Master of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology

The MS in Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) builds the skills you’ll need to address the diverse needs of children, youth, and families across multiple settings, including community-based organizations, schools, hospitals, advocacy organizations, residential treatment programs, out-of-school programs and service agencies. This rigorous four-semester program blends challenging coursework with community-based practice making graduates stand out in the job field.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 2 academic years (4 semesters)
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Course Requirements: 36 credits 
  • Format: With the exception of a few electives and online courses, ADP MS courses are offered in the evening. 
  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions; Child Life Priority given to applications received by March 1 
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE exam not required

Apply Now

Program Details

Through a blend of research and professional practice training, students in this vital field acquire competencies and expertise in applying knowledge of development and evidence-based practices to address real-world problems in real-world settings. Applied developmentalists are experts in interdisciplinary collaboration; they use their knowledge of current research and evidence-based methods to design, implement, and evaluate innovative interventions and programs for children, youth and families; they emphasize principles of positive psychology to promote the success of all children and youth, especially those who are at developmental risk and/or have developmental/learning difficulties. 

MS students may choose to concentrate in one of the following specialized areas of study and practice:   

  • Applied Research Methods for Child and Youth Serving Organizations [ARMO]  
  • Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities [BHSC]  
  • Children with Special Health Care Needs (with Child Life option) [CSHCN] 
  • Infant Mental Health (IMH)  
  • Out-of-School-Learning (OSL) 

View Program Curriculum >>

Degree Requirements

The ADP MS program requires students to successfully complete a Capstone Project in the second year at a community-based site (we work with over 150 community partners!). Capstones vary greatly based on the student and community-partner’s interests and needs.  


  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Courses in Research methods and Developmental Psychology 
  • Experience working with children or adolescents

Career Pathways

  • Community-based program Administrators, Directors and Supervisors 
  • Developmental Specialists 
  • Child and Youth Advocate 
  • Home Visitors 
  • Behavior Specialist Consultants (BSCs) 
  • Youth Workers 
  • Child Life Specialists 
  • Behavioral Health Specialists 
  • Teachers with strong training in applied development 
  • Research Associates 
  • Faculty in Community and 4-year Colleges 
  • Child Protective Services