Graduate Programs


The MA in the Department of Child Development is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study in the field for the following professional and/or academic purposes:

  • To obtain a graduate-level degree in Child Development
  • To prepare for community college teaching
  • To prepare for further study leading to a doctorate in Child & Adolescent Development
  • To acquire academic background in the field for application in occupational settings that deal with issues involving children and/or youth and their families

The degree is particularly appropriate for individuals who already possess entry-level credentials or licensing and who wish to develop greater expertise and deeper knowledge about children and youth in order to advance in their careers or to prepare for new occupational options. This includes individuals such as professionals in human services agencies, Head Start and day care administrators, parent educators, child/youth advocates in social and legal arenas, child and family counselors, teachers in elementary, middle, and secondary schools, pediatric nurses, and professionals in public health and health care agencies.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Students who complete an MA degree in ChAD should:

  • Articulate an advanced understanding of the complexity of the four domains of development and characterize the impact of the interrelations among domains on child and adolescent development.
  • Analyze the significance of context on child and adolescent growth and evaluate how different contextual perspectives contribute to both dominant assumptions and alternative viewpoints in our field.
  • Apply research, theory and problem-solving skills to evaluate best practices in social policy, education, intervention, and practical situations relevant to child and adolescent development.
  • Categorize, investigate, and critically analyze different sources of information with respect to credibility and validity and determine the appropriate contexts to use each type of source.
  • Analyze existing questions as well as formulate new questions that are relevant to our field and describe and apply the appropriate methodologies for seeking answers to these questions.
  • Evaluate different styles of, and engage in, audience-appropriate forms of communication that lead to a shared understanding of developmental issues through negotiation and translation across multiple modes of communication.
  • Delineate different methods of advocacy, elaborate on key ethical issues, and articulate how differing ethical perspectives influence their decision-making as advocates in our field.

Information for Current and Prospective Students