Graduate Degree

Youth Development - Master of Arts

Youth Development - Master of Arts
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Master of Arts
College of Social Science
Human Development and Family Studies

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Social Science

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Graduate Study
Youth Development - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Youth Development, is a collaborative, multiinstitutional program offered totally online. This degree is designed to promote an understanding of communities and families and to prepare students to have an impact on the development of youth in their homes, neighborhoods, and society. American youth born since the early 1980s are projected to be the largest, most ethnically diverse generation of adolescents in the history of the United States, and this program is designed to address that demographic shift.

The curriculum is focused on the promotion of positive development of all young people. It is designed for individuals who wish to work in a variety of youth-related professions, including youth-serving organizations and programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs, community recreation specialties, youth programs sponsored by faith-based institutions, correctional professions, or within U.S. Extension Programs.

The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the Internet/World Wide Web by faculty from multiple land-grant universities: Michigan State University, University of Missouri, North Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Nebraska.

Students will earn this degree from their home institution while also enrolling for courses at other participating institutions.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be admitted, students must apply via their home institution and plan their course of study under the guidance of their academic advisor. Michigan State University students follow established University admission procedures.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Youth Development

The program is available only online and only under Plan B (without thesis). Each student’s course of study must be developed and approved in consultation with the academic advisor. Each course is offered at least once every other year. The student must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 27 credits is course work required by The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) consortium, distributed as follows:

1. All of the following core courses (27 credits):
      Adolescents and Their Families   3
       Consumers of Research  3
      Foundations of Youth Development   3
      Personnel and Program Management   3
      Positive Youth Development in Community Settings   3
       Program Design and Evaluation   3
       Youth Development   3
       Youth-Adult Partnerships 3
       Youth Policy and Positive Youth Development   3
2. Complete 9 credits of electives from the following:
     Adolescent Health and Sexuality  3
       Grant and Administration  3
       Youth, Sports, and Society 3
       Youth, Families, and Technology 3
       Youth and Complex Social Systems 3
       Youth Culture 3
       Youth Mental Health 3
This enrollment will vary at each institution and may require a master’s thesis, project, or practicum. At Michigan State University, students will fulfill this requirement by enrolling in course work approved by the student’s academic advisor.
3. Pass a final examination or evaluation.

Michigan State University students should contact the Department of Human Development and Family Studies or consult the Michigan State University Schedule of Courses for current course schedule and other information.