M.S. in Child Development
Priority Deadline – December 15th
Fellowship Deadline – December 15th
Space Available Deadline – March 1st
To be considered for a university fellowship or departmental funding, you will need to complete the application by our December 15th priority deadline. Applications received between December 16th and March 1st will be considered for admission only and on a space available basis.
Preparation and Prerequisites
Welcome to the Human Development Graduate Group (HDGG) at the University of California, Davis. We look forward to receiving your application.
The graduate program in Child Development is a multi-disciplinary, two-year program leading to a Master of Science degree. This program offers students an in-depth examination of cognitive and socio-emotional development from infancy through adolescence and provides a foundation for careers in program delivery (e.g., Early Childhood; 4-H; Youth Development), teaching at the community-college level, or further graduate study. The curriculum emphasizes a balance of supervised practical experience, theory, and methodology rooted in the belief that educators and practitioners alike must have solid disciplinary foundations.
Our unique graduate group system takes an interdisciplinary approach, allowing students to study child development across:
Multiple Domains: Biological, Cognitive, Social-emotional
Diverse Settings: Family, School, Community, Culture, and Society
The benefits of the graduate group are that students can take coursework from various departments, work with faculty on and off campus from within and outside of HDGG, and focus on child development issues from a variety of perspectives. Faculty members with whom our students work include but are not limited to: Departments of Human Ecology, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Nutrition, the School of Education, the Center for Mind and Brain (CMB), the UCD Medical Center (UCDMC), and the Medical Investigation of Neurological Disorders Institute (MIND).
Guided by the UCD Principles of Community and the UC Regent’s statement on diversity, the Human Development Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis, is committed to an inclusive environment where all students, faculty, and staff are respected and appreciated. HDGG faculty and students seek to advance understanding of human development across contexts. We believe that a broad range of perspectives strengthens our efforts toward this aim. HDGG strives for a diverse faculty, staff and student membership and encourages applications from all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, geographic region, or socioeconomic status.
Alumni information, including thesis title and current position, is available here.
Our Master of Science in Child Development is a research-oriented degree. Applicants should have an undergraduate major in either biological or social sciences. Students with prior work in genetics, human development, psychology, or physiology are particularly suited to this program. The structure and content of the program presumes some prior knowledge in the processes of child development.
Prerequisites: Completion of courses in mammalian biology or physiology, child or human development, research methodology and statistics is strongly recommended. Prior work in at least two other areas including personality, cognition, social psychology, culture and personality, genetics, or learning is also useful. If necessary, students will be asked to complete deficits in prerequisite areas during their first year of coursework.
To be considered for university and/or departmental funding, you will need to complete the application by our December 15th priority deadline. Incomplete applications are not reviewed. Applications received between December 16th and March 1st will be considered for admission only and on a space available basis.
The following items must be received by the appropriate deadline in order to be considered for admission. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be reviewed.
- • Curriculum vitae or resume
- • Three letters of recommendation
- • GRE scores (School Code: 4834 Dept. Code: 4607)
- • TOEFL scores (Dept Code: 58; required of applicants whose native language or language of instruction at university was not English)
- • UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended. You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. For more details visit https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/submit-transcripts.
- • Personal History
- • Statement of Purpose
- • Application, including fee. Information about fee waivers is on the Graduate Studies website.
The admission application is online.
International applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Graduate Studies’ website for important and helpful information.
- • The application fee is $105 for the domestic application and $125 for the international application. The fee may be paid by credit card or e-check. The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete. A fee must be paid for each application submitted. Information about fee waivers is on the Graduate Studies website.
- • The three letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application and be received by the application deadline. You should not have recommenders send letters in hard copy, but rather submit all recommendations online and before the application deadline. At this time, UC Davis is unable to accept letters of recommendation from a letter writing service.
- • GRE and TOEFL scores must be reported electronically by ETS. They should be submitted to School Code: 4834 / Department Code: 4607. The scores must be received by the application deadline.
- • Transcripts can be submitted as soon as the online application website is available.
- Only one transcript for each university or college need be submitted.
- • Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to the application. Only admitted applicants will be required to submit official, hard-copy transcripts.
- • Upload your curriculum vitae or resume via the online application website.
- • To be considered for a university or departmental fellowship, you will need to complete the application by our December 15th priority deadline.
- • In the application, you will see this writing prompt for the 4000 character Statement of Purpose:
- Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis.
- • preparation and motivation may include your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, studio projects, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
- • interests, specializations, and career goals may include your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area/s of specialization, and professional objectives.
- • fit may include how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of your graduate program at UC Davis. Please identify specific faculty within your desired graduate program with whom you would like to work and how their interests match your own.
- • In the application, you will see this writing prompt for the 4000 character Personal History:
- • The purpose of this essay is to get know you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education. This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in the Statement of Purpose.
For general information about admission to graduate study at UC Davis, refer to the Office of Graduate Studies.