What’s the Difference Between a Child Development Specialization and Degree?

child development

Choosing a degree that matches your career goals is an important step in your educational journey. The right degree coupled with a specialization can open a lot of doors and prepare you for a bright future in a new and exciting field.

That’s why it’s important to understand the differences between degrees and specializations and recognize how they can contribute to your overall success. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the difference between a Child Development specialization and degree at Ashford University.

Child Development Online Degree

Students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Arts in Child Developmentdegree will not only gain a new skill set, but they’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of the early childhood industry.

The curriculum is tailored for anyone who desires to be an advocate for children and is filled with courses that touch on a wide range of topics. The coursework is designed to help elevate your knowledge of child development so that you can grow in your current profession or transition into a new career.

One of the major differences between a degree and a specialization is the program requirements. The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Child Development are as follows:

  • Total number of credits required: 120 credits
  • General Education Requirements: 52 credits
  • Major Course Requirements: 36 credits
  • Electives: 32 credits

Let’s explore the specifics of the child development specialization, and learn how it can help you hone in on topics that interest you.

Child Development Specialization

Specializations are similar to minors in that they allow degree-seeking students the opportunity to explore a separate area of interest. You have the opportunity to truly tailor your degree so that it’s in-line with your career goals and interests.

A specialization is an area of study that supplements select undergraduate majors. Students begin specialization coursework following successful completion of the major capstone and students must declare a specialization prior to completion of program requirements.

For example, the online Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies can be enhanced with a specialization in Child Development. Once you’ve completed your capstone course you can begin your specialization course requirements. The requirements for a specialization in child development are as follows:

  • You must successfully complete your major capstone before starting;
  • You may not enroll in any undergraduate specialization that has a course overlap with any declared major; and
  • You will need to complete four (4), three (3) credit courses that make up the specialization.

Additionally, not all specializations are available for every degree program. Be sure to speak with your advisor or visit the program webpage for the bachelor’s degree in which you’re interested. This way you’ll gain a much better understanding of which specializations are available.

Deciding whether to choose a degree that focuses on child development or a specialization that begins to explore the field is an important one. Consider what each choice could mean in the long run with regard to career options, personal satisfaction, or other factors, as well as the commitment that is required to complete the courses.

Written by Ben Cummings, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bridgepoint Education

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit  or http://www.ashford.edu/pd/obaeds.

Questions? Talk with an Advisor

Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.