Application checklist:
Online MA in applied child and adolescent development

We invite applications to our online MA program every year. You’re eligible to apply if you’ve completed:

  • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, earned prior to the summer start of the MA program. Preferred GPA: 3.00.
  • at least one psychology course (lifespan, child, or developmental psychology prefered) or human development course, grade B or higher. If you're a student at the University of Minnesota (U of M), we encourage you to take CPSY 2301: Intro to Child Psychology.

Applicants to the child life track, must also:

  • complete or have in progress, an introductory course in child life. Visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website for a list of institutions that offer child life courses. You have the option to take CPSY 3601: Introduction to Child Life, an online course offered by the Institute of Child Development. To register, visit OneStop Student Services and follow the instructions for an undergraduate level class.
  • complete at least 100 hours of paid or volunteer work in a pediatric health care setting, preferably under the supervision of a certified child specialist. View the Association of Child Life Professionals list of student volunteer and research opportunities that have met student needs in the past.
  • complete, or have in-progress, a child life practicum experience (recommended, but not required).
  • complete a course in either human anatomy or medical terminology (recommended, but not required).


We’re here to help. Get in touch with our student services team:

Lindsey Jendraszak
As the associate director of curriculum and student services at ICD, I’m happy to advise and serve students looking to pursue further studies in child and adolescent development. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Academic advisor: Lindsey Jendraszak

Application materials and steps

Deadline: February 15

If admitted, you'll start the program in the summer semester. The summer semester begins in early June. View the University of Minnesota's academic calendar for specific summer session dates.

Submit all materials electronically through the University’s online application system. Please don't submit materials via mail. We can't review your application until you submit all of the materials listed below.

Before you begin

Before you begin the online application, gather the following materials:

  • Unofficial transcripts: You must submit an unofficial transcript or academic record for each institution you’ve attended.
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement: Address our personal statement prompts in your statement. The prompts for each track follow:
  • Diversity statement: Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the U of M’s mission. Complete a one-page statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program. Include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed. Please do not exceed one page in length.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Identify and get contact information for three people who will serve as your recommenders. Share our letter of recommendation prompts with them. We suggest that you seek recommendations from the following:
    1. College instructor, advisor, or mentor
    2. Employer
    3. Another academic reference or, if that’s not possible, a personal reference from someone who has known you for five years or longer but is not a family member
  • Application Fee: $75 ($95 for international applicants). Must be paid online with credit card.

Additional materials for child life track applicants

  • Introduction to child life course: All applicants must complete or be enrolled in a child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist. Complete the ACLP child life course verification form or the ACLP child life course in-progress form, and get it signed by your Certified Child Life Specialist instructor.
  • Child life practicum: Complete a child life practicum form and get it signed by your Certified Child Life Specialist instructor (recommended, but not required).
  • Volunteer work: Gather signed documentation of at least 100 hours of paid or volunteer work in a pediatric health care setting, preferably under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
  • Letters of recommendation: One of your three letters of recommendation should be from a Certified Child Life Specialist, volunteer coordinator, or employer who can speak to your interactions with children.

Optional materials for infant and early childhood mental health track applicants

  • Diversity scholarship statement: The Irving B. Harris Foundation promotes equity of academic and life outcomes for all children by enabling access to comprehensive, high-quality care in nurturing environments for pregnant women, very young children, and families. To apply for a Harris scholarship, write a statement on how your background and experiences will support their mission (Limit 500 words). This scholarship is only available to Minnesota residents.

Information for international students

  • English Language test scores (TOEFL): For students whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. The exception is for non-native English speakers who completed their undergraduate degree in an English-speaking country within the last five years. For the TOEFL, we require a score of 79 or above, with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading. View the U of M’s TOEFL score guidelines and expectations.
  • Visas: This program is designed to be completed entirely in your home country. This program does not provide visas to come to the United States to study or complete internship requirements.

Steps to complete online application

Begin or resume the online application.

Complete the following sections of the online application:

  • Program selection: Choose the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus from the drop-down menu. Then, choose your program: Applied Child and Adolescent Development - Child Life - MA, Applied Child and Adolescent Development - Individualized Studies - MA, or Applied Child and Adolescent Development - Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health - MA.
  • Term selection: We only accept and review applications for the summer term.
  • Biographical information: Complete the biographical information section.
  • Personal background: Complete the personal background section.
  • Academic history: Complete the academic history section. Be sure to list all colleges and universities you've attended. Upload unofficial transcripts for each institution.
  • Test scores: We do not require GRE scores. Upload your TOEFL test scores, if necessary. We also must have an official copy of your scores on file. Send test scores to institution code 6874.
  • Employment section: Leave this section blank. You'll be asked to upload a resume/CV later in the application.
  • Materials: This is where you'll upload all of the supporting materials for you application.
    • Personal statement (required for all students)
    • Diversity statement (required for all students)
    • Extenuating circumstances: If you'd like to provide an explanation of circumstances that contributed to your test scores or GPA, please do so.
    • Other materials:
      • Resume/CV: Upload your resume/CV (required for all students).
      • Child life applicants: Under "Graduation Program Additional Material," please upload three additional documents: signed documentation of volunteer work, your child life course form, and if applicable, your child life practicum form. Each form should be uploaded separately.
      • Infant and early childhood mental health applicants: If you'd like to be considered for the Irving B. Harris Foundation Diversity Scholarship, upload your scholarship statement under "Graduation Program Additional Material."
      • All other materials not required.
  • Recommendations: Enter name and contact information for your recommenders. They will be notified by the system with instructions for submitting their letter online.
  • Submit your application: Complete the signature and review sections. Pay the application fee: $75 ($95 for international applicants). Must be paid online with a credit card.