(Major Code: 08231) (SIMS Code: 330909)
The Department of Child and Family Development (CFD) offers interdisciplinary graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree in child development. Graduate teaching assistantships and graduate assistantships in child development may be available to a limited number of qualified students.
The Master of Science degree in child development is one of only four child development programs available in the CSU. With 101 community college child development programs in California and 17 undergraduate programs within the CSU system, the M.S. program in child development plays a major role in training professionals for the State and region. The Department of Child and Family Development plays a leadership role in integration of curricula for community colleges and the CSU.¹
Child development is an interdisciplinary area of study. The Master of Science degree, administered by the faculty from the Department of Child and Family Development, draws on the expertise of a multidisciplinary faculty who are committed to the study of children within the context of diverse families and communities. The focus of the department is on the study of social emotional development as the underlying foundation for all other areas of development including physical, cognitive, motor and language. The program represents an interdisciplinary field of study with a basic assumption that development takes place across the lifespan in the context of the family, community, and public policy. The department’s emphasis on primary prevention prepares students with hands-on experiences through community-based learning.
The program focuses on the early years of childhood development, on parent-child intergenerational relationships to enhance school readiness, and preparation of teachers to work with families, including socio-emotional and behavior support in educational settings and homes. Faculty areas of study include attachment, socio-emotional development and school readiness, continuity of care, child abuse and relationship violence, intergenerational relationships, and parent education and involvement in education. Faculty work in collaboration with community agencies and programs are to include but are not limited to: SDSU Children’s Center, Head Start, First 5, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego County Health and Human Services-Office of Violence Prevention, San Diego County Health and Human Services Child and Adolescent Services, Children Mental Health Services, YMCA, Exceptional Family Resource Center, Home Start, among others. Students can choose a research project or thesis. In addition to the thesis, there are projects on agencies and programs in the community. Students will have the opportunity to develop projects in the community and implement best practices of continuity of care, intergenerational programs, etc.
Graduates with the Master of Science degree qualify for administrator, coordinator, or service provider positions in preschools, day care centers, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, public welfare agencies, family service agencies, family planning clinics, community programs, business and industry, and government agencies. Graduates with an advanced certificate offered by the Department of Child and Family Development also qualify for positions related to early childhood mental health and behavioral health. Graduates from the Master of Science degree program also qualify as community college instructors and can continue their education for the doctoral degree in human development or a related field.
1 In collaboration with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca District strategies for competency-based curricula across all levels of child development programs throughout the State are being designed.
Admission to the Degree Curriculum
Students will be admitted to the graduate program in child development only after careful consideration of their qualification by the child development faculty. All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with graduate standing as described in General Education Requirements . Students who do not fully meet the requirements for admission with classified graduate standing may be considered for conditionally classified graduate standing upon recommendation of the admissions committee and the graduate adviser. In addition, a student applying for admission to the graduate program in child development, including those who hold an advanced certificate offered by the Department of Child and Family Development must meet the following graduate admission requirements.
To qualify for admission to the master’s degree program in child development, the student must have:
- A bachelor’s degree in child development or related fields or consent of the Child Development Faculty Governing Board.
- Completion of prerequisites for the program of study. If students’ undergraduate preparation is deemed insufficient, students will be required to complete specified courses (CFD 375A , CFD 375B , CFD 375C , and two units from CFD 378A , CFD 378B , CFD 378C , CFD 378D ) in addition to the minimum 30-32 units required for the master’s degree in child development.
- A grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 semester units attempted.
- Completion of the GRE General Test.
- Completion of program application form.
Advancement to Candidacy
All students must satisfy the general requirements for advancement to candidacy, as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees . Additionally, a student who has selected Plan A must have identified a thesis adviser and have taken CFD 790 with a grade of B (3.0) or better. If the student has been approved to follow Plan B, they must complete ED 690 with a grade of B (3.0) or better and complete required coursework prior to enrolling in 799C.
Standards for Admission
Students enrolled in the Master of Science degree in child development program with a concentration in early childhood mental health must complete the following for admission:
- Background check. Students must successfully pass a background check in order to be placed in educaational and community settings. Red flag issues that prevent placement may impede progression and successful completion of degree requirements;
- Tuberculin clearance. Evidence of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test must be provided periodically for community- based classes;
- Proof of up-to-date immunizations. Proof of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and current tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) immunizations must be provided periodically for community-based classes. Clearance statements may be secured from SDSU Student Health services, private physicians or HMOs, or public health agencies.