Childhood Studies, Minor

Program Overview

The Childhood Studies Program is an educational opportunity for undergraduate students interested in a wide array of issues concerning children and the experience of childhood. This interdisciplinary minor focuses on the life stages of infancy through adolescence and enables students to pursue interests in parenting, child development, gender, the life course, and the place of children in society and culture.

For students interested in exploring historical and contemporary U.S. policy and how it impacts children, young people, and families, the program offers a unique curriculum through the Child Policy Pathway. This specialization begins with CHST 301, a foundational course that introduces students to central public policy issues, basic principles of policy research, policy analysis, research-informed policy development, and advocacy. The Pathway also offers an experiential learning course on policy-making that includes a trip to Washington, D.C., and an externship at a local organization—a hands-on opportunity to work directly with professionals who design and implement policies that impact the lives of children and their families.

Policy areas of focus include:

  • Child poverty and family economic asset-building
  • Educational disparities and student supports
  • Physical, mental, and social determinants of health
  • Child welfare and well-being
  • Legal systems and juvenile justice

While the Childhood Studies Program and minor are situated in the College of Arts and Sciences, children and childhood are a focus of research and teaching in units throughout the university, including the School of Medicine; the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences; the School of Law; the School of Dental Medicine; and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

The Childhood Studies Program is associated with the Schubert Center for Child Studies, which bridges research, practice, policy, and education for the well-being of children and adolescents. The Center sponsors research, lectures, and programs on children and childhood and provides opportunities for student involvement in research, education, and policy.

Undergraduate Policies

For undergraduate policies and procedures, please review the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.