MEd in Child Development - Administration

Prepare to Help Children Grow

Southern New Hampshire University's child development graduate degree program prepares you to work with families in diverse settings. The MEd in Child Development incorporates a rich, interdisciplinary method to the study of children that is rooted in cultural and relational approaches.

Offered at the Manchester, N.H., campus, the child development graduate degree focuses on the unique characteristics, crises and developmental tasks of people at specific periods in their lives and includes the cultural, social, affective, biological and cognitive factors that affect childhood education.

The child development graduate degree program brings students together so educators, policy experts and researchers can share their unique perspectives and inform one another about issues relevant to their fields. Students focus on their concentrations after their first five courses in the program.

An MEd degree in child development prepares graduates for a variety of careers, such as operating early childhood businesses, working on policy issues in the public or private sectors or becoming a licensed director for an existing program.

The M.Ed. in Child Development offers two concentrations:


In this concentration, you'll enroll in two business electives, as well as Administration of Child Development Programs, an administration course designed to provide you with skills in supervising and administering child development programs. You'll also study law, licensing, personnel, budgeting, corporate structures, public funding and grant writing as they relate to the education field.

Individual Theme

In the Individual Theme / Student Designed concentration, you can choose the electives that most closely align with your needs and interests. You'll choose three Education, Psychology or Special Education electives to supplement your studies in the M.Ed. in Child Development program and help you prepare for your desired career in the field.

Administration Concentration Courses

DEV-550: Administration of Child Development Programs
This course provides students with skills in supervising and administering child development programs. Basic competencies of administrators are reviewed, such as law, licensing, personnel, budgeting, and corporate structures. Students are also introduced to governmental and non-governmental structures, public funding and grant writing.

BUS ELE - Students may select two (2) Business electives (as recommended by an advisor)
Students must also complete an exit evaluation in the form of an ePortfolio under the direction of the seminar instructor.

Child Development (MEd) Required Courses

DEV-520: History and Philosophy of Child Study Movement
The student is exposed to the historical, cultural and philosophical foundations of child development theory and practice. The work of Rousseau, Freud, Froebel, Montessori, Pestalozzi, Dewey, among others is examined. The history of early childhood programming as a distinct field outside of formal educational institutions as well as the role of programming within formal education is covered. Tensions in educational philosophy and approach between the early childhood community and the larger educational community are examined in depth. Students begin to develop the necessary skills for a scientific and dynamic understanding of child development. Such skills will assist students in the formation of informed independent opinions and a well- integrated perspective.
DEV-540: Language and Cognitive Development
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding and working knowledge of both the content and processes of cognitive and language development in children from birth through eight years of age. The primary foci of the course are understanding different theoretical frameworks: (1) examining sequences and variations in the processes of cognitive change; (2) the interaction between the child and the social context; (3) the interaction of cognitive development with children's symbolic representation of knowledge particularly language development; and (4) the role of play in the development of cognition and language. Students learn how to conduct and report observations of children's thinking and learning. They also learn to apply different theories of cognitive development and to recognize their implications for practice with children of differing needs and abilities in a range of programs in culturally diverse settings.
DEV-545: Psychosocial Development
This course focuses on young children's emotional and social development from birth through age eight, stressing the interaction of biological, psychological, and social forces. Major themes include how young children experience themselves and others; the role of parents, families, care- givers, peers, and teachers in children's psychosocial development; and the socialization of young children to respond adaptively to the contexts and cultures they live in. Students are expected to acquire a working knowledge of the emotional and social domains of development through the integration of natural observation of infants, preschoolers, and school-aged children with relevant theory and research.
DEV-560: Family and Culture
This course considers how family and culture influence child development including family structures, sibling relationships, parenting behaviors, children's special needs, family violence, diversity in educational settings and the relations between family and community. Students explore their own and other's cultural influences through the lens of diverse cultural perspectives. The challenges faced by children and families from a variety of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds including communication, interaction, education, and societal norms will be examined from the role of the practitioner. Research informs student projects in which a particular aspect of culture is studied in depth. Ten hours of field experience is included.
DEV-565: Play
This course provides students with an understanding of the critical role play has in a child's life. Play is the primary means for learning and development, an important method of assessment and a tool for intervention. Students learn how to assess play between a child and parent/adult, a child within a group, and a child's solitary play.
DEV-601: Child Assessment
This course provides students with a basic understanding of the assessment of young children from birth to eight years of age. The primary goals for the course are (1) the purposes and processes of a variety of assessment methods currently used to evaluate learning and development of young children and (2) challenges in assessing young children from developmental, educational, psychological, and cultural perspectives. Students will learn principles of appropriate assessment, acquire a working knowledge of basic measurement concepts, and gain testing, and alternative assessment approaches for young children.
DEV-699: Child Development Practicum
The internship is a culmination of a student's field experiences. It consists of a minimum of 150 clock-hours in the field and is accompanied by seminar meetings to provide opportunities for the analysis, evaluation and discussion of field experience.
EDU-520: The Educator Researcher
This course provides an introduction to methods of educational research. These methods encourage educators to be action researchers in their own classrooms, school districts, and/or communities to improve teaching and learning practice. Students will become familiar with purposeful quantitative and qualitative research designs to develop an increased understanding of the issues, both theoretical and practical, arising through the research process. An emphasis will be placed on understanding, interpreting, and critiquing educational research and developing research proposals.
EDU-601: Research Seminar
This course is an examination of the various research methods used in psychology and education. Students will become familiar with resources, terms and techniques necessary to understand, interpret, conduct and appreciate research. Limited enrollment. Only for students accepted into the program.
EDU-520 and EDU-533

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Candidates must also submit an acknowledgement form and professional resume.

Initial licensure candidates also are required to complete a general assessment form.

University Accreditation

SNHU is a fully accredited university. Access our list of accreditations. More...

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