Master of Arts in Child Development

Make a difference in children's lives in developing countries!


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  • Study in Multicultural environment 
  • Gain practical experience while learning theory 
  • Get trained for professional and academic career setting
  • 1-year program



Program description

The International Master of Arts Program in Child Development was established with the goal of improving the lives of children at risk in developing countries around the world by training and promoting professional leadership that will advance various agendas to achieve this objective. The program is offered through the Faculty of Social Sciences in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Child Development and the International School, University of Haifa. Taught in English, the full-time, one-year program is designed to train the next generation of international experts who will focus on pressing questions regarding the nature of child development and how it applies to the lives of children and their families in developing countries.

This unique program equips future professionals with a comprehensive theoretical basis and an applied skillset that will be effective in influencing the well-being of children and their families in a positive manner.


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What you will study

The program is made up of courses designed to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of child development from the vantage point of a number of different disciplines, so as to provide a holistic and encompassing understanding of the field in all its facets. Elements of study include developmental psychology, psychopathology, neuroscience, cognitive and language development, intervention and prevention, methodology and statistics, parenting, and child development in a cross-cultural environment. Workshops in clinical observation are also included.

There are also a series of guest lectures by leading scholars from various disciplines where topics covered have included early child care, child maltreatment; environment and genetics; orphanages, foster care, adoption, traumatic stress, drama therapy, sleep and child development; political violence and child soldiers; and children’s rights.

For full curriculum information please click here. 

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  • Accredited BA in relevant academic disciplines related to social services for children: social work, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, physical therapy, nursing, early childhood education, psychology, and law.
  • Copy of diploma and unofficial transcript
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA, 80% or equivalent
  • At least three years of experience working with children and families. Preference will be given to individuals who already demonstrate experience in leadership positions in their respective fields.
  • English test scores might be required if native language is not English or candidates have not previously studied at an institution of higher education where the language of instruction is English. In such event, we will consider each candidate on an individual basis, also based on further evidence attesting to mastery of the English language.
  • Three letters of recommendation from university faculty members and/or senior professionals in the field 
  • Statement of Purpose (500 words) - Please state your specific interests with respect to the International Child Development MA program. Your career objectives, intended area of specialization, and research interests and experience are of particular interest 
  • Personal History Statement (500 words) - Please discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree in Child Development. You may include any professional, educational or personal experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your decision.

For more information, please contact us.  


For international students tuition and fees for the full academic year is $US 10,630*. The fee breakdown appears below:
Tuition    $9,700
Service Fees (Security, Library, Health Insurance, etc.)    $930
TOTAL (in US Dollars)   $10,630


*This information is relevant for International applicants only. For Israeli citizens and ID holders please contact the Tuition Department here 

There is a non-refundable $100 application fee per academic year for the program.

Dormitories are available for $450 per month.

* Final tuition for the next academic year is updated each August. For more information on the cost of our programs, dormitories, etc. and payment instructions please click here. Information on financial aid can be found here.


  • Cognitive and Language Development and Emerging Literacy
  • A Cultural Perspective on Early Childhood
  • Developmental Science
  • Treatment of Developmental Psychopathology: Models for Early Intervention
  • Parenting and Attachment
  • Developmental Psychopathology: Internal and External Risk Factors
  • Psychological Assessments of Young Children
  • Selected Issues in Child Development Research
  • Statistics for Developmental Sciences
  • Early Socio Emotional Development
  • Program Seminar
  • Children with Special Needs: A Relationship-based Approach
  • Final Project Seminar
  • Observation and Evaluation Methods
  • Emotional and Professional Development
  • Early Development: A Neuro-Pediatric Perspective
  • Israel: Society and Policy Development

For more detailed program curriculum please click here


Our broad and experienced faculty staff afford the department with a range of specializations. The department is headed by Professor Avi Sagi-Schwartz who is Professor of Psychology and Child Development, Academic Head of the International MA Program in Child Development, Director of the Center for the Study of Child Development, and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa. A full list of faculty staff and their specializations can be viewed here.



A number of scholarships are available to applicants from developing countries to cover, housing, medical insurance, living expenses, and a full or partial tuition waiver. Please email to obtain further information. 

This program is eligible for Masa scholarship

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Information on more financial aid can be found here.


The program upgrades significantly the status of professionals working with children and families and prepares students for leadership roles in the community, in educational, health and welfare settings, and NGOs. In addition, the program provides skills for conducting child and family assessments, designing prevention and intervention programs and evaluating the quality of ongoing programs.


Please email all the forms together in one email to


March 31 - Application Deadline

For further information on deadlines, please visit the program website