Youth Development

Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
College of Education (MC 147)
1040 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7133

Campus Location: 3145 EPASW
Program Code: 20FS5105MED
Telephone: (312) 996-4532
Web Site:
Program Coordinator: Stacey Horn
Director of Graduate Studies: Theresa Thorkildsen

The Youth Development program provides students with strong grounding in research and theory concerning the cognitive, social, emotional, moral, and physical development of youth, as well as knowledge of contextual and institutional factors that lead to positive developmental outcomes for youth. The program has two primary strands: (1) an Applied Strand aimed at producing high quality professionals to work within the field of youth development and (2) a Research Strand aimed at providing students planning to seek doctoral degrees with preparatory training and background in developmental theory, research methods, and statistics.

The Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Violence Studies is available to students in this program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Education

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions. Previous course work in psychology preferred.
  • Grade Point Average At least 2.75/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study and a 3.00/4.00 grade point average for all postbaccalaureate or graduate course work combined.
  • Tests Required None.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 213 (computer-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21, or equivalent (iBT Internet-based). Note: Total score is higher than the sum of the subscores. OR
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, or equivalent.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • Personal Statement This required statement must address the applicant’s previous experiences working with youth, specifically work with youth in urban contexts, as well as professional and scholarly goals.
  • Other Requirements A College of Education application form should be submitted as well as the official University application. This program requires two packets of admissions materials. One set of transcripts and the official University application should be sent to the Graduate College Admissions Office. A second set of materials should be sent in one package directly to the College of Education, including a copy of the official UIC application, the College of Education application, a second set of transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and the personal statement.
  • Admission Deadlines The application deadline for this program is March 15 for admission in the fall term.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Education

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 32 beyond the baccalaureate: at least 9 hours must be at the 500-level, excluding independent study and thesis courses. At least 24 hours must be earned as a degree candidate at UIC.
  • Only 400- and 500-level courses can be applied to the degree. Credit toward the degree is only given for courses in which a student received a grade of A, B, C, CR, or S.
  • Course Work for Applied Track
    • Developmental Theory Core (minimum of 7 hours): EPSY 517; Select one additional course from: EPSY 420, 429, 446, 447, 525; ED 421, 422, 445.
    • Research and Methodology Core (minimum of 10 hours): Select three courses from: ED 501, 502; EDPS 587; EPSY 414, 503, 509, 560, 582 (or other courses as approved by advisor).
    • Electives (9 hours): Determined in conjunction with advisor.
  • Course Work for the Thesis Track
    • Developmental Theory Core (minimum of 6 hours): Select two courses from: EPSY 420, 429, 446, 447, 517, 525; ED 421, 422, 445.
    • Research and Methodology Core (minimum of 12 hours): EPSY 509. Select additional courses from: ED 501, 502; EDPS 587, EPSY 503, 560 (or other courses as approved by advisor).
    • Electives (9 hours): Determined in conjunction with advisor.
  • Comprehensive Examination None required.
  • Culminating Experience Required.
    • Culminating Experience for the Applied Strand (6 hours): Either two semesters of EPSY 415; or one semester of EPSY 415 and one semester of EPSY 596 (minimum of three hours). Students electing to complete the Applied Strand should earn at least 6 hours and complete a minimum of two semesters of fieldwork in a youth service organization or an approved program aimed at promoting positive development among youth. The student’s advisor should approve the fieldwork site prior to work beginning at the site. Students will complete a comprehensive professional practice portfolio related to their fieldwork and developed in conjunction with their advisor. Students are required to present their portfolio to a committee of at least three members chosen by the student, in conjunction with the advisor, and approved by the program director or department head.
    • Culminating Experience for the Thesis Strand (5 hours): In accordance with Graduate College guidelines, students electing to complete a thesis must earn a minimum of 5 hours in thesis research (EPSY 598). Students earning 5 hours may write a literature review of publishable quality on a chosen thesis topic or conduct a secondary data analysis to explore a research question related to a chosen thesis topic. Students who elect to conduct an original study on chosen thesis topic must complete 8 hours of thesis research. Once the student has completed all graduation requirements and is in good academic standing, s/he must defend the thesis before a committee appointed by the dean of the Graduate College on the recommendation of the student’s department or program.  A majority of the committee must approve the thesis.

Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Violence Studies

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Violence Studies after consulting with their graduate advisor. See Violence Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section or the Jane Addams College of Social Work section for more information.