Winding road

Child Development

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Child Development option offers an opportunity for the advanced study of developmental theory and research in preparation for a wide range of professional objectives. The MA in Child Development option emphasizes scholarly reflection on developmental issues, and academic excellence in oral and written communication. The program faculty values academic scholarship and research, and regards their application in professional settings as central to the mission of the MA program. Graduates of the program are expected to be well educated, lifelong learners, with excellent preparation in research, theory and practice in diverse, multicultural settings.

The program incorporates the following areas of study: educational developmental research and theory; cognitive, linguistic and social, and emotional development of children; social, and cultural and familial influences on development; children with behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and academic special needs and their families; programming and curricula development; principles and practices involved in organizing, administering, and evaluating child development programs.

Program Resources

Fact Sheet
Download the Child Development Program Fact Sheet [to be completed]

Career Options

The MA program prepares graduates for professional employment in a variety of settings, including working directly with infants, children and their families, teaching at the community college level, and preparing for additional study toward a doctoral degree in child development or a related field. With a Master's degree or higher, you can find employment in many of the following specializations:

  • Counselor
  • Social worker
  • Community college instructor
  • Pediatric psychologist
  • Research assistant
  • Private non-profit worker
  • Worker with special needs children and families

Program Requirements

Units Required to Complete the Degree
33 units

Review Courses Required to Complete the Degree
Review the course listing

Admission Requirements

Requirement Overview
Admission as a classified graduate student in the Master of Arts in Child Development program requires:

  • Child/Human Development BA or a closely related field, Liberal Studies BA, or teaching credential.  Some applicants may be admitted with the condition that certain specified foundation courses be completed before beginning the requirements for the program;
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units completed;
  • experience in programs serving children from infancy through primary grades;
  • passed the Writing Placement for Juniors (WPJ) or secured approval for a WPJ waiver;
  • well-written, clearly articulated, statement of the applicant's educational and professional background and an explanation of how graduate study will advance the applicant's professional goals.

Link to Catalog
Refer to the Campus Catalog for detailed admission and academic requirements

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More Information

Frequently Asked Questions
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Child Development Program

Phone: (916) 278-6639 | Office: Eureka Hall 401

Mailing Address
College of Education | Graduate and Professional Studies: Child Development
Sacramento State | 6000 J Street | Sacramento, California 95819-6079