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online bachelor of science in
child development & Family studies

Program Requirements

children playing outside

There are two areas of emphasis: Child Development (non-certification track) and Pre-school Education Birth-5 (with Pre-K certification). Students will complete 120 credits:

  • 41-43 credits general education
  • 31 credits child development
  • 20 credits additional required courses
  • 20-22 credits electives
  • 9 credits Internship/field experience in child development.

The Pre-K certification track requires students to pass the PRAXIS Core Exam prior to completing two semesters in the program or to have a score of 26 on the ACT or 1170 on the SAT.

Students should apply for WV Pre-K Certification upon program completion. 

Note:  Successful completion of this program, by itself, does not lead certification or licensure in any state. It is the student's responsibility to determine individual state requirements for certification or licensure. Please refer to the Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) for individual state requirements for certification or licensure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the online degree requirements to graduate?

Online Bachelor’s degrees require you to complete 120 credits, all program/course requirements, and maintain a minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA. You must complete 30 upper-division credits, of which 18 credits must be from major coursework. You must also earn a minimum of 30 credits at West Virginia University to meet the residency requirement.

What are some reasonable salary expectations from earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-School Education online?

A good source for general salary expectations is  O’NET OnLine, which is sponsored by the US Bureau of Labor.

Is West Virginia University an accredited university? What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

West Virginia University is fully accredited for the preparation of teachers by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, now CAEP), and programs are approved by the West Virginia State Department of Education. The Child Development and Family Studies Area of Emphasis in Early Childhood Education is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

National accreditation is primarily limited to vocational or trade schools. Regional accreditors typically certify more traditional universities that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

How long does it take to earn an online degree?

West Virginia University’s schedule allows you to take one course at a time, with no scheduled breaks in between. Or you may take up to 12 Credit hours per semester. Students who follow this schedule (without breaks) can often complete an online Bachelor’s degree in about four years. Of course, you can shorten that length of time by transferring credits from other schools or applying military and corporate training or life experience.

What does an online degree cost?

Tuition varies depending on the degree program. Please review West Virginia University’s tuition and fees as well as the program disclosures to determine program costs. Financial aid is available for students who qualify.

What grants and scholarships are available for an online degree?

To find federal grants and loans for your degree, you must first fill out and submit the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your federal financial aid eligibility. There is no charge, and you do not have to be admitted to apply. But you must be enrolled before your funds will be applied toward tuition and fee costs. West Virginia University’s school code 003827.

Please visit and for additional information on outside scholarships. You should always research additional grants and scholarships to help fund your education.

Where can I learn more about the online degree admission process?

Visit the  West Virginia University Admissions page.