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Child and Youth Studies

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield, Newark

College: Education and Human Ecology

The child and youth studies program is a non-licensure program in the Department of Teaching and Learning that provides students with a solid foundation in the development and education of children at early and middle childhood ages.

Students in the program choose an area of specialization and learn to develop and implement programming as they prepare to work with groups of young children, youth and/or families in community settings.

Undergraduate students who plan to seek teacher licensure in early childhood education or middle childhood education via the Master of Education program should first complete the child and youth studies degree then apply to the master's program. All admissions at the graduate level are selective. Students should work closely with their academic advisor, as well as the graduate advising office in the Department of Teaching and Learning to best prepare for the admissions process for the master's degree.

Students admitted to the university can directly enroll as child and youth studies pre-majors in the College of Education and Human Ecology. To be eligible for the child and youth studies major, students must have completed prerequisite courses with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA and have a grade of C- or higher in the following:

  • First-year writing
  • Fundamental Mathematics Concepts for Teachers
  • General psychology
  • Two courses in laboratory sciences
  • Speech
  • Introductory Experience in a School System

The program is not competitive. Students who meet the minimum major requirements are admitted into the program.

Students complete credit hours in communication, mathematics and social sciences; introductory education courses; and one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Early childhood development and education focuses on children’s care and development from birth to age 5 years, preparing students to work in group settings such as child care and preschools. 
  • Language and literacy focuses on the mechanics, evaluation and exploration of literacy within settings such as libraries and after-school programming. 
  • Technology and youth prepares students to work in educational programming in museums, libraries and after school settings which emphasize technology. 
  • Creative pedagogies in education prepares students to work with young children from birth to age 5 years, in group settings within a foundation of the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early care and education.
  • Individualized studies provide students the flexibility to create your own plan to meet major requirements while building a plan to advance career goals.

Students who intend to pursue the Master of Education licensure program must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA overall, as well as, a 2.7 GPA in their areas of concentration, complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and apply for admission to the graduate school. 

The Global Option in Education and Human Ecology is an option for students in good academic standing on any Ohio State campus. In this program, students develop their ability to communicate with and work alongside individuals from other cultures through education abroad programs and globally themed course work.

In the culminating year, students engage in a year-long internship, engaging with teaching and learning opportunities in a community organization. Placements are made based on specialization, learning trajectory and career goals. The internship provides students the space to apply what they have learned, reflect on their practices and challenge themselves to grow in new directions. Learn more at

The College of Education and Human Ecology Honors Program offers students rigorous course work and opportunities to work closely with faculty to design and complete a research project. Students in this program also have access to smaller classes, priority scheduling and unique housing opportunities.

The Ohio State Scholars programs feature close-knit, residential communities for students who share common interests. Child and youth studies students may find the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars Program to be a good fit with their interests.

Students can work with the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to conducting high-quality research that improves children’s learning and development at home, in school and in the community. Through the center, students can also work with a network of community partners to provide early childhood programming and family engagement; this includes the possibility of collaborating with the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning to provide effective, research-based curriculum that focuses on language and literacy development and building essential social skills. 

Kappa Phi Kappa is a national professional co-ed fraternity in education devoted to the professional development of its members through activities and opportunities, making members aware of career opportunities in education, informing interested members about the education programs at Ohio State, helping members meet possible future colleagues, and helping to support the Columbus community through community service.

EHE Peer Mentors engage in discussions with new first-year and transfer students about adjusting to Ohio State and college life, university resources, and how to understand university policies and procedures.

Students who complete the child and youth studies pre-licensure program receive a Bachelor of Science in Education. They are eligible for a variety of positions in community-based early care and education, community-based programming, museums, libraries and social service organizations.

Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue graduate programs such as teacher licensure, education administration, school counseling or any programs that involve working with children.

Average salaries in the continental United States for beginning early and middle childhood education teachers at the master’s degree level range from $24,000 to $42,000. Comparable salaries for entry level positions in community settings at the baccalaureate level range from $20,000 to $35,000.  

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During the internship, students select a Capstone Project, using what they have learned and experienced to impact children, families, the community and the organization. They will use critical reflection, problem-solving skills and action research to identify community problems and propose solutions to create lasting change. The Capstone Project allows students to share their knowledge and skills while learning something meaningful to them and their organization.