Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Applied Child and Adolescent Development M.A.

Institute of Child Development
College of Education and Human Development
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Institute of Child Development 51 East River Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55455 612-624-0526
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 32
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Students will gain knowledge of developmental processes and competence in the application of theory and research to practice and policy/research. Specialization happens via formal tracks in infant and early childhood mental health, child life, or individualized studies.
Program Delivery
  • completely online (all program coursework can be completed online)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Applicants must have completed at least one general psychology, human development, or social science course with a grade of B or higher. Applicants must submit, via the online application system, a departmental application to a specific track, scores from the General Test of the GRE, TOEFL scores if applicable, three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their potential for graduate study, unofficial transcripts, a statement of career interests, goals, and objectives, and a statement of diversity. Child life track applicants must also have completed or have in progress one child life course taught by a certified child life specialist (CCLS) and 100 hours of documented direct experience with children and families in a hospital/medical setting, preferably under the supervision of a CCLS. In addition, applicants must meet the minimum technical standards for internship in a clinical setting as outlined by the Child Life Council. Please see our website for full details.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan B: Plan B requires 32 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is written and oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:Students will develop an individual capstone project in consultation with their advisor. Their capstone project should integrate the foundational knowledge gained via their coursework with the applied experience required as part of their Plan B Project Credits: CPSY 5996 Field Experience in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (3-6 credits).
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
Students are admitted to a specific track (academic content sub-plan) and must complete the core courses, the required courses for their track as listed below, and the Plan B Project credits.
Core Courses
Take 14 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 5301 - Advanced Developmental Psychology (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5302 - Cognitive and Biological Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5303 - Social and Emotional Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5304 - Research Methods in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5306 - Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (2.0 cr)
Plan B Project Credits
Take 3 - 6 credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 5996 - Field Experience in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (1.0-12.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
The infant and early childhood mental health track is committed to the development of culturally competent, trauma-informed practitioners and policy makers through inter-disciplinary studies and supervised professional practice. The program philosophy is shaped by an ecological, multigenerational, relational model of development and intervention, attending to the ways biology, environment (i.e., family, culture, socioeconomic context), and individual history transact to promote health and pathology. The track consists of coursework and training in the application of developmental science to early childhood evidence-based practice and policy development. The training prepares practitioners to conceptualize case work with young children (0-5) and their caregivers, and prepares individuals to formulate and advocate research-based policy and practice in the area of children’s mental health.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Track Required Courses
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 5503 - Development and Psychopathology in Early Childhood (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5506 - Infant Observation Seminar I (1.0 cr)
· CPSY 5508 - Infant Observation Seminar II (1.0 cr)
· CPSY 5511 - Infant Observation Seminar III (1.0 cr)
· CPSY 5513 - Early Childhood Assessment (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5518 - Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Principles (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5521 - Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Practice (3.0 cr)
Child Life
The child life track is committed to preparing child life specialists with a strong educational foundation in developmental science coupled with a thorough theoretical education in topics central to the child life profession such as illness and injury, therapeutic play and relationships, and childhood death and bereavement. Students will develop the skills necessary to promote family-centered care and work with children and their families who are living with chronic and acute healthcare challenges.
Child Life Track Required Courses
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 5601 - Child Life Theory, Practice and Program Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5602 - Developmental Perspectives on Illness and Injury in Healthcare (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5603 - Therapeutic Play for Child Life Practice (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5604 - Therapeutic Relationships: Supporting Children in Healthcare (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5605 - Childhood Death and Bereavement (3.0 cr)
Individualized Studies
The individualized studies track prepares students whose work intersects with children and families with a strong academic foundation in developmental science, exposure to current issues and great challenges in developmental science, and the opportunity to craft a supporting program or add a graduate minor tailored to a student’s individual career goals. This track recognizes the wide ranging professions that benefit from integration with developmental science, such as policy development, evaluation studies, prevention science, parent education, among many other domains currently addressed via existing coursework at the University.
Individualized Studies Track Required Courses
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CPSY 5310 - Current Issues in Applied Child and Adolescent Development (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 5413 - Early Childhood and Public Policy (3.0 cr)
· EPSY 5261 - Introductory Statistical Methods (3.0 cr)
Individualized Studies Track Electives
Take at least 6 credits, selected in consultation with an advisor.
