Youth Development

Youth Development Master of Science (M.S.)

The Master of Science degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies with a specialization in Youth Development includes 36 semester hours of course work. Twenty-eight (28) hours come from courses required by Great Plains IDEA program. These courses include nine 3-credit hour courses and a 1-credit hour foundations course. Students in this specialization may choose from one of two options to finish their master's program at UNL.

Students in this program will:

  • Understand, integrate, and be able to apply conceptual approaches to youth development
  • Understand normative pathways to development
  • Understand youth and family cultural issues/contexts and their micro- and macro-influences on positive youth outcomes
  • Understand and apply basic research and evaluation skills to youth development programming through an applied project that serves as a capstone experience under the direction of the candidate's home institution
  • Develop skills in problem-solving with "stakeholders" including funding sources, boards, other agencies, families and other professionals
  • Demonstrate understanding of the development and impact of local, regional, state, federal, and global policies on youth and be able to advocate through policy development for optimal youth outcomes
  • Be able to develop and apply resources (e.g., agency budgeting, grant writing and processing, fundraising) for successful implementation and management of youth-serving organizations
  • Understand the history of the youth development area and advocate for the continued professionalization of the field

Careers

  • Non-Profit Youth Organizations
  • Faith-Based Groups
  • Community Recreation Leaders
  • Juvenile Corrections Professionals
  • Elementary, Middle or High School Educators
  • Extension Educators

Application to this program

Required materials:

Graduate Studies Application
Unofficial Transcripts
Resume
Statement of Professional Goals
Three Letters of Reference
Other Application Materials
START THE APPLICATION PROCESS AT GRADUATE STUDIES

Degree Requirements

Option I program of study will include:

  • 29 semester hours of required course work
  • 6 thesis credit hours
  • 1 credit hour minimum of practicum
  • 36 required credit hours total

Option II program of study will include:

  • 28 semester hours of required course work
  • 1-5 credit hours of Project or Thesis (with up to 5 option Project/Thesis elective hours)
  • 1-3 credit hours of Practicum (with up to 3 Practicum elective hours)
  • 36 required credit hours total

Course Requirements:

*These courses are offered for the Youth Development Specialist Certificate. Students wishing to receive a certificate while pursuing their Master's Degree should speak with their advisor.
^These courses are offered for the Youth Program Management & Evaluation Certificate. Students wishing to receive a certificate while pursuing their Master's Degree should speak with their advisor.

Faculty advising students in this program area include: