How to Apply


Step 1: Apply online to the Graduate School at Stanislaus State

  • Contact all Universities and Colleges you have attended and request the schools send Official Transcripts to the Graduate School at Stanislaus State. (You can email your Official Transcripts to

Please note: The Cal State Apply website states the Spring 2021 application period closes August 31, 2020. This deadline only applies to stateside programs.  Applications for the MA in Child Development program will be open until November 1, 2020.  

Step 2: Take the GRE Writing Test or Alternative Writing Assessment

The alternative writing assessment test is acceptable only for the Spring 2021 term due to COVID-19.

Option 1: GRE Writing
  • Submit GRE Writing scores of 3.5 or higher to the Graduate School and the Department of Psychology and Child Development

In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, the GRE is not currently being offered at testing centers but may be taken at home:

For information about the GRE:

Option 2:  Alternative Writing Assessment​
  • Statement of Professional Philosophy
  • Two alternative writing samples

Candidates choosing the alternative assessment will submit two additional professional writing samples (minimum of 500 words each) of independent authorship to be evaluated for admission using the program’s writing rubric. The samples may be on any topic and should show the candidate’s ability to use professional sources and to write for a professional audience; they should be well written and documented with either APA, MLA, or other professional writing styles. 

Step 3: Complete the Child Development Graduate Application Packet and return the packet to both program directors at and

  • Complete Graduate Application form (required)
  • Attach a resume or curriculum vita (required)
  • Attach official course descriptions for any child development-related courses that need to be evaluated (as necessary)
  • Attach a Statement of Professional Philosophy. Follow prompts on page 4 of this packet.  Be sure that your name appears in the running head of the document (required).
  • Submit one professional writing sample of your own authorship.  The sample should show your ability to use professional sources and to write for a professional audience; it should be well written and documented in either APA or MLA writing style. Samples might include essays, position papers, research papers or proposals; grant proposals, newsletters, and magazines, training manuals, handbooks (optional).
  • Complete the mandated reporter training online at Print and submit the certificate of completion (required).
  • Read the professional standards online and sign the agreements to abide by these professional standards of conduct on page 5 of the Program Application.
  • Contact three individuals who will write letters of recommendation for you. These should be current and specific to these application procedures.  Reviewers should send or fax the Confidential Recommendation forms to the: Department of Psychology and Child Development at the address on the form.

Note:  For an alternate version of the Child Development Graduate Application Packet, please call Extended Education at (209) 667-3111.

Step 4: Submit to Financial Aid Office optional 

  • Complete FAFSA - Institution Code: 001157