, Developmental Psychology, Language and Literacy, Families, Community and Diversity, and Research Methods.

Recently Offered Courses

Developmental Psychology; Cognitive Aspects of Human Development; Social and Personality Development; Infancy; Adolescent Development; Exploring Literature for Children; The Hospitalized Child; Educational Psychology; Managing Academic and Social Behavior; Introduction to Exceptionality; Society, School and the Teacher; Who Needs Parents?; How Children Learn Math; The Development of Black Children; Family Intervention; Introduction to Language and Communication; Addressing Problems in Literacy Learning; Harry Potter and Child Development.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Child Studies offers qualified majors the opportunity to conduct individual research projects in collaboration with faculty members. This research experience culminates in the writing and public presentation of a senior thesis. Students who major in Child Studies are eligible to apply for the Honors Program at the end of their sophomore year if they have an overall grade point average of at least 3.2 and at least a 3.2 in Child Studies courses.

Students who complete the program successfully and who have a final grade point average of at least 3.2 will receive Honors or Highest Honors in Child Studies. The program is highly appropriate for those intending to do graduate work.

Undergraduate Research

Child Studies majors have the opportunity to work directly with full-time faculty from several disciplines to take part in undergraduate research. Students are able to work in research labs to learn about data collection, grant writing, data analysis, etc.

After Vanderbilt

The program offers excellent preparation for students planning to pursue graduate school in areas that focus on children. It is also appropriate for students who want to have a scientifically-based understanding of child development to guide them in child-focused careers such as child advocacy, service provision, and policy-making for children and their families. A number of our current Child-Studies students are preparing to work with children in hospitals as Child-Life Specialists. Graduates of the Child Studies program have gone into fields such as clinical psychology, child advocacy, educational policy, and medicine.

Interdisciplinary Faculty

With the interdisciplinary nature of the Child Studies major, faculty members from a number of disciplines participate in teaching the courses leading to completion of degree requirements. This allows students work with and learn from a variety of faculty who are involved in many different areas of research with children.


Leigh Wadsworth
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Psychology and Human Development
Peabody College 0552
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN  37203-5701
(615) 322-5566

Child Studies Website