May 23, 2024  
University Catalog 2017-2018 
University Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Child Development, M.A.

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The Masters of Arts in Child Development is designed for students interested in research, theory and practice related to the study of individuals and families across diverse populations and settings. Students may coordinate degree requirements for the Elementary Subject Matter Credential, Special Education Credentials, or the Early Childhood Special Education Credential Program.

The Department of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles offers an MA in Child Development that provides students with a rigorous and individualized course of study. All students take courses that examine various domains in infant and child development, research, risk, resiliency, and family life. Students select elective courses to complement professional interests and goals. The Masters of Arts Degree in Child Development strengthens professional competence and prepares individuals for leadership positions in child and family educational, pediatric (i.e., Child Life) and community settings, as well as for careers in higher education.

Admission to the Program

In addition to the University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must satisfy specific departmental requirements before admission to the program. These include:

  • Baccalaureate in child development or a closely related academic field from a fully accredited college or university.
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.85 in the last 60 semester units.
  • Two letters of recommendation and a written statement of intent.
  • Completion of the department application form, including a writing sample.

Students without a baccalaureate in child development or a closely related field must complete an 18-unit prerequisite program before being admitted to the child development master’s degree program. The MA Advisor will consult with students to identify prerequisites. Further information is available in the Child and Family Studies office.

Admission to the Master’s program in Child Development is a two tiered process. Students must apply to both the University and the Department of Child and Family Studies. The department only admits students once a year during the fall semester. Students interested in being considered for the graduate program must submit departmental applications by  the department’s established deadline. Departmental applications are available through the department office.

Requirements for the Degree ( 30 units)

A total of  30 units is required, with at least  20 in 5000-level courses for students who elect to take the Comprehensive Examination and 21 units for students who elect to write a thesis.

Electives ( 6-9 units)

Students must select electives in consultation with a graduate adviser to give meaningful support to their professional goals. The development of an individualized and interdisciplinary program is essential. Students also seeking an Elementary Subject Matter Credential or an Early Childhood Special Education Credential should select electives in consultation with a credential adviser in the Charter College of Education and a child development graduate adviser. CHDV 5980 Graduate Directed Study may be included as an elective.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis or Project (0, 4 units)

A comprehensive examination or a thesis or project is required for the master’s degree. Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination (CHDV 5960) the semester they complete all course work on their program or thereafter and must comply with College and departmental requirements. A thesis or project, in lieu of the comprehensive examination, may be undertaken upon approval by a child development faculty committee.

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