Child Development

Earn your MS in Child Development in 12-18 months for less than $15,0001. Designed for working professionals, this program is offered up to 100% online. Enjoy a quicker pace with seven-week courses.

1 Cost based on full-time, in-state tuition (Fall 2023 rates).

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Program Features

Student plays with marker
  • Degree completion in as little as 12 months, or 31 credit hours*
  • Up to 100% online
  • Face-to-face course options in Denton
  • Seven-week courses 
  • Thesis or Professional Option
  • Knowledgeable and supportive faculty with expertise in child development, child life and developmental psychology

*Individual requirements may vary

Course Requirements

Program Information

The master’s degree in child development covers child growth and development from infancy through adolescence, including cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Students explore major theories and empirical research on child development and how it applies to work with children and families.

Gain marketable skills:

  • Practical application of child development knowledge in work with children and families
  • Ability to critically consume research literature
  • Ability to apply research evidence to professional practice
  • Developmental assessment skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills

Courses offered by semester

Program Faculty

Career Opportunities

  • Child care administration
  • Child and family advocacy
  • Early childhood intervention
  • Community outreach
  • Parent education

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.S. in Child Development

Department Admission Contact:

Anna Stokes, M.S.

Application Deadlines

Fall - July 15
Spring - November 15
Summer - April 15

Admission Requirements

  • Completed bachelor's degree in a relevant field from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency, or an equivalent degree from a foreign college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework.
  • Submit the following documents into the application:
    • Curriculum Vitae/Resume highlighting relevant education, experience, and employment.
    • Email address for an academic or professional reference who can speak to your academic abilities and potential (they will be contacted with a link to upload their letter).
    • Letter of Intent/Essay (500 words) that meets the following expectations:
      • Clearly state the reasons for pursuing a master's degree in Child Development
      • State your professional and educational experiences and goals
      • Be sure that your goals align with program outcomes
      • Indicate why you would be a good fit for this program
      • Indicate how you plan to use the degree after graduating
      • Identify which topics in child development you are particularly interested in
      • Use professional, formal language and tone
      • Use correct grammar, spelling, and syntax.

Graduate Admission

Begin by reviewing your program's website to see if there are additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  

  1. Apply online.
    Apply to Graduate Programs  via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal following instructions below.  
  2. Submit transcripts to TWU.
    • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
    • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU. See the International Admissions website for more details.
  3. Submit Recommendation Requests
    If your program requires you to submit names for recommendations you will need to do it in the application.
  4. Pay the application fee.
    The $50 fee ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants, can be paid by:
    1. Credit card - Pay Online through the application as the last step before submitting the application. The second portion of the application will not be available until the application fee has been received.
    2. Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - Payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
      TWU Admissions Processing, 304 Administration Drive, Suite 102, Denton, Texas 76204
      (include your full name and ID number).
    3. Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (down the hall in ACT).
    4. Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar Application Fee Waiver. TWU Alumni may be eligible for the Alumni Advantage Fee Waiver. Check your eligibility here: If eligible submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission
    5. Following fee payment return to the application dashboard where supplemental application documents can be uploaded. The online application will list which documents are needed to fulfill the program admission requirements. You can also check the program's website.

For more information or assistance with the application or graduate admissions, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants


Interested in a PhD? 

Learn more about the PhD in Child Development & Early Education.


Melissa McInnis Brown, PhD
Associate Professor 

Page last updated 10:04 AM, March 26, 2024