Master of Arts in Child Development


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.



Admissions Overview

Priority Deadline: February 14, 2020
General Deadline: March 16, 2020

Acceptance into the department's graduate program involves two separate applications:

1. University

Applicants must submit an online application to the University: For more information regarding this process, you can visit the Graduate Admissions Website ( or call (323)-343-3901. 

The University application also requires one copy of Official Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to the Admissions Office.

Official Transcripts should be mailed to:
Office of Admissions and Recruitment
Student Affairs 101
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

2. Department 

Applicants must also submit a separate application directly to the Department of Child and Family Studies. 
Department Application 


Program Details

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

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
Child Life Specialist
Parent and Community Educator
Non-Profit Organization
Community College Instructor
Preparation for Doctoral Study

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students will integrate their understanding of advanced concepts and theories related to human development through exams, writing assignments and oral presentations.
Students will implement their advanced knowledge of specific developmental concepts related to their individual career goals within professional settings.
Students will demonstrate quantitative reasoning by formulating and conducting research showing sensitivity to ethical standards and diversity. 
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.

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

PowerPoint version of MA program information