Master of Arts in Child Development

Priority Deadline: February 15, 2019 

General Deadline: March 15, 2019


To apply to the university through the Cal State Apply website visit: 

Master of Arts in Child Development 

Cal State L.A.’s Department of Child and Family Studies offers a Master of Arts degree in Child Development. This degree prepares individuals to understand the relationship between theory, research and practice and to apply this knowledge to issues in the field of human development. Students are trained to think and write critically about human development through identifying and solving real world problems, advocating for individuals and families, and disseminating knowledge. The Department seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals at all levels of development within diverse environments.

 Characteristics of Degree:

  • Interdisciplinary faculty
  • Developmental theories
  • Social, cognitive, and language development
  • Risk and resiliency
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Opportunity to overlap with teaching credential requirements or other certificate programs

Education Style Related to the Degree:

  • Small, seminar style classes
  • Intimate learning environment
  • Supplement classes with electives for individual career path
  • Individual fieldwork
  • Option of Comprehensive Exam, Thesis, or Culminating project.

Career Pathways Related to the Degree:

  • Child Development Specialist
  • Preschool Teacher and/or Administrator
  • Consultant
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Evaluators
  • Parent and Community Educator
  • Researcher
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Community College Instructor
  • Preparation for Doctoral Study

Program Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will integrate their understanding of advanced concepts and theories related to human development through exams, writing assignments and oral presentations.
  2. Students will implement their advanced knowledge of specific developmental concepts related to their individual career goals within professional settings.
  3. Students will demonstrate quantitative reasoning by formulating and conducting research showing sensitivity to ethical standards and diversity. 
  4. Students will articulate advanced concepts and promote awareness of the needs of today’s diverse children and families to stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels.

Applying to this Program

Applications for the Master of Arts degree in Child Development are reviewed once a year for admission in Fall. Applications are due early in the Spring semester and include both a university application and department application.

To apply to the university through the Cal State Apply website visit:

Department applications are available:

Please CLICK HERE for Department M.A. Application

University eCatalog link: Child Development, M.A.

The Master of Arts degree in Child Development strengthens professional competence and prepares individuals for various leadership positions as child development specialists.

For more information about our MA program, and about applying to our program, please view our program and application information video:

Click HERE for PowerPoint version of MA program information