Bachelor of Arts in Child Development Pre-K to 3rd Grade

The Child Development Pre-K to 3rd Grade major is designed to expose undergraduates to childhood development and learning in children from preschool through third grade, with an emphasis on the promotion and advocacy of social justice through cultural awareness, humility, and responsiveness across ecological contexts. The major will provide undergraduates with the theoretical and applied knowledge necessary to understand children’s development and learning. This knowledge will enable them to develop and implement supportive practices in Pre-K-3rd grade classrooms that are evidence-based, meaningful, and rigorous This major prepares students who are interested in applying to California Early Childhood Education Specialist credential programs.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Promote and advocate for social justice and be culturally aware, sensitive, and responsive across the ecological contexts of young children, including homes, schools, and communities.
  2. Understand the professional roles and responsibilities in Pre-K-3rd grade settings.
  3. Understand and promote early childhood development and learning of young children across ecological contexts, including homes, schools, and communities.
  4. Demonstrate subject matter knowledge important to young children’s development and learning in grades Pre-K-3rd.
  5. Develop and implement teaching practices that are evidence-based, inclusive, meaningful, and appropriately rigorous.
  6. Develop and implement teaching practices that apply knowledge of young children, including their prior experiences, interests, and social-emotional learning needs, as well as their funds of knowledge and cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  7. Understand and implement effective and inclusive environments for young children’s development and learning in grades Pre-K-3rd.

Bachelor of Arts in Child Development Pre-K to 3rd Grade - 45 units

All courses for the major must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Core (27 units)

CAD 210Introduction to Applied Child and Adolescent Development3
Select One:3
Foundations in Early Childhood
Principles and Practices in Early Childhood Programs
CAD 260Children, Families, and Community: An Ecological Perspective3
CAD 300Professional Roles and Careers in Child and Adolescent Development3
CAD 326Developing Language and Literacy Skills in Young Children3
CAD 330Curriculum and Development in Early Childhood3
CAD 410GWApplied Developmental Science: Prenatal Through Early Childhood - GWAR3
CAD 660Applied Advanced Developmental Science in Child and Adolescent Development3
MATH 165Concepts of the Number System3

Assessment (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 420Assessment and Observation with Children3
E ED 610Classroom Assessment and Evaluation for Young Children3

Inclusive Education (3 units)

Select One:

SPED 671Positive Behavior Support for Young Children3
SPED 672Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children3
SPED 675Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities3

Science (3 units)

Select One:

BIOL 300Nature Study3
BIOL 310Biology for Today's World3
BIOL 318Our Endangered Planet3
E ED 655Hands-on Undergraduate Science Education Experience3
ERTH 335Global Warming3
ERTH 365Extreme Weather in a Warming World3
LS 310Science and Culture for Future Elementary School Teachers3
LS 430Future of the Forests3

Physical Education (3 units)

Select One:

KIN 240Introduction to Teaching Physical Education3
KIN 401Elementary School Physical Education: K-53
KIN 487Motor Development3
SPED 370Young Children Disabled or At Risk and Their Families3

Arts (3 units)

Select One:

E ED 450Art and Learning3
LS 403/COMM 557Performance and Pedagogy of the Oppressed for Educators3
LS 427Social Movements & the Arts for Future Teachers3
MUS 601Music for Children3
TH A 451Storytelling and Folk Literature3

Fieldwork (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 280Early Childhood Internship3
E ED 645Directed Experiences with Children3

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.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

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

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;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units 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 a 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 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 (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

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.