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Continuing Education - Professional Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Development

About the Certificate Program

image of preschool children with teacherThe certificate program in early childhood development is designed for students who wish to pursue concentrated study in the area of child development and to gain practical experience working with young children. Please note that this certificate does not provide teacher licensure. To enhance employment opportunities, students are advised to combine the certificate with an undergraduate degree.

The curriculum consists of four courses (16 credits total). Through this coursework, students are provided with broad exposure to important areas of study in general and child psychology. The practicum offers hands-on experience in working with young children at the Purchase College Children’s Center.

Individual courses may be taken without commitment to the entire program. Day and evening courses are available; however, because the Children’s Center offers daytime child care, PSY 3850 is offered only during the day. Some courses may be offered during summer session, but not every course is offered every year. At least two semesters are required for completion of the program.

Required Courses

  1. PSY 1530 Introduction to Psychology
  2. PSY 2650 Child Development or
    PSY 3350 Developmental Psychology
  3. PSY 3850 Practicum in Child Development*
  4. One elective in the field of child development, chosen from the following:
    • PSY 3330 Social Development*
    • PSY 3345 Cognitive Development*
    • PSY 3440 Social Issues in Developmental Psychology*
    • PSY 3490 Development of Language*
    • PSY 3725 Developmental Psychopathology
    • PSY 3845 Gender Development*
    • PSY 3855 Seminar in Early Childhood Development* (formerly offered as PSY 4100)

    *These courses have prerequisites.

Note: Before summer 2014, PSY 1530, 2650, and 3350 were offered under the BPS prefix by the School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education.


For information on current (or upcoming) courses:

To browse descriptions of all psychology courses offered by the School of Natural and Social Sciences, go to Psychology Courses.


To earn the certificate, students must be high school graduates and earn a grade of C or higher in certificate courses. Students must also complete an application for the certificate:
Get Adobe 
Acrobat ReaderApplication of the Early Childhood Development Certificate (PDF)
This form may also be obtained from the instructor for PSY 3850 in the Psychology Board of Study.

For more information, please contact:
Peggy De Cooke, Associate Professor of Psychology
(914) 251-6658
peggy.decooke@purchase.edu

Updated Aug. 22, 2014

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