Child Development, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by human development and relationships? Do you want to help children reach their full potential? If you have college credits but not a bachelor’s degree, PLNU’s child development degree completion program is designed for you. We’ll partner with you, and together help make a meaningful difference for families of all types, including yours.

Completing your bachelor’s degree in child development at PLNU will give you a strong understanding of typical and atypical development and how to help meet the needs of children and families. You will become the best possible champion for children because you will understand the complex family and social systems that surround them. PLNU offers a convenient format tailored to accommodate your work and life commitments — so you can earn your child development degree in as few as 15 months.

"With this degree, you will be uniquely prepared to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and families. You will be equipped with practical application skills to address needs in a wide variety of professional settings." 

Susan Decristofaro Rogers, M.A. 
Co-Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences

Prepare for Your Dream Job

By covering the full cycle of development from birth through adolescence, PLNU’s degree completion program offers you career flexibility and a deep understanding of kids and families that isn’t limited to a single age group.

Receive Personal Mentorship and Career Support

Our hybrid learning format has a strong face-to-face component through which you will be known and cared about. PLNU has a reputation for being a place where lasting relationships form among faculty and students.

Grow as a Whole Person

You want to help children develop and attain their full potential. As a Christian university, PLNU wants the same for you. We’ll help you pursue a meaningful career and a balanced life.

Course List


Department Faculty

Application Information

Application Deadline:

Summer 2018 - April 23, 2017

The Selection Process

We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. That’s why we are committed to reviewing it thoroughly and giving it the individual care and attention it deserves. We believe you have more to offer than just a GPA, which is why there is no numeric formula that determines admittance. Rather, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admittance into the program. We strongly encourage you to apply, even if you’re unsure of your qualifications.

To be admitted into PLNU's degree completion program, you must have completed at least 40 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 from an accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript sent directly from each college or university attended.*

You must also have attained the minimum age of 23, OR minimum age of 21 with an associate’s degree or with significant work experience.

Start Application

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit online application for admission.
  2. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit a 500- to 600-word essay with your online application in APA format including the following:
    • Why you wish to join the child development degree completion program
    • Your relevant academic and professional experience

    • Your future career or life goals

  4. Complete an interview with your enrollment counselor.

Note: All students are expected to have some proficiency with computer technology (email, Internet, word processing, etc.).

This program is approved by the Community Care Licensing Division of California, which means the program meets the requirements for graduates preparing for a child care license in the state of California. However, because a license in California is earned by more than meeting the educational requirements, successful completion of this program by itself does not fulfill all of the requirements to become a licensed child care professional.

Please note: The Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences will notify students when changes in requirements occur. Outside California, PLNU cannot confirm whether its program meets credentialing requirements in your state of residence. Upon completion of the program, and should you earn a license, Point Loma Nazarene University does not guarantee that the program requirements for licensure in the state of California will transfer to another state where you may want to be employed. Additionally, if you currently reside or plan to reside outside California, PLNU cannot confirm whether its program meets licensure requirements in your current or intended state of residence.

*Prospective students who meet the other criteria but do not have the required semester hours for entrance or are lacking in the core requirements will be advised on how to correct any deficiency. An enrollment counselor will assist these students with the development of a written pre-admission educational plan, which may include bridge courses taken at PLNU. Only courses from an accredited institution where at least a grade of a “C” has been earned will be accepted by transfer. Prospective students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement can be considered for admission under exception. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

**General Education deficiencies may be completed after admittance, but at least 20 hours must be completed prior to starting the program cohort. Three hours of appropriate prior learning credit may be used to meet one of the General Education areas — with the exception of English composition and math.

***The PLNU General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) will be addressed and measured within the PLNU degree program to ensure the outcomes we value are demonstrated.


Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

With a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development from PLNU, you will be prepared for meaningful work.

Options for serving children and adolescents include:

  • Preschool teacher or director at a public, private, or charter school

  • Child life specialist

  • Head Start teacher

  • First Five specialist or care coordinator

  • Early intervention specialist

  • Behavioral therapist

  • Children's or youth ministry leader

  • Parent educator

  • Foster care provider

  • Social service worker for children and adolescents

You will also be prepared for graduate level study to be a family and marriage counselor, speech pathologist, child life specialist, educational specialist, social worker, early interventionist, and more.