Child and Adolescent Development, Department of

MA - Child and Adolescent Development

The Master of Arts degree in the Department of Child & Adolescent Development (ChAD) prepares students for advanced study leading to a doctorate in the field; for community college teaching; and for professional careers in settings that serve children, youth, and families.

Detailed information about the program can be found on the department website:

Admissions Requirements

Candidates apply separately to the university to obtain approval for university-level admission and to the department to obtain admission to the ChAD master's program. Candidates must meet all the university admission requirements. Note that applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in the last 60 semester units of undergraduate work.

In addition to meeting university requirements, the minimum requirement for admission to the ChAD MA program is 1) a baccalaureate degree awarded by an accredited institution, 2) a completed department application, 3) three letters of recommendation, 4) a 1-2-page typed statement of educational and professional background and professional goals, and 5) an essay on various topic areas in child and adolescent development. In addition, students have the option of submitting GRE scores which will be evaluated within the context of all the applicant's materials. Preference is given to candidates with a background in ChAD or a related field (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Nursing). Applicants can be admitted either in a conditional or classified status.

Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

Requirements for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy

Students must meet the university requirements for candidacy. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy for the MA degree are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Candidacy includes successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, refer to the GWAR Course List on the Graduate Studies website.

During the semester that the first 9 units of coursework will be completed, the ChAD MA candidate will need to submit a Departmental Request for Candidacy form [pdf]. This form must be signed by the ChAD graduate program coordinator and submitted to GAPE by the appropriate deadline. Check the deadline for submitting the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy. Any changes made in the program degree academic plan as listed on the candidacy form need to be requested using the Request for Course Substitution in Graduate Degree Program [pdf]. This form must be signed by the ChAD graduate program coordinator prior to submission to GAPE.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

MA - Child and Adolescent Development Graduation Requirements

Students are expected to complete all required courses and select three electives from the department-approved list. In order to meet degree requirements, candidates for the MA in ChAD must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses with no single course grade below a B-. Students who earn less than a B- in any required course (ChAD 260A, 260B, 262, 266, 268, and 270) must retake the course and earn a grade of B- or better. For electives in which the earned grade was less than a B-, students have the option to retake the same course or to select a different elective.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
This requirement is satisfied by passing CHAD 260A
Requirements of the Masters30
Core Courses18
CHAD 260A. Seminar in Child and Adolescent Development: ResearchGWAR3
CHAD 260B. Seminar in Child and Adolescent Development3
CHAD 262. Multicultural Issues in Child and Adolescent Development3
CHAD 266. Social Policy Issues in American Childhood and Youth3
CHAD 268. Seminar in Social and Emotional Development3
CHAD 270. Seminar in Cognitive and Language Development3
Three department-approved elective courses**
Culminating Experience3
Complete one option (Plan A or Plan B):
Plan A (Thesis)
CHAD 299. Master's Thesis3-6
Plan B (Project)
CHAD 298. Special Studies in Child and Adolescent Development3-6

Total Units:30

* Meets the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Must be taken in the first semester of enrollment.

**Elective courses must be selected from the department-approved list. The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied to the ChAD MA degree requirements is three.

***To be completed concurrently with ChAD 260B.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.