The M.Ed. in Child Studies program offers an interdisciplinary degree through the Department of Psychology and Human Development. Building upon Peabody College’s long tradition of excellence, the program is designed to train knowledgeable practitioners and researchers in a range of fields related to child and adolescent development. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to integrate research, theory, and practice.

The 36-hour program consists of 12-18 credit hours of Core Curriculum Coursework and 18-24 credit hours of Elective Coursework that are individually tailored to each student’s personal interests and professional goals. The program offers traditional classroom preparation alongside hands-on Practicum Experiences or Research Mentorships, which are integrated into the program of studies.

All students choose to complete one of two tracks. The Applied Professional Track is well-suited for students who are interested in working directly with children and families in practitioner roles (e.g., Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Child Life Specialists, Youth, and Family Program Developers). The Empirical Research Track is designed for students who are interested in enrolling eventually in doctoral programs (e.g., Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D. in Clinical, Counseling, Developmental, Educational, or Cognitive Psychology) or pursuing careers in research. Both options require that students become skilled in integrating the most current child development research and theory with effective practice in professional or academic settings. Within each track, additional Areas of Concentration (e.g., Child and Family Services, Clinical Psychology, Poverty, and Intervention, etc.) allow for further specialization. The degree culminates in a comprehensive exam that reflects all coursework completed and is directly relevant to the individual student’s development and personal goals.

Because of the program’s small size (approximately 20 students per cohort), students can expect to receive individualized attention from their advisors. Current Students are pursuing a wide range of interests through varied programs of study. Alumni have gone on to a variety of career paths.

Note: Although the M.Ed. in Child Studies program allows students to pursue a range of interests and includes a study of the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development of children and adolescents, it does not result in licensure as a counselor, therapist, or teacher. Some students may wish to use the program, however, as a foundation for pursuing such licensure or as preparation for related doctoral studies.

Program Philosophy

The challenges facing children and families today warrant the careful attention of development practitioners and scholars informed by developmental theory and research. It is our belief that we are best positioned in our efforts to impact children and families in positive ways when we enter the field armed with a solid foundation of knowledge gleaned from child development research and scholarship.

The skillful application of developmental science and theory in the service of prevention, intervention, advocacy, health, and education of children and their caregivers can do much to improve important outcomes for generations to come. These are the applied developmental professionals and researchers we are preparing for the Master of Education in Child Studies program at Peabody College.

Applied Professional Track

For students whose academic and professional goals include preparation for careers working directly with children and families, this program option offers students opportunities for scholarly didactic and in-depth, supervised professional experiences in child and family service organizations. Students are matched with relevant agencies and organizations within the community to gain hands-on experiences in practicum settings. These experiences are complemented by foundational coursework, as students have the flexibility to design their program of study around areas of scientific inquiry of substantive interest to them. The Applied Professional Track is ideally suited for students whose goal is to assume a professional role working directly with children, adolescents, and families.

Areas of Concentration may include:

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Arts and Media
  • Child and Family Services
  • Developmental Disabilities and Early Intervention
  • Educational Program Development
  • Gifted Education
  • Language and Literacy
  • Pediatric Health Care
  • Poverty and Intervