Jun 19, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog and Handbook 
2021-2022 Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Youth Studies

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Academic Director: Sarah Zeller-Berkman, PhD
CUNY School of Professional Studies
101 West 31st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Email Contact: Sarah Zeller-Berkman, Sarah.Zeller-Berkman@cuny.edu


The Youth Studies Program aims to play a prominent role in shaping the programs, organizations, systems and research that impact young people’s lives by providing a learning community for youth service staff, researchers, advocates and policy makers.  By offering high quality coursework, a robust research agenda and experiential opportunities that are shaped through a participatory, critical and interdisciplinary lens, the Youth Studies Program seeks to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to design, run, research, advocate for and work in youth settings and other institutions and programs that impact young people’s lives.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MA in Youth Studies will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of theory and history related to youth studies.
  2. Reflect on ones own strengths, challenges, values, beliefs and assumptions in the context of youth work and youth studies.
  3. Evaluate current issues, opportunities and best practices related to the field of youth studies.
  4. Demonstrate effective verbal and written skills.
  5. Analyze existing youth policies.
  6. Create a novel idea for new directions in the field of youth development, potential youth policy agenda, program design and implementation plan for youth programs.
  7. Apply principles and practices in the following areas: program management; facilitation; evaluation.
  8. Generate research about youth programs and/or youth issues.
  9. Critically analyze the socio-political context that surrounds a youth issue, policy, program structure or practice as it relates to age, gender, sexuality, race, class, immigration status, (dis)ability, and region.

The Program

The MA in Youth Studies degree, the first stand-along program of its kind in New York, equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to design, run, research, and work in youth settings.  The program provides a sound theoretical grounding and highly applicable skills to its students by integrating crucial areas of study, such as adolescent psychology; delinquency research and gang theory; legal construction of adolescence; social work; cross-cultural studies; representation of youth in pop culture; and health and sexuality issues. Additionally, the program applies a participatory approach through which students are taught to incorporate young people in shaping the programs, institutions, and policies that impact their lives.

As a student in this program, you will:

  • Examine how age, gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, class, immigration status, (dis)ability, and region impact youth development
  • Analyze current youth policies, opportunities, and best practices related to the field
  • Apply principles and practices in program management, facilitation, and evaluation
  • Engage multiple stakeholders and partners in order to ensure the positive development of youth, staff, and communities

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants are required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide two letters of recommendation. An individual interview may be necessary.

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