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.

Children's Studies Club

The Children’s Studies Club is a great opportunity to meet your fellow students, develop leadership skills and get involved. Contact Katie Walker for more information at

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 on the Cheney campus, study options A & B with almost completely online major course work, and study option C on the Bellevue campus. 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. Finally, each option has been created to provide students with a clear path and direction onto a career working with children.

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.

The BA in Children’s Studies requires an internship or practicum.  Students receive academic credit as interns by working with employers in positions related to their career interests. The internship is a collaborative learning process initiated by the student and facilitated by their academic advisor, their site supervisor, and the Career Services Internship Office.

Students primarily initiate the internship process. However, it is a good idea to talk with your faculty advisor, check out resources in the Children’s Studies office, and/or visit the EWU Career Services Internship office for ideas about possible/appropriate internship sites and contacts.

The Children’s Studies major requires 4 credits of internship or a total of 160 hours. However, your internship does much more than just meet your degree requirement; it is a way for you to strengthen your resume, build your career portfolio, and extend your professional network. Students can elect to take 1-2 credits a quarter for several quarters rather than all 4 credits in one quarter.  They can also elect to work with different employers in different quarters.  In a typical quarter, the number of hours per week you would work onsite would follow the guideline below:

1 credit = 4 hours per week
2 credits = 8 hours per week
3 credits = 12 hours per week
4 credits = 16 hours per week

  1. Make an appointment to meet with your Site Supervisor and Faculty Internship Advisor to gather the details of your internship.
  2. Log in to Handshake so that you can submit your online internship Experience
  3. Complete your portion of the Special Course Approval Registration Form (SCARF) and wait for approval notices from your advisor.
  4. Begin your internship.
  5. Career Services will automatically send out the 4th and 8th Week evaluations.
  6. Fill out a site evaluation upon completion of your internship

If you are struggling to find a location for your internship please reach out to We have a list of internship sites that have worked with EWU student’s before and can help provide some locations that are relevant to your interests.

On a weekly basis, we highlight one of these sites on our Facebook page.

To obtain a BA in Children’s Studies, you should meet with an advisor. An advisor will help you choose the option best for you, declare your major, and help you make sure you’re meeting all of the requirements.

Option A Students, Please Contact:

Katie Walker, PhD


Belinda Hammond, EdD



Option B Students, Please Contact:

Deanna Trella, PhD