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Child Psychology Minor

About The Program

The child psychology minor is designed for students who are interested in the theory and application of psychology to children. Such students might be interested in working with quality child care programming, education, prevention/early intervention work or in areas of social services in which a working knowledge of children's development and emotional needs is essential. The minor fits well with other majors including social work, human services and education.

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Child Psychology Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Child Psychology Minor

Courses and Requirements


To complete the Child Psychology minor, students are required to take a minimum of 20 credits. Of these credits, 12 must be taken at Metropolitan State and 12 credits must be upper division. More specific course requirements are below.

Child Psychology Minor Requirements (20 credits)

+ Required Courses

This course provides an overview of the science of child psychology. Major theories and research related to a child's perceptual, motor, emotional, social and cognitive development are reviewed, and their practical applications are explored. Overlap: PSYC 308T Child Psychology Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Child Psychology

+ Guided electives

Choose at least one (additional choices can be used to meet requirements)

This course introduces students to the history of learning theories, and the development of current theories of learning such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning. An emphasis is on the basic methods of inquiry, as well as on applications of learning theories to areas such as education, business and behavioral change. This course is well-suited to students interested in education, as well as psychology, and is often preparation for graduate study in psychology and education.

Full course description for Psychology of Learning: Contemporary Theories and Applications

This course provides an understanding of the basic concepts and techniques involved in selecting, administering, scoring and interpreting psychological tests. Validity, reliability, standardization, norms and ethical issues are covered in the measurement of intellect, aptitude, achievement, interest and personality. Learning strategies include test demonstrations. Students take, score (where possible) and interpret several different tests.

Full course description for Psychological Testing

This course introduces psychological perspective to teaching and learning in classroom contexts through an overview of theories, principles, issues, and related research in educational psychology. Through readings, lectures, discussions, videos, activities and assignments, we will explore thinking, learning and memory in both classroom and daily life situations. Topics include, but not limited to: child and adolescent development, research in educational psychology, cognitive process and motivation, information processing, assessment of student learning, classroom management, and instructional strategies in education.

Full course description for Educational Psychology

This course explores the social, cultural, and historical contexts which impact child development. Students learn how children have been perceived during historical periods as well as the roles that children play in a variety of cultures. Emphasis is on racism, classism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ableism and heterosexism. Strategies for reducing the negative impact on children's lives and promoting healthy development of children within the social-political context are explored. The roles of parents, family and the community are considered as they relate to current policies affecting the needs of young children.

Full course description for Early Childhood Development within a Social/Cultural and Historical Context

+ Electives (additional courses that can be used toward requirements)

This course is designed to increase knowledge of child growth and development and child-rearing principles and techniques. The focus is on parents' roles as facilitators for their children in areas such as achieving a purposeful life, becoming self-reliant and developing communication skills. It includes understanding and meeting the needs of single parents and their children.

Full course description for Dynamics of Parent/Child Relationships

This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the social-learning approach and corresponding set of techniques for teaching and modifying individual behavior in group settings where the opportunity for individual attention is limited. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of individual differences among children, including ethnic and gender differences. It is designed for individuals who have an interest in and/or responsibility for working with children, ages two-12, in group settings such as school-age child care and schools.

Full course description for Working with Children in the Middle Years

This course addresses the developmentally appropriate strategies to support learning of socially appropriate classroom behaviors for young children. Strategies examined for the course support social development, personal values and citizenship. The developmental and philosophical rationale for selection of behavior guidance strategies and practices are the foundational focus of the course. Students address the differences between discipline, classroom management and positive behavior guidance with particular focus on the cultural and contextual experiences of children in urban communities.

Full course description for Positive Behavior Guidance

In this course students explore questions related to psychology's response to diversity and ethical principles, including: How has psychology dealt with issues of culture, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation and ableism? How has this influenced basic theories in psychology? How does this affect specific groups or individuals in areas of research, assessment and therapeutic practice? What are the ethical standards that guide, and the ethical dilemmas that currently face, the field of psychology? How do issues of diversity and ethical principles influence and intersect with each other? Further, this course is designed to develop and expand students' critical knowledge of the central role of race, racism, and anti-racism in multiple contexts of society and aspects of everyday life. Students are asked to think critically about the societal and individual effects inherent in the information covered in this course.

Full course description for Introduction to Diversity and Ethics in Psychology

In this course, students learn how family life affects individuals by examining the current theories and research on family systems. Learning strategies include role-playing demonstrations. Evaluation is based in part on individually-designed projects on the family of origin. Recommended: An introductory sociology or psychology course.

Full course description for Family Systems

Forums are on topics of current importance in the field of psychology and are offered in collaboration with the Minnesota Psychological Association. Students are asked to write papers summarizing the content and discussing the relevance of principles and practices presented to their own activities or within a specified hypothetical context. Specific topics are listed in the Class Schedule or announced in the Catalyst. Note: At least 12 credits in psychology, human services, or social work prior to registration.

Full course description for Friday Forum Topics