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How do I Choose the Best Child Psychology Course?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2018
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Choosing the best child psychology course is really a matter of determining what purpose the course will serve. There are classes for entry-level college students, for those working on a bachelor’s degree and for students taking up this topic in a more advanced form, as part of graduate studies. There is no single answer covering this vast range of possible study arenas, and therefore the best recommendation is to determine how each course fulfills an intended purpose.

Many people take a child psychology course as part of community college studies. They may be pursuing such studies to work in daycare or pre-school settings. Finding out which courses are recommended by most employers in these areas could be of use, but many employers only require that people take a minimum amount of early childhood education (ECE) units.

When the choice is open, students need to determine that a class will meet ECE requirements and then might look for classes that delve into the psychological development of very young children. Ages 0-5 could be the most important to understand since this would be the age group students end up working with most. On the other hand, classes that given insight into mental illness and learning disorders in this age group could also be of use, especially if students plan to work with at risk populations.

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Another scenario may occur at the junior college setting when people are trying to determine what they’d like to major in, and perhaps pursue to the bachelor’s degree level. If child psychology sounds interesting, a better child psychology course to take might be one that is general and offers an overview of the topic. This can give people some sense of whether they might enjoy a career in this field. If interest remains, people can take plenty of child psychology electives while completing their undergraduate degrees.

Most people in the child psychology field possess a master’s in professional counseling, psychology with a therapy concentration, or social work; or they hold a doctorate in psychology with child and adolescent psychology focus. At these levels, students will be required to take at least one child psychology course, but they usually end up taking as many as they can so they can specialize. In social work graduate programs, this is hard to do because programs tend to focus more on the social work field, but graduates may be able to take classes in the psychology department that count as part of their graduating units.

People interested in a doctorate in child psychology could have a variety of classes available to them. More important than choosing one child psychology course is choosing a graduate program that supports this focus. Not all do. People should really think ahead so they will have the most options on which child psychology courses to take. Applying to programs with intense focus in this area likely means more choice will be available.

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