General Elective Option

Students who have a professional goal that is not listed in the established concentrations may select a unique set of courses from the list of Approved CDV Electives [PDF] that they feel will advance their professional goals. If a student is interested in a graduate program, they should check the current admission requirements for the specific universities they plan to apply to as admission requirements vary by university and are subject to change.

Petitioning Coursework for the General Elective Concentration 

If there is coursework that is related to students' career goals but is not on the approved list of electives, students may petition to have the coursework applied to their General Elective Concentration. Students may also petition coursework taken at another 4-year University. All petitions MUST be approved by the student's faculty advisor. 

In general, concentration elective coursework should be upper division. Rare exceptions will be made to apply lower division coursework to the General Elective Concentration. These exceptions are limited to coursework that is required for entry into a graduate program and an upper division version of the course is not offered at CSUDH (e.g., the separate anatomy and physiology courses needed for Occupational Therapy Programs).

To petition coursework for the General Elective Concentration, submit the following materials to the Child Development Program Office:

  1. A completed Course Substitution Form [PDF],
  2. A statement regarding how the course enhances your career goals,
  3. A copy of the course description from the college’s catalog, and
  4. A copy of the course syllabus so the substance of the course can be evaluated.

Before you submit a course substitution form for a course taken at another college or university, please verify that the course is listed on the transfer credit page in MyCSUDH. Courses that do not appear on your transfer credit page and incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Your faculty advisor may request a meeting before approving coursework. Please note that not all courses are eligible for substitution.

Once a course has been approved by the student's faculty advisor, the faculty advisor will submit the course substitution request to the Department Chair for final approval. 

Course Recommendations for Specific Careers

Although we do not have specific concentrations in the careers listed below, students who wish to pursue these careers may benefit from selecting the General Elective Option and choosing elective courses from the recommendations below.

  1. Child Life Specialist
  2. Pre-Occupational Therapy
  3. Education and Special Education

Child Life Specialist

Students interested in a career in child life should consider the following courses. For more information on curriculum recommendations and careers as a child life specialist, please visit the Child Life Council website.

Recommended Courses

  • PSY 367 – Effective Communication Skills
  • PSY 314 – Behavior Modification (3)
  • PSY 360 – Theories of Personality (3)
  • PSY 353 – The Experience of Death and Dying: Psychological Perspectives (3)
  • PSY 363 – The Abnormal Personality (3)
  • PSY 464 – Introduction to Clinical Psychology (3)
  • SPE 460 – Introduction to Special Education (3)*

* Please see criteria for enrolling in Special Education courses listed under the Special Education Option below.

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Students who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) should consider taking some of the common prerequisite requirements for Occupational Therapy master’s program. Students will gain general knowledge and skills in human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the causes and manifestations of psychological disorders. While the suggested courses are common prerequisite requirements for Occupational Therapy programs, students should check the current admission requirements for the specific universities they plan to apply to as admission requirements vary by university and are subject to change.

Recommended Courses

  • Human Anatomy w/lab
  • Human Physiology w/lab
  • PSY 363 – The Abnormal Personality (3)

Education and Special Education

Students who are interested in entering master’s degree or credential programs in K-12 education or special education should consider taking one or more of the following courses to prepare for these programs. Students are strongly encouraged to take LBS 375, one English course (LBS 355, ENG 308, ENG 487), and one visual and performing arts course (ART 301, DAN 440, KIN 447, THE 337, MUS 340). Students should consider SPE 460 or SPE 480 and SPE 481 depending on the prerequisites required for the credential program they intend to apply for.

Recommended Courses

  • LBS 375 - The California Experience (3)
  • LBS 355 - Writing in Education (3)
  • ENG 308 - Critical Approaches to Children's Literature (3)
  • ENG 487 - Second Language Teaching and Learning (3)
  • GEO 350 - World Regional Geography (3)
  • SOC 321 – Sociology of Education or SOC 322 – Social Environment of Education (3)
  • ART 301 – Arts and Crafts for the Non-Major (3)
  • DAN 440 – Dance for Children or KIN 447 – Dance Education in the Elementary School (3)
  • MUS 340 – Music for Children (3)
  • THE 337 – Creative Dramatics (3)
  • SPE 480 – Educating Exceptional Children and Youth (3)
  • SPE 481 – Educating Diverse Learners with Exceptionalities (3)