 
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CPSY 5301 - Advanced Developmental Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of theories/research regarding human development across lifespan. Contexts that shape development. Theoretical frameworks that are applied to study of human development, cognitive, social, emotional development. Research methods in developmental psychology.
CPSY 5302 - Cognitive and Biological Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course concerns the development and function of thinking skills throughout the lifespan, touching upon several aspects of what makes humans unique. How are humans able to perceive, evaluate, interpret, infer, remember, symbolize, plan, evaluate, problem solve, and hypothesize? What influences the very emergence of such abilities and the nature of their function? What obstacles interfere with the development or the quality of cognitive processes? Brain development and other biological factors, and our relationships and other environmental factors influence our thinking and its development. Throughout this course, we will discuss how knowledge about cognitive development can influence our work with children, adolescents, and adults, in daily life, professional practice, and public policy. Among the many applications of our knowledge of cognitive development, in this course we will focus on select examples relevant to parenting, education, and media exposure, and on topics initiated by students. The course will address individual differences and cultural differences in cognitive development, and how knowledge about variation in “typical” cognitive development provides an important foundation for understanding atypical cognitive development.
CPSY 5303 - Social and Emotional Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
What are the roots of becoming who we are, as individuals in society? What roles do others –parents, siblings, peers, teachers, and communities -- play in the socialization of an individual, and how stable are the forces and outcomes of these influences? This course focuses on social development throughout the human lifespan, with an emphasis on how biology, culture, and relationships influence that development. Throughout this course, we will discuss how knowledge about social development can inform our interpretation of social issues and guide our reaction to them, in terms of behaviors, practices, and public policy. Among the many possible applications of social development, we focus in particular (but not exclusively) on positive psychology, widespread social problems such as poverty and social disparities, and prevention science. We emphasize individual differences in social development, and attend to the interplay between social development and cognition, learning, and biological development.
CPSY 5304 - Research Methods in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Applied child and adolescent development research builds upon on traditions of general, clinical, developmental, and educational psychology research, while focusing on efforts to address social needs, social problems, and public policy. Knowledge of scientifically sound and effective approaches to studying social problems and solutions will support those individuals who lead, contribute to, or use research. That is, knowledge gained from this course will support your development as an investigator or research associate, and it will also empower your role as a savvy consumer of the research you intend to apply to practice or policy.
CPSY 5306 - Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course concerns ethical principles, issues, and codes relevant to research and practice in applied developmental psychology. These ethical considerations pertain to the work of professionals and researchers in communities, school, medical, and social agencies that serve children, youth, families, and adults. Throughout the course, we will consider the general principles that guide ethical behaviors and decision-making across settings, unique issues that might arise in specific settings, and the roles served by formal codes of conduct. We also consider the roots of ethical thinking, behavior, and decision-making, and the social and cultural influences on individual's developing sense of ethics.
CPSY 5996 - Field Experience in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
Credits: 1.0 -12.0 [max 24.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Emphasizes field experiences focusing on the development of children and adolescents as individuals or members of groups; may include interactions with children and adolescents in natural settings, or research on applied topics or with atypical populations.
CPSY 5503 - Development and Psychopathology in Early Childhood
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
History, theory, research, concepts, and issues in infant mental health. Typical development. Difficulties in development. Expert guest lectures. Readings, visual material. prereq: 5501, 5503
CPSY 5506 - Infant Observation Seminar I
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
How an infant develops in context of family relationships over a 9-12 month period. Students observe an infant for one hour a week, write a narrative, and discuss observations.
CPSY 5508 - Infant Observation Seminar II
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Summer Odd Year
How an infant develops in context of family relationships over a nine- to twelve-month period. Students observe an infant for one hour a week, write a narrative, and discuss observations.
CPSY 5511 - Infant Observation Seminar III
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
How an infant develops in context of family relationships over 9-12 month period. Students observe an infant for one hour a week, write a narrative, and discuss observations.
