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Frequently Asked Questions

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 (1 to 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. However, submitting GRE scores may strengthen an application to the Thesis strand.

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. Students from both strands have successfully gained admissions to PhD programs. The Thesis strand, however, specifically provides students with experience and coursework in conducting academic research.

If I want to be a classroom teacher or a principal, is this the right program for me?

The youth development program does not lead to teacher or principal licensure. Students wishing to pursue an initial teaching license or educational leader credential will not be able to complete those within the MEd Youth Development Program and should look into other academic degree programs. Current teachers or educational leaders interested in pursuing an advanced degree, may find the youth development program of interest.

Is financial aid available?

All financial aid programs available to students at UIC are available for this program.   Check out the Financial Aid page on our website for more information.  Any further questions about financial aid can be directed to the Office of Student Financial Aid at

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

Make a difference! Some sample professions include:

  • After-school coordinators who work with youth to enhance their physical, social and emotional well-being
  • Community organizers who work with young people to use their skills and resources to advocate for change in their schools, communities, states and in national settings
  • 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
  • Professionals who work in youth-serving organizations in research and evaluation, training and professional development
  • Public health professionals who work with youth to enhance community based health programs