Nov 28, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Youth and Community Development (YCDM)

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The MA in Youth and Community Development is an advanced course of professional development for leaders in informal learning environments and the out-of-school time sector. It is based on theoretical perspectives in childhood, adolescent, and family development and organizational change, and grounded in an ethic of community engagement and social action. It prepares change agents to transform communities through an intentional investment in youth with interdisciplinary coursework and community-based experiences.

The MA in Youth and Community Development is a 33 credit hour program. Students will work closely with graduate faculty to develop a plan of study that fits with personal career and academic goals. Students with limited youth work experience will be advised to complete a practicum or internship.

Engaging youth in prosocial activity has long been a priority, as schools and neighborhoods create overlapping systems of support to encourage healthy youth and communities. Youth-serving settings, including informal learning environments and out-of-school time programs, are of increasing interest as successful ways to build assets and to maximize youth potential. This program joins the larger movement to elevate and professionalize the field of youth development, and encourages thriving communities by building capacity and developing new leaders in youth-serving settings.

The MA program in Youth and Community Development is situated at the intersection of developmental theory, social action and justice, and organizational leadership and change. This program is rooted in community psychology and the prevention sciences to provide a foundation for studying setting-level interventions and developmental needs. This program invites students to critically examine root causes and how individuals and organizations can address social inequalities. Students will study organizational change to develop understandings and competencies in transformational leadership to promote human flourishing.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in youth development or a related field
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) in the last two years of undergraduate studies. Conditional Admission may be granted if a GPA in the last two years of undergraduate studies is under 3.0. Conditional Admission will be converted to a regular admission if a B or better is earned in the first two graduate courses (six credit-hours) taken.
  • Experience working with youth. Submit a resume that includes work, volunteer, practicum, and internship experience.
  • A statement that describes how experience(s) have influenced career goals and a desire to pursue a graduate degree, and how earning a Master of Arts in Youth and Community Development will advance these career goals.
  • Recommendations from three persons able to comment on the applicant’s potential to success in the graduate program.


Youth Development: Theory and Foundations (6 Credit hours)

Organizational Leadership (6 credit hours)

Social Foundations (6 credit hours)

Choose one:

Optional - Choose One:

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