Children's Studies


Eastern Washington University’s major in Children’s Studies was the first in the nation. The curriculum of this interdisciplinary program focuses on the developmental, learning and social issues of children from birth to 18. The Children’s Studies Program incorporates coursework from departments across the university, including Education, Psychology, Geography, and Social Work.

Children’s Studies BA Child Life MA Children’s Studies Minor

Why Study at Eastern?

We are committed to excellence and student success.

Affordable Education

You don't have to sacrifice quality to get an education you can afford.

Participate in Internships

Strengthen your resumé, build your career portfolio, and extend your professional network.

Excellent Job Opportunities

Our graduates have a great record of finding employment soon after graduation.

Careers in Children's Studies

Our curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of occupational possibilities:

Adoption Counselor

After-School Program Director

Child & Family Support Specialist

Child Life Specialist

Juvenile Justice Worker

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A new approach to studying children and childhood globally and reflectively from the perspectives of various disciplines through the following set of shared principles:

  • Childhood should be studied in its own right
  • Children should be the units of observation rather than families or schools
  • Children should talk about their own experiences
  • Childhood should be seen as part of the social structure
  • Children should be studied in the present as well as in relation to their future as adults
  • Childhood should be seen in an intergenerational context
  • Individuals studying children should be looking open-mindedly for new theoretical and methodological developments

Our program provides students with opportunities to learn and further their education in a variety of settings. Students can study all of our options online. Furthermore, our interdisciplinary foundation has grown into a set of Children Studies course work that provides students with a holistic approach to understanding children’s lives and experiences. This approach enables students to develop a “toolbox” of skills that allows them, as graduates, to work with a variety of children in different settings and situations.

Each week we highlight a different career path on our Facebook page!

The major has options: early childhood education, community program development and research.  Students completing a degree in Children’s Studies might consider careers such as:

  • Education
    • Lab schoolteacher at community colleges
    • After-school program director
    • Children’s museum staff
    • Community recreation program staff
    • County extension specialist
    • Researcher
  • Social Services
    • Youth shelter worker
    • Facility provider for at-risk children
    • Adoption counselor
    • Parent and family support
    • Family Literacy
    • Childcare licenser
    • Foster care supervisor
  • Legal
    • Juvenile justice worker
    • Family mediation (Court)
    • Policy analyst
  • Health
    • Child life specialist
    • Child health worker
    • Early interventionist

The interdisciplinary Children’s Studies major provides students a strong holistic background in the study of the development and learning of children, from birth to adolescence, in a variety of social contexts. Theory and practice from the disciplines of psychology and education form the foundation for this integrated curriculum. The Children’s Studies major will fulfill partial requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The core courses required by all students focus on:

  • What is Children Studies
  • How to conduct/analyze research related to children
  • Children’s rights
  • The basics for working with children
  •  Understanding the development of children.

Each option includes its own set of required courses specific to that field.

Completion of a high school (or equivalent) degree is required for admission to EWU. Students considering a major in Children Studies are required to take two years of a single foreign language in high school, or one year of a single college-level foreign language.