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San Diego State University

Department of Child & Family Development

Graduate Programs


Master of Science Degree in Child Development

The focus of the program is on social and emotional development, and on child development in context (e.g. early childhood education programs, schools, families, communities). This program can help students move onto Ph.D. programs in related areas, and to further their professional expertise and credentials in areas related to child. Areas of emphasis in the program include: early childhood development, prevention, intervention, family processes, risk and resilience, development across the lifespan, parent-child intergenerational relationships, enhancing school readiness and preparing teachers to work with families, socio-emotional and behavior support in educational settings and homes, influences of language and culture, and atypical development. This program is targeted towards working professionals and classes are offered in evenings on two or three nights each week. Students may be able to earn the degree in two years (four academic semesters) and admission is only accepted in the Fall Semester.

Programs of Study

Students pursuing only the Master of Science degree in child development have the option of selecting Plan A  (completing a thesis or project) or Plan B (taking a comprehensive exam) and need to complete the appropriate coursework for each track.

Plan A Thesis or Project track Requirements (30 credits):

  • Core sequence of courses: Child and Family Development 634, 660, 670A, 790, and Education 690 must be completed.
  • Electives: 12 units of 500, 600, and 700-level courses in either Child and Family Development courses or in a related field with approval of the MS program graduate adviser. Note that the following certificate courses can fill this electives requirement: CFD 670B, CFD 671, CFD 623, and SPED 676.
  • Capstone: Child and Family Development 799A (thesis) and completion of a final M.S. thesis or project.


Plan B Comprehensive Exam track Requirements (30 credits):

  • Core sequence of courses: Child and Family Development 623, 634, 660, 670A, 670B, 671, Education 690, and SPED 676 must be completed.
  • Additional required courses: 3 units of 500, 600, and 700-level courses in either Child and Family Development courses or in a related field with approval of the MS program graduate adviser.
  • Capstone: Child and Family Development 799C (comprehensive exam), CFD 798 (comprehensive exam study group - 3 credits), and successfully passing the comprehensive exam.


Early Childhood Certificate Graduate:

Students who have completed the Early Childhood Certificate will have earned 12 units towards the Master of Science degree that can count as the electives needed for plan A or the part of the additional required courses for Plan B.

For more information about graduate studies in the Department of Child and Family Development, review the SDSU Graduate Bulletin.

Interested in applying?

Visit our Admissions page for more information. 

Graduated MS Students

Click here for a list of our graduated master's students, including their thesis/project titles.  

Paying For Your Education

Graduate students may be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. To apply for financial aid visit the FAFSA Website.

Students may also apply for scholarships offered through San Diego State University and private organizations. Information about Financial Aid at SDSU can be found at the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Please see the Federal Financial Aid Disclosure document for required reporting and documentation. 

Questions?

For more information about our graduate programs or if you have questions about the application process, contact:

grad-cfd@sdsu.edu
Phone Icon (619) 594-5380