skip to navigation skip to content

Contact Us

How to Apply to the Online M.A. Program

All materials are submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself application system. Please do not submit any materials via mail. Admission decisions are communicated to applicants via the ApplyYourself system.

Application Process


The deadline for submitting your application and all required materials is January 15. Accepted students will begin the program in that year’s fall semester. View the University of Minnesota's academic calendar.


All application materials should be submitted directly to the online admissions system. We cannot review your application until all of the materials listed below are submitted successfully.

A complete application file includes:

Required Materials How to Submit
General Application

Access the application via the ApplyYourself system.

Required fields: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Residence Information, Financial Support, Applicant Statements #1 and #2, and Recommendations. (See below for more information about Applicant Statements and Recommendations.)

Optional fields: All other fields are optional, but may be taken into consideration if submitted.

Program Application Form

Complete the M.A. in Applied Child and Adolescent Development form under the Department/Program Forms menu item in the online application. You are required to indicate to which track you are applying at the time you apply to the M.A.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for a complete application. These are collected via the online application. Enter the names and contact information for your recommenders in the online application in the "Recommendations" section. The recommendation includes a standard recommendation form and a personal letter component. It is suggested you solicit recommendations from the following types of people:

  1. College instructor, advisor, or mentor
  2. Employer (or for child life track applicants, your volunteer supervisor)
  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

Applicant Statement #1
(Personal Statement)

Address our personal statement prompts in your statement. Upload your statement under Applicant Statements, Applicant Statement #1.

Applicant Statement #2
(Diversity Statement)

Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a one-page statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success. Please do not exceed one page in length. Upload this under Applicant Statements, Applicant Statement #2.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Please upload in the online application in the "Program Supplementary Information" section in the Resume or CV upload space.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application in the Educational Background section. Do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts; there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material. Click here for more information about transcripts and credentials.

For international students: English Language test scores

(TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

For students whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required at the time of application. The exception is for non-native English speakers who completed the entirety of their undergraduate degree in an English-speaking country within the last five years. View the University of Minnesota’s TOEFL score guidelines and expectations. Scores should be entered in the Test Information-Self-Reported field in ApplyYourself.

Application Fee

Pay the application fee in the online application. Click here for more information about fees.

Additional Materials for the Child Life Track

Required Materials How to Submit
100 hours of volunteer work

Signed documentation of at least 100 hours of volunteer work in a pediatric healthcare setting with Child Life Supervision. Please upload this in the Program Supplementary Information section of the online application, under Upload 1.

Letter of Recommendation

One of the three letters of recommendation listed above must come from a credentialed child life specialist.

Introduction Child Life course

Students must complete, or have in progress, an introductory course in child life prior to taking any M.A. child life track courses. Signed documentation must be included in your application. Click here to access a form to document your child life introductory course. Please upload this in the Program Supplementary Information section of the online application, under Upload 2.

Child Life Practicum (optional)

The Child Life Practicum is an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Practicums meet specific requirements put forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals. During a practicum, students observe certified child life specialists during many types of clinical interventions.

We strongly recommend that students complete, or have in-progress at the time of application, a child life practicum experience.

Signed documentation must be included in your application. Click here to access a form to document your child life practicum. Please upload this in the Program Supplementary Information section of the online application, under Other Credentials. Including documentation of a practicum is not required to submit a complete application.


Contact us at:

Why choose the University of Minnesota?

Founded in 1925, the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development is a premier center of scholarship, teaching and research. Study with award-winning faculty and be a part of a community devoted to understanding and supporting how children learn and grow.