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Online M.A.: Individualized Studies

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Craft your own specialization in child development to take the next step in your career.

In the individualized study track:

  • Build an academic foundation in developmental science, statistical methods and public policy.
  • Learn about the advantages and challenges of applying developmental science in different settings.
  • Define your own specialization by choosing courses that best align with your career goals.


  • Core courses in typical social, emotional, cognitive and biological development
  • CPSY 5310: Current Issues in Applied Developmental Psychology
  • CPSY 5413: Early Childhood and Public Policy
  • CPSY 5261: Introductory Statistical Methods
  • Electives or a minor selected from the other M.A. in Applied Child and Adolescent Development tracks or existing courses at the University of Minnesota. Examples include early childhood policy, judicial studies, talent development and gifted education, disability policy, autism spectrum disorder, and pediatrics.

Learn more about the curriculum.

View a sample degree timeline.


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. This track has a total of 32 credits.

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

Additional resources

Featured Faculty

Michele Mazzocco headshotMichele Mazzocco, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development. She completed graduate training in early childhood education and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, and a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental neuropsychology. Her research spans studies with children ages two to 15 years, and adults. Her primary research interests focus on cognitive development in early to middle childhood, individual differences and development of numeracy, mathematical thinking, math anxiety, and lexical ambiguity.

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.