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Online M.A. in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

In our online 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. Acquire the field experience and strategies you need to put theory into practice when and where it benefits children and adolescents most.

Core courses include:

  • CPSY 5301: Advanced Developmental Psychology
  • CPSY 5302: Cognitive and Biological Development
  • CPSY 5303: Social and Emotional Development
  • CPSY 5304: Research Methods in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
  • CPSY 5306: Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

Choose a specialization

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.

Tuition and funding

Tuition for our M.A. program follows the University’s general graduate tuition rates for the College of Education and Human Development. Full-time enrollment is 6 to 14 credits per semester. Each track in our M.A. program has its own course and credit requirements.

Since this is an online program, all students qualify for the Minnesota resident tuition rate.

Additional resources

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.