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Certificate in Applied Child and Youth Development


Enhance the skills learned in other majors as you specialize your knowledge in careers working with young people.


Understand the theory and research about developmental change and environmental influences from infancy through adolescence.

Nursing and Health ProfessionsEnhance your work with pediatric patients with strong knowledge of normative development; Learn about the role of families and relationships in pediatric health and treatment
EducationUnderstand cognitive and social developmental milestones and the importance of peer relationships; Learn how families and their social locations influence children’s growth and learning; Foster supportive relationships and promote thriving in PK-12 classrooms and out-of-school programs
Social WorkLearn how environments and context influence the needs and resources of young people you serve, particularly in settings like child welfare, foster care, or juvenile justice
BusinessUnderstand children and youth as product consumers; Develop products that support youth learning and play such as apps, toys, and games
PsychologyDive deeper into families, social, and cultural experiences as a context for individual growth; Support youth mental health initiatives and services
Sociology and AnthropologyUnderstand the social standing of children and youth within cultural and historical contexts; Focus on reciprocal influences of young people in their social contexts
JournalismIdentify how children and teens consume and are influenced by media and social messages; Understand how to report on important developmental issues from infancy through adolescence
CommunicationLearn the role of communication in children’s family, peer, and school systems; Create public relations and marketing campaigns for agencies that support child and youth development
EngineeringDevelop applied solutions that improve how children and adolescents navigate the world around them; Understand how children interact with their physical environments
Political ScienceUnderstand how policies and government influence the lives of young people; Use developmental research to inform and advocate for policies that support children and their families; Promote youth civic engagement
Parks & Recreation; Natural ResourcesCreate recreation, sports, and outdoor programs that foster positive youth development; Understand how leisure and nature programs support social and cognitive development and enhance relationships
Fine ArtsCurate art, music, and learning spaces in children’s museums through a developmental lens; Create books, plays, or other performances that appeal to child and youth audiences

Apply for the Certificate in Applied Child and Youth Development

Complete the online application. The application should be submitted when you begin taking HDFS courses to fulfill the certificate and before all required courses are complete. Requirements in place at the time of application are the student’s responsibility.

Apply for Certificate

Criteria and Coursework for the Certificate in Applied Child and Youth Development

To earn the Certificate in Applied Child and Youth Development, an undergraduate student must successfully complete 12 credit hours of coursework, as indicated in the two groups listed below. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each course used to satisfy the certificate requirements, and a minimum 2.00 GPA overall for the certificate courses taken.

This certificate may be earned independently or in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Students with an undergraduate major in HDFS may also earn the Certificate in Applied Child and Youth Development.

Students should declare the Certificate after completion of 3-6 credits of approved certificate coursework.

Required (3 courses)

  • HDFS 3050: Child Development: Infancy and Toddlerhood
  • HDFS 3150 or 3150W: Child Development: Preschool to Pre-Adolescence
  • HDFS 3430: Adolescence & Young Adulthood

Additional course (choose 1; some have pre-requisites so plan accordingly)

  • HDFS 3500: Infant-Toddler Practicum (6)
  • HDFS 3550: Technology and Young Children (3)
  • HDFS 3650: Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families (3)
  • HDFS 3700: Preschool Practicum (6)
  • HDFS 3800: Children’s Play (3)
  • HDFS 4100: Children in Healthcare Settings (3)
  • HDFS 4200: Latino/a Children, Youth, and Families (3)
  • HDFS 4300: Black Children, Youth, and Families (3)
  • HDFS 4400: Childhood Death and Bereavement (3)
  • HDFS 4700: Children and Families in Poverty (3)
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Applied Child and Youth Development Certificate Advisor
Kelly Warzinik
Phone: (573) 882-3521