CPSY 5513 - Early Childhood Assessment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Summer Odd Year
The course introduces processes and evidence-based methods of early childhood assessment and diagnosis from a developmental, multi-disciplinary framework. prereq: [Baccalaureate degree in early-childhood-related field from accredited U.S. institution or documented equiv], [experience in early childhood research or practice]
CPSY 5518 - Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Principles
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Students design prevention/intervention programs and apply evidence-based strategies in workplace/practicum settings. Readings, in-class reflective practice groups. prereq: 5501, 5503, 5506, 5508
CPSY 5521 - Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood: Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Students design prevention/intervention programs and apply evidence-based strategies in workplace/practicum settings. Readings, in-class reflective practice groups.
CPSY 5601 - Child Life Theory, Practice and Program Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
With a strong foundation in the theory and science of child development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping for children experiencing the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Child Life Specialists translate the theory of developmental science into practice and advocate for patient- and family-centered care in medical settings. This course will provide an overview of history, fundamental theories, relevant research, and application of the Child Life Professional Practice. The Official Documents of the Child Life Council (2011) will be analyzed as a source of guiding principles for professional practice. An introduction to Child Life program development is also examined in this course. This course must be taken prior to a child life internship.
CPSY 5602 - Developmental Perspectives on Illness and Injury in Healthcare
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
With a strong foundation in the theory and science of child development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping for children experiencing the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Child Life Specialists translate the theory of developmental science into practice and advocate for patient- and family-centered care in medical settings. This course will provide an overview of developmental theories as they apply to children and adolescents experiencing illness and injury in healthcare. Child Life preparation, relaxation interventions, and patient support practices for ill children will be examined.
CPSY 5603 - Therapeutic Play for Child Life Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
With a strong foundation in the theory and science of child development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping for children experiencing the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Child Life Specialists translate the theory of developmental science into practice and advocate for patient- and family-centered care in medical settings. This course will provide an overview of the theoretical framework of play across childhood development and its role within pediatric healthcare settings and Child Life practice. Students will gain a professional understanding of therapeutic play interventions essential for facilitation of children’s coping and adjustment in various healthcare experiences.
CPSY 5604 - Therapeutic Relationships: Supporting Children in Healthcare
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
With a strong foundation in the theory and science of child development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping for children experiencing the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Child Life Specialists translate the theory of developmental science into practice and advocate for patient- and family-centered care in medical settings. This course will provide an overview of the role of Child Life professionals in therapeutic relationships with patients, caregivers and families. The theoretical foundations of therapeutic relationships will be examined and students will gain a working knowledge of the philosophies and principles underpinning patient and family-centered care.
CPSY 5605 - Childhood Death and Bereavement
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
With a strong foundation in the theory and science of child development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping for children experiencing the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Child Life Specialists translate the theory of developmental science into practice and advocate for patient- and family-centered care in medical settings. This course will provide an overview of the fundamental theories of children’s concept of death and the grief process across development. Students will gain an understanding of how Child Life Specialists collaborate with multidisciplinary care teams to support and provide culturally competent care to pediatric patients and their families at end-of-life and bereavement.
CPSY 5310 - Current Issues in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Applied Child and Adolescent Development (ACAD) evolved from social scientists’ efforts to contribute to solving problems in society. At its inception in the early 1980’s, Wertleib described the applied developmental scientist as “…being increasingly called upon to participate as social change agents and public policy advisors…. (occupying) an important position in many health care, education, human service and public policy settings.” ACAD also focuses on positive psychology, supporting healthy development as a preventative vs. only reactive approach to positive change; and appreciates the reciprocal relation between research and practice. This seminar course provides students with a sample of the wide range of current issues faced by applied developmental scientists.
CPSY 5413 - Early Childhood and Public Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
State, federal, and international policies and legislative activity touching first five years of a child's life. Family, community, and institutional roles in promoting children's social, cognitive, and emotional development. Issues related to health, mental health, poverty, developmental delays, and special needs.
EPSY 5261 - Introductory Statistical Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: EPsy 3264/5231/5261/5263
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Application of statistical concepts/procedures. Graphs, numerical summaries. Normal distribution, correlation/regression analyses, probability, statistical inferences for one or two samples. Hypothesis tests, Chi-square tests. Conceptual understanding/application of statistics.