Master of Arts in Child Development

The Master of Arts in Child Development is a 35-39-unit, evening program designed to provide students with an in-depth background in child growth and development. This program is targeted to students wishing to continue their studies at the graduate level in child development, for those currently in careers relating to children and families (e.g., early childhood education, elementary education, special education, or social service professionals), for those wishing to teach early childhood coursework at a community college, and for those who plan to pursue doctoral-level studies in related fields such as child/human development, child and family studies, developmental psychology, and clinical/counseling psychology.

The Child Development Program has offered a Masters of Arts degree since 2000. This program provides training in core areas of child development, including development of the whole child from birth through adolescence, family studies, and research design and methodology. This program has a uniquely applied focus and integrates many areas relevant to child development, such as early childhood education, special education, counseling, and social work. Students exiting this program take with them skills that are marketable under current and expected socioeconomic conditions.

Admission to the Program

In addition to the general requirements of the university, specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree with a major in human development, child development, psychology; or with any other undergraduate major that satisfies the graduate admissions committee of the MACD program;
  2. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 ("B") overall and a 3.2 minimum in the major.
  3. A brief statement describing the applicant's preparation for graduate study, goals of graduate study, and professional aspirations, to be submitted to the department;
  4. Three letters of recommendation, with at least two from former professors. Letters should come directly from the writers or be included in a placement file. (It is the applicant's responsibility to determine if letters have been received.);
  5. Satisfaction of the following prerequisites: a. One class in Child Development. b. One class in statistics, and c. One class in research methodology.

Advancement to Candidacy

At the end of the spring semester, all first year graduate students will be evaluated to determine whether or not they will be advanced to candidacy for the Master of Arts degree. Students will be reevaluated each quarter until they are either advanced to candidacy or declassified.

To be formally advanced to candidacy, a student must, to the satisfaction of the chair of the department, have:

  1. Achieved classified status;
  2. Successfully completed 12 units of course work in the program and maintained a 3.0 ("B") grade point average in the course work;
  3. Selected a graduate advisor to supervise the coursework relevant to the student's culminating experience;
  4. Completed at least one annual evaluation demonstrating satisfactory knowledge, skills, and dispositions;
  5. Satisfied the Writing Requirement for Graduate Candidacy (WRGC);
  6. Filed an approved graduate program which must have the approval of the student's advisor, the department chair or the graduate program director and the Dean of Graduate Studies;

Requirements for Graduation

  1. A minimum of 35 semester units of approved graduate-level work, with at least 23 semester units completed in residence at this university;
  2. A grade point average of at least 3.0 ("B") in all courses taken to satisfy the Master of Arts degree, grades of "B-" (2.7) or better in each required course in the program, and grades of "C" (2.0) or better in each elective course;
  3. Successful completion of the course work listed below, including a culminating experience consisting of the completion and defense of a comprehensive examination, project or thesis;
  4. Completion of any additional general requirements not cited above and listed in Graduate Degree and Program Requirements;
  5. Completion of the Program's degree requirements within seven years of admission to the program;
  6. The Graduate Writing Assessment Reqirement is met upon successful completion of PSYC 6640 with a grade of B-or higher;.
  7. Also note that students in classified status who fail to register for at least one course in the MACD program each semester will be automatically declassified.  PSYC 6990-6996 Continuous Enrollment for Graduate Candidacy Standing may be taken if all mandatory coursework has been completed and another course is not taken during a given quarter.

Degree Requirements (38-40 units)

(Program Code: CHDV)

CD 5531Best Practices with Young Children3
CD 6614Theories of Child Development3
CD 6624Advanced Developmental Neuroscience3
CD 6648Social-Emotional Development3
CD 6651Advanced Cognitive Development3
CD 6659Early Childhood Assessment3
CD 6690Familes and Parenting3
PSYC 6640Advanced Methods in Psychological Research3
Culminating Experience (14-16)14-16
Total Units38-40

Culminating Experience (14-16 units)

MACD students must demonstrate successful research participation with a faculty advisor. This requirement can be fulfilled in one of three ways:

Comprehensive Examination Option (14 units)

Students will be required to become familiar with the literature in a research area which will be related to their comprehensive examination. This could take the form of a partial literature review, an annotated bibliography and/or a presentation of the literature of interest to faculty/student groups.

Six units of 5000-6000 level courses chosen in consultation with the Program Coordinator or Faculty Advisor6
CD 6122-6124Directed Readings (2-4 units for a total of 4)4
CD 6894Externship in Child Development4
CD 6980Comprehensive Examination0
Total Units14

Project Option (14 units)

Students will be required to become familiar with the literature in one or more research areas and to acquire specialized knowledge of any particular methodologies needed for the development of a project.

Six units of 5000-6000 level courses chosen in consultation with the Program Coordinator or Faculty Advisor6
CD 6952-6954Advanced Independent Study (2-4 units for a total of 4)4
CD 6964Graduate Project4
Total Units14

Thesis Option (16 units)

Students will be required to become familiar with the literature in one or more research areas and to become skilled in certain specialized research methods which will pertain to their abilities to gather data for a thesis. Examples of such activities could include gathering pilot data to acquire interview skills, knowledge of survey procedures, assessment skills, advanced statistical skills, understanding of content analysis, skills to work with a special population, or advanced physiological measurement skills.

PSYC 6641Analysis of Variance4
PSYC 6642Regression and Nonparametric Statistics4
CD 6952-6954Advanced Independent Study (2-4 units for a total of 4)4
CD 6974Thesis4
Total Units16