The generation of appropriate and diverse neuronal and glial types and subtypes during development constitutes the critical first step toward assembling functional neural circuits. During mammalian retinogenesis, all seven neuronal and glial cell types present in the adult retina are specified from multipotent progenitors by the combined action of various intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Tremendous progress has been made over the past two decades in uncovering the complex molecular mechanisms that control retinal cell diversification. Molecular genetic studies coupled with bioinformatic approaches have identified numerous transcription factors and cofactors as major intrinsic regulators leading to the establishment of progenitor multipotency and eventual differentiation of various retinal cell types and subtypes. More recently, non-coding RNAs have emerged as another class of intrinsic factors involved in generating retinal cell diversity. These intrinsic regulatory factors are found to act in different developmental processes to establish progenitor multipotency, define progenitor competence, determine cell fates, and/or specify cell types and subtypes.