Master's Degree Programs

MEd in Youth Development

The MEd in Youth Development program is committed to educating youth-dedicated professionals through fostering their knowledge, skills and passion for working with youth in urban contexts. Graduates will be prepared to help young people realize their full potential by creating spaces, programs, and organizations that support youth developing their emotional, physical, social and intellectual selves and in gaining a voice and place in society. 

For more information, sign up for our email list, review degree requirements, submit a question to program advisor Ana Valenta at agarci5@uic.edu or contact the Office of Student Services at 312-996-4532.  Ready to apply?  Start the application process now.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours, at least 9 of which must be at the 500 level. Courses numbered 596, 597, 598 or 599 do not meet this requirement. Students choose either the applied or thesis option for the culminating experience. All students will complete the Developmental Theory Core and the Research and Methodology Core and electives.

Applied Strand

Developmental Theory Core (6 hours minimum)

Required:

  • EPSY 517 Seminar in Urban Youth Development - 4 hours

Choose 1 course from the following:

  • EPSY 420 Social Development of Urban Children - 3 or 4 hours
  • EPSY 446 Characteristics of Early Adolescence - 3 hours
  • EPSY 447 Adolescence in Urban Contexts - 3 hours
  • EPSY 429 Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget & Vygotsky - 3 or 4 hours
  • EPSY 525 Advanced Adolescent Development - 3 hours
  • ED 421 Advanced Educational Psychology - 3 hours
  • ED 422 Advanced Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes - 3 hours
  • ED 445 Adolescence and the Schools - 3 hours

Research and Methodology Core (10 hours minimum)

Choose courses from the following:

  • ED 501 Data and Interpretation in Educational Inquiry - 4 hours
  • EPSY 509 Research Design in Education - 4 hours
  • ED 502 Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education - 4 hours
  • EPSY 503 Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education - 4 hours
  • EPSY 560 Educational Program Evaluation - 4 hours
  • PS 587 Topics in Documentary and Field Research - 4 hours
  • EPSY 414 Developing Programs for Youth in Urban Contexts - 3 hours
  • EPSY 582 Forging Collaborations with Family and Community - 3 hours
  • Other courses may be taken with adviser approval

Culminating Experience (6 hours minimum)

  • 2 semesters of EPSY 415 Urban Youth Fieldwork - 3 hours (6 hours total) OR
     
  • EPSY 415 Urban Youth Fieldwork - 3 hours
  • EPSY 596 Independent Study - 3 hours

Electives (10 hours)

Your elective courses will be taken in consultation with your adviser.

Thesis Strand

Developmental Theory Core (6 hours minimum)

Choose 2 courses from the following:

  • EPSY 420 Social Development of Urban Children - 3 or 4 hours
  • EPSY 446 Characteristics of Early Adolescence - 3 hours
  • EPSY 429 Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget & Vygotsky - 3 or 4 hours
  • EPSY 517 Seminar in Urban Youth Development - 4 hours
  • EPSY 525 Advanced Adolescent Development - 3 hours
  • ED 421 Advanced Educational Psychology - 3 hours
  • ED 422 Advanced Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes - 3 hours
  • ED 445 Adolescence and the Schools - 3 hours

Research and Methodology Core (12 hours minimum)

Required

  • EPSY 509 Research Design in Education - 4 hours

Choose 2 additional courses from the following list:

  • ED 501 Data and Interpretation in Educational Inquiry - 4 hours
  • ED 502 Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education - 4 hours
  • EPSY 503 Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education - 4 hours
  • EPSY 560 Educational Program Evaluation - 4 hours
  • PS 587 Topics in Documentary and Field Research - 4 hours
  • Other courses may be taken with adviser approval

Culminating Experience (5 hours minimum)

  • EPSY 598 Master's Thesis Research - 5 to 16 hours

Electives (9 hours)

Your elective courses will be taken in consultation with your adviser.

Advising Guide

Advising guides offer a checklist for class completion requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Program Coordinator Stacey Horn at sshorn@uic.edu or Mike Herkes at mherkes@uic.edu in the Office of Student Services.

Current materials

Archived materials

Handbook

Options and Outcomes

Students who graduate from this program will go on to successful careers working with youth in a variety of positions, including:

  • Community organizers
  • After-school coordinators
  • College bridge program coordinators
  • Public health professionals
  • Community-based organization program directors

Application Process

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: March 15

  1. Complete the UIC Graduate School application. (International applicants should use this application). Submit your application fee when completing the application.
  2. Complete the online College of Education application.
  3. The following documents should be uploaded online upon receiving email instructions after completing the UIC Graduate School application. View the Document Upload Guide for more information.
    • Upload undergraduate transcripts for your last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and all graduate transcripts.
    • TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international applicants only
    • Three letters of recommendation.  These letters should address the applicant's academic qualifications, research ability/experience and ability to carry on advanced degree studies. Letters may be from current or former professors or supervisors. At least one letter should be from someone who can address your experience working with children.
    • Personal statement.  This statement should discuss your professional goals and overall goals for the program.  Some things to consider mentioning when writing your statement are your reasons for applying, experiences that sparked your interest, goals for the program and experiences you hope to take away from the program, how your program will relate to your career goals and whar are your experiences with, and beliefs about working with children/youth in urban environments.

Documents & Forms

Program FAQs

How long will it take me?

2 to 3 years depending on whether you go full time or part time.

Can I attend part-time?

Yes! Students can take as few as one course a semester.

When do the courses meet?

Most graduate classes in the College of Education meet in the evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., one day a week.

Can I be employed full-time while working on my degree?

Yes, since many classes meet in the evenings, it is possible. If you are working full-time while enrolled in the program, we would recommend going part-time (1to 2 classes per semester), which many of our current students do.

Does the program admit for Spring semester?

No, the program only admits in the Fall semester.

Is the GRE required to apply?

No tests are required.

I am interested in earning a PhD in the future. Is this program a good fit for me?

Students have the option of choosing the Applied or the Thesis strand of the degree. The Thesis strand is designed for students expecting to pursue a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology or a related field in the future. Their culminating experience involves researching, writing, and defending their master's thesis.

Is financial aid available?

All financial aid programs available to students at UIC are available for this program. Any questions about financial aid can be directed to the Office of Student Financial Aid at money@uic.edu.

What will I be able to do with my degree when I'm done?

Make a difference! Some sample professions include:

  • Community organizers who work with young people to use their skills and resources to advocate for change in their schools, communities, states -- and nationally.
  • Classroom teachers who want to enhance students' abilities to engage in personal and social transformation.
  • After-school coordinators who work with youth to enhance their physical, social and emotional well-being.
  • Public health professionals who work with youth to enhance community based health programs.
  • Juvenile justice advocates who work to create criminal, social and family systems that support young people and provide them with positive developmental opportunities that allow them to flourish.