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Online M.A. in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

In our M.A. program, learn how to draw on development science to address the needs of children and adolescents in advocacy, community, and health care settings. Take online courses led by 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.

Apply to one of three specialized tracks to tailor your degree to your professional goals:

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Infant and early childhood mental health professionals support the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. In this track, prepare for a career that incorporates early childhood mental health practice or policy. If you already are in the field, gain the knowledge, skills and experience you need to take the next step in your career.

Child Life

Child Life Specialists are trained professionals who help children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability and hospitalization. In this track, prepare to work as a child life specialist in a variety of health care settings. Participate in an advanced program option if you already are a certified child life specialist.

Individualized Studies

Knowledge of child and adolescent development benefits individuals across a wide range of careers. This track helps individuals in professions that intersect with child development advance their career and become leaders in their field. Fields may include law, juvenile justice, child welfare, education, the arts, advocacy, policymaking, non-profit management, pediatric nursing, and parent education.

How to Apply


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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.