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 both the program and fellowship applications by our December 15th priority deadline. There is a separate fellowship application you will need to complete in the online application. 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).
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 both the program and fellowship applications by our December 15th priority deadline. Please note that there is a separate fellowship application that you will need to complete in the online application. Incomplete applications are not reviewed for admission or funding. 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 (required of applicants whose native language or language of instruction at university was not English)
- Official Transcripts
- Personal History
- Statement of Purpose
- Online application
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 $90 for the domestic application and $110 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.
- • 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.
- • You should send your transcripts directly to the graduate program to which you have applied; in the case of multiple applications, you should send only one transcript to your first choice of graduate programs or to the first completed graduate program application. Transcripts should be sent to:
Human Development Graduate Group
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
- • Transcripts can be submitted as soon as the online application website is available.
- • Only one transcript for each university or college need be submitted. That transcript will be made available to faculty in each graduate program to which you have applied as well as for review of the fellowship application.
- • Upload your curriculum vitae or resume via the online application website.
- • To be considered for a university fellowship, you will need to complete both the program and fellowship applications by our December 15th priority deadline. Please note that there is a separate fellowship application that you will need to complete in the online application. In addition, to be considered for departmental funding, your application must be complete and received by the December 15th priority deadline.
- • In the application, you will see this writing prompt for the 4000 character Statement of Purpose:
- Please describe your motivation, academic preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UC Davis. You should describe your academic plans and research interests, your specialization within your academic field, your research experiences and your career goals. You may consider how your past experiences and the opportunities you recognize at UC Davis (i.e. specific faculty and resources) will converge in the work you anticipate doing for the degree.
- • In the application, you will see this writing prompt for the 4000 character Personal History:
- In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.
For general information about admission to graduate study at UC Davis, refer to the Office of Graduate Studies.