MA in Child and Adolescent Development

Total units required for MA: 30.0

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development Program offers an opportunity for advanced study of developmental theories and their application in research and practice. Our Program emphasizes scholarly reflection on developmental issues and excellence in disciplinary forms of communication. The Program prepares students to consider the diversity of human development and to critically reflect on how to use that knowledge to work towards antiracism, equity, and inclusion in the field. Graduates of the Program will be able to apply their advanced understanding of theory and empirical research to work as agents of positive social change in a variety of settings including education, advocacy, research, policy, and/or other settings.

For further information please see the Academic Program Services Office, Eureka Hall 401, or check the College of Education's website.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in the Master of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development Program requires:

  • a BA in Child and Adolescent/Human Development or a closely-related field
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units completed;
  • completion of an upper-division course in research methods (e.g., CHAD 123, CHAD 128, and/or CHAD 133, or equivalent);
  • completion of an upper-division course in human development theories  (e.g., CHAD 137 and/or CHAD 138, or equivalent)

Opportunity exists for conditional classification of applicants with an undergraduate major and experiences different from those listed above. This requires that students demonstrate convincingly that they are competent to pursue the degree.

Admission Procedures

All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must submit a University application. The application must be submitted by the deadlines stated on the College of Education and Office of Graduate Studies websites. Required application materials include:

  • online application for admission;
  • official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State;
  • statement describing the applicant's educational and professional background and how graduate study will advance the applicant's professional goals; and
  • two academic and/or professional letters of recommendation.

For more admissions information and application deadlines, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website. Details about the application can be found on the application packet posted to the College of Education website.

Approximately six weeks after the posted application deadline, a decision regarding admission will be emailed to each applicant.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MA:  30

Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0; no units with a grade lower than "B-" may apply toward the degree.

Advancement to Candidacy Procedures

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of courses in the graduate program (see Requirements) with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • met the Graduate writing requirement through completion of the Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course, CHAD 242, with a B grade or better.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The student should complete the Advancement to Candidacy form after planning a degree program in consultation with a Program faculty advisor. The form must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Project/Thesis or Examination Registration

Enrollment in CHAD 504 Project/Thesis course requires that the student file an Intent to Register form at least one full semester in advance of registration. For students intending to complete a project or thesis, a proposal must be approved prior to beginning the project or thesis. The proposal requires approval from the thesis/project sponsor, a second reader, and the Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair. Please see your list of deadlines and consult with a Program advisor. Additional information about CHAD theses and projects may be found in the Thesis/Project handbook on the Department web page.

Check in the Department office for the policies regarding Report in Progress ("RP") grades and continuous enrollment.


Prior to graduation, an application for graduation must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies. In addition, all coursework leading to the Master's degree must be completed within a seven-year period.

Program Requirements

Pre or Corequisites (6 Units)
Select one of the following:3
Qualitative Methods in Human Development
Combined Research Methods in Human Development
Quantitative Methods in Human Development
Select one of the following:3
Cognitive Development
Social and Emotional Development
Total Units6
Required Foundation Courses (12 Units)
CHAD 200Proseminar in Child and Adolescent Development3
CHAD 242Theoretical Approaches to Development 3
CHAD 247Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on Cross-cultural Development3
Select one of the Methods courses:3
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Core Course Requirements (9 Units)
Select three of the following:9
Seminar in Social Development
Seminar in Cognitive Development
Selected Topics in Developmental Theory
Motivation and Learning in Children
Curriculum and Instruction
Language Processes in Development
Quantitative Research Methods
Apprenticeship in Advanced Child Development
Qualitative Research Methods
Practicum in Child Development
Issues in Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities
Elective (3 Units)
Select 3 units in consultation with an advisor3
Culminating Experience (6 Units)
Thesis or Project
CHAD 290Writing a Proposal3
CHAD 504Culminating Experience in Child Development: Thesis or Project3
Total Units30

Note: Credit for CHAD 504 is given upon completion of a thesis, project, or other approved culminating experience. Open only to graduate students who have been advanced to candidacy for the Master's degree and have secured the permission of their faculty advisor and the Department Chair one full semester prior to registration. All forms may be obtained on the College website.