Two children at sunset with arms raised

Master of Arts in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

  • Delivery: 
    Fully Online
  • Cost: 
    Part time, per credit: $1,353.34 (MN resident); $2,093.34 (nonresident)
  • Total credits: 
    32
  • Credential: 
    Graduate Degree
  • Admission GPA: 
    3.0 preferred
  • Application deadlines: 
    April 1, 2017 (priority); June 1, 2017 (space permitting)
  • Campus: 
    Twin Cities
  • College: 
    College of Education and Human Development
  • Department: 
    Institute of Child Development

Learn how to draw on development science to address the needs of children and adolescents in advocacy, community, and health care settings. Gain insight from scholars in cognitive and biological development, social and emotional development, research methods, and ethics. Acquire the field experience and strategies you need to put theory into practice when and where it benefits children and adolescents most.

Choose one of three specialized tracks:

  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Child Life
  • Individualized Studies

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Track

Infant and early childhood mental health professionals support the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers by assessing family needs and recommending developmentally appropriate prevention strategies and interventions. Learn more about this track.

Required Courses (15 credits)

In addition to core and prerequisite courses, you will take:

  • CPSY 5503 Development and Psychopathology in Early Childhood (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5506 Infant Observation Seminar I (1.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5508 Infant Observation Seminar II (1.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5511 Infant Observation Seminar III (1.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5513 Early Childhood Assessment (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5518 Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Principles (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5521 Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Practice (3.0 cr)

Career Options

This track prepares you to work as a mental health provider or practitioner in fields such as:

  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Family and marriage counseling
  • Nursing and related disciplines
  • Early care and education

Child Life Track

Child life specialists help children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Learn more about this track.

Required Courses (15 credits)

In addition to core and prerequisite courses, you will take:

  • CPSY 5601 Child Life Theory, Practice and Program Development (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5602 Developmental Perspectives on Illness and Injury in Healthcare (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5603 Therapeutic Play for Child Life Practice (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5604 Therapeutic Relationships: Supporting Children in Healthcare (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5605 Childhood Death and Bereavement (3.0 cr)

A 600-hour clinical internship is also required.

Certification

If you successfully complete the MA Child Life track (including the 600-hour child life clinical internship), you will be eligible for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination and the Association of Child Life Professionals Eligibility Assessment.

Individualized Studies

This track helps individuals advance their careers in fields that intersect with child development, such as law, juvenile justice, child welfare, education, the arts, advocacy, policymaking, nonprofit management, pediatric nursing, and parent education. Learn more about this track.

Curriculum (15 credits)

In addition to core and prerequisite courses, you will take:

  • CPSY 5310 Current Issues in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (3.0 cr)
  • CPSY 5413 Early Childhood and Public Policy (3.0 cr)
  • EPSY 5261 Introductory Statistical Methods (3.0 cr)
  • At least 6 credits of electives, selected in consultation with an advisor