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Child and Adolescent Development

Program Description

The Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) major focuses on the developmental processes that occur from conception through the end of adolescence. Students gain a comprehensive overview of typical and atypical development through exploration of empirically derived milestones across biological, cognitive, and psychosocial developmental domains. Course topics focus on developmental trajectories, theories, developmental research methods, ethics, and contexts of development. Throughout the curriculum, special emphasis is placed on the interaction of the individual and environment in the unfolding of development. Students acquire knowledge through exposure to relevant scientific literature, research projects, observations, and fieldwork. The curriculum provides students with a variety of tools to acquire, communicate, and disseminate information so that they may develop a lifelong pursuit of developmental inquiry. Graduates receive an excellent foundation for subsequent careers working with children and adolescents in various fields including research, education, health care, public policy and advocacy, the law, and counseling. 

The CHAD Program officially launched on January 20, 2015.  Our thanks to NCHEA, the CHABSS Dean's Office for their generous support of our launch meeting (see photos), held on January 23, 2015.

Career Opportunities

The Child and Adolescent Development major provides an excellent preparation for careers in developmentally related public organizations, teaching institutions, service agencies, and mental and physical health facilities.  Our undergraduate program provides appropriate background for graduate training in developmental psychology, including experimental, applied, and clinical programs.  Coursework in CHAD is also relevant to graduate training in counseling, teaching, medicine, law, child advocacy, and public policy relating to children and adolescents.


General Information for CHAD Students about the Major can be found in our HandbookAll CHAD majors MUST submit an acknowledgment of background check requirements document to the Psychology Office. All other materials MUST be submitted to the CCF (not the Psychology Department). 

For students taking CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Lab in Fall 2018 - due date for completed background check, TB, MMR, Pertussis and Flu shot is Monday, August 6, 2018 at 4:00PM.  You must submit copies of the required paperwork to the Center for Children and Families (CCF) by that date - no exceptions.  Students who fail to complete these requirements by August 6, 2018 will be disenrolled from the CHAD 496 course that semester.  

Please consult the CHAD majors worksheet for the list of PSYC and CHAD courses you must take to complete the major. 

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A group of teenagers gathered outdoors

Two babies playing together