BS in Human Development and Family Science with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society

Degree Program Description

This online bachelor's of science degree prepares students to work in the field of early childhood education.  This program emphasizes the following areas: Child development, growth, and learning; Early education curricula and frameworks; Learning activities, technology use, and other experiences for young children; Family and community influences on children; Challenges facing families in today’s world; Assessment of children and environments; Professional and ethical standards; Hands-on experiences and clinical practice. Upon completion of the program, students are qualified to work in various early education and care settings serving children from birth through eight years in a wide variety of community and military settings, including early education centers and preschools, family and home care settings, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and before/after school programs.

Major Program Requirements

The program is offered by Human Development and Family Science faculty in conjunction with other university partners as part of the Great Plains IDEA. Interested applicants will apply for admission to this program through the undergraduate admissions office at the University of Missouri and to the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Courses will be taught by University of Missouri faculty and by scholars from other Great Plains IDEA institutions, including Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Your degree will be awarded by the University of Missouri. Students in the Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society program have amended College of Education course requirements due to the availability of online course options.

Students must complete all university requirements, including general education, in addition to the degree requirements below.1 All students must earn a grade of C- or higher, and a minimum 2.0 GPA overall in all HDFS courses taken to meet the HDFS degree requirements.2 A minimum of 120 credit hours is required to earn the degree.

H_D_FS 1600Foundations of Family Science 33
H_D_FS 2200Research Methods in Human Development and Family Science3
H_D_FS 2300Multicultural Study of Children and Families3
H_D_FS 2400WPrinciples of Human Development - Writing Intensive3-4
or H_D_FS 2400 Principles of Human Development
H_D_FS 3050Child Development: Infancy and Toddlerhood3
H_D_FS 3150Child Development: Preschool to Pre-Adolescence3
H_D_FS 3250Introduction to Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society3
H_D_FS 3350Child Guidance and Classroom Environments3
H_D_FS 3450Health, Safety and Nutrition3
H_D_FS 3550Technology and Young Children3
H_D_FS 3650Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families3
H_D_FS 3750Working with Families3
H_D_FS 3950Practicum I: Child Observations in Classroom Environment3
H_D_FS 4150Development of Curriculum for Children Ages Birth to 33
H_D_FS 4250Development of Curriculum for Children 4-83
H_D_FS 4350Assessing Young Children and their Environments3
H_D_FS 4450Understanding and Adapting for Developmental Differences3
H_D_FS 4550Practicum II: Curriculum Development and Implementation3
H_D_FS 4650Administration/Supervision in Early Childhood Settings3
H_D_FS 4750Practicum III: Capstone Experience6
Students must choose a minimum of 36 elective course credits. 4
Lower-Level (1000-2000) Writing Intensive Course - See HDFS advisor for list of approved courses
Upper- Level (3000+) Writing Intensive Course - See HDFS advisor for list of approved courses

This program includes experiences and/or courses in which live observation, guidance, and instruction of young children in early childhood environments is required. 


Some courses may require a higher grade than C- to advance in the program.


H_D_FS 1600 should be taken before H_D_FS 2300 and any 3000/4000-level H_D_FS course.


Consult with an HDFS academic advisor to select appropriate elective courses.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available. 

First Year
ENGLSH 100013H_D_FS 23003FINPLN 21833
H_D_FS 16003Gen ED Science3 
H_D_FS 24003Humanities3 
American History or Government3General Elective3 
Math Pathway3  
 15 12 3
Second Year
H_D_FS 22003H_D_FS 31503H_D_FS 34503
H_D_FS 30503H_D_FS 36503H_D_FS 37503
H_D_FS 32503Humanities3 
H_D_FS 35503Humanities3 
Lower Level Writing Intensive13Gen Ed PHYS or MATH Science3 
 15 15 6
Third Year
H_D_FS 39503H_D_FS 33503H_D_FS 42503
H_D_FS 41503H_D_FS 43503H_D_FS 46503
H_D_FS 445033000+ level Writing Intensive13 
Gen Ed BIO or PHYS Science w/ lab3General Elective3 
 12 12 6
Fourth Year
H_D_FS 45503H_D_FS 47506 
General Elective3General Elective3 
General Elective3General Elective3 
General Elective3  
 12 12  
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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