Child Development

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 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. 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.

Two different concentrations are offered in the MA in Child Development option program: Theory and Research and Applied Settings. The concentration in Theory and Research is designed to provide an in-depth study of theories of child development, how they inform our research, and how new research informs our theories. This concentration is intended for students interested in pursuing careers in research or teaching or a higher degree in child development or a related discipline. The concentration in Applied Settings is designed to provide background in theory and research regarding child development, with a focus on how this information applies to real-world settings (e.g., education, social work, policy development). This concentration is intended for students interested in pursuing careers working with children or programs that serve children and families.

Admission as a classified graduate student in Child Development 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 ECE program;
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 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.

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