Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Childhood

Application Filing Period

Because of high student demand, Child and Adolescent Development (CAD) was declared an impacted major in Fall 2011. Therefore, CAD admits only upper division students (minimum 60 units completed) to the major in fall and spring semesters. We encourage students who are interested in the CAD major to apply even though it is impacted. Transfer students who apply to the major must be accepted first by the University and second, by the CAD Department. The university's application form and due dates may be found here:

Current SF State students who wish to change their major to CAD for the fall semester should submit an application to the CAD department during the October 1 through November 30 application filing period. Students who wish to be considered for spring admission should apply between August 1–31. The department does not accept late applications for either fall or spring admissions. Again, if you are interested in the CAD major, we encourage you to apply even though it is impacted.

Please note: The following lower division courses are prerequisites for the upper division CAD courses in the Core Curriculum that are required for all CAD majors. They must be completed before students can take upper division CAD courses in the Core Curriculum. Failure to take these lower division prerequisite courses will delay progress in the major.

  • CAD 210 with a grade of C or better
  • CAD 260 with a grade of C or better
  • ENG 214 with a grade of C- or better
  • Minimum of 60 units completed (junior standing)

Community college course equivalents are accepted if grade requirements are met and the courses were formally articulated at the time the courses were taken. 

Course policies for the major

  • Courses in the major must be completed with a letter grade of C or better. CR/NC grading is not accepted except for the internship courses:  CAD 601 and CAD 611.
  • Courses taken in the core may not be counted in a concentration or vice versa.

Concentration in Early Childhood

The concentration in Early Childhood is designed for students who wish to work primarily in teaching and child care with young children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers), and their families, in schools and public or private institutions and other agencies that serve this population. The degree fulfills the requirements for the Child Development Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Students must complete two courses in SPED; one course at the 300 level and one course at the 600 level, as listed in the Early Childhood concentration.

Child and Adolescent Development Major (B.A.): Concentration in Early Childhood  — Minimum 45 units

Core Requirements — 18 units

CAD 210Introduction to Applied Child and Adolescent Development3
CAD 260Children, Families, and Community: An Ecological Perspective3
CAD 410Applied Child and Youth Development3
Family Systems
CAD 450Understanding and working with Diverse Families3
CAD 500GWAction Research Methods in Child and Adolescent Development - GWAR3
Special Topics
CAD 625Children, Youth, and Public Policy3

Concentration in Early Childhood — 24 units

Early Childhood Foundation
CAD 215Foundations in Early Childhood3
Child Development in Context
Select one from each category:
Special Needs:
SPED 330Introduction to Disability3
SPED 370Young Children Disabled or At Risk and Their Families3
Infant/Toddler Development:
CFS 323Infants/Toddlers and Families3
E ED 611Advanced Issues in Infant-Toddler Education and Care 13
Supporting Children's Learning:
E ED 600Advanced Issues in Child Development and Learning3
E ED 603Promoting Young Children's Social and Emotional Development3
E ED 619Children's Play: Theory and Practice3
E ED 668Multicultural Education and Social Justice for Young Children3
SPED 671Positive Behavior Support for Young Children3
SPED 672Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children3
Curriculum and Methods:
CFS 322Early Childhood Education Curriculum (Birth to Five)3
E ED 602Advanced Curriculum Study in ECE3
Observation and Assessment:
CFS 420Assessment and Observation with Children3
E ED 610Classroom Assessment and Evaluation for Young Children3
Special Issues:
Select one course from A and one from B
A. Administration/ Leadership & Working with Families
CAD 510Adult Supervision and Leadership in Early Childhood Programs3
CFS 324Administration of Infant/Toddler Programs3
CFS 423Administration of Programs for Young Children3
E ED 604Advanced Issues in Collaboration with Families and Communities in ECE3
E ED 607Leadership and Administration in ECE3
SPED 675Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities3
B. Curriculum Specialties
CAD 326Jumpstart: Developing Literacy Skills in Young Children (For Jumpstart corps members only, may count only once for credit in the major)3
E ED 613Integrated Arts Curricula in ECE3
E ED 614Science, Math, and Technology Curricular in ECE3
E ED 615Environmental Education in ECE3
E ED 616Language and Literacy in Multilingual ECE Settings3
MUS 601Music for Children3
Culminating Experience
CAD 610Early Childhood Internship Seminar1
CAD 611Early Childhood Internship2

Elementary Education Course Policy: 30 hours observation/participation outside the classroom are required for Elementary Education courses (E ED). If a student takes more than one Elementary Education course per semester, 30 hours are the maximum total required and will cover all Elementary Education courses taken in that specific semester. Please note: The E ED course hours do not count toward the 150 pre-internship hours requirement. 


Courses must be taken concurrently.


Additional 150 hours required prior to the start of the internship in a licensed center/program with children birth to five years. Hours must be documented and on file in the CAD office prior to the start of the internship. See CAD website for deadline dates.

Complementary Studies

To fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement, all students completing a B.A. Degree must take 12 units from courses outside of the primary prefix of their major and not cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major. This requirement is automatically fulfilled when completing a Child and Adolescent Development major.  Students may need to take additional units, however, to reach the 120 minimum units required for graduation.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = Lower Division; UD = Upper Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

This 2017–2018 roadmap opens in a new tab.

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree for Transfer. This 2017–2018 roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Early Childhood Education

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission, but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major, including 2nd-semester composition;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on the first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlined below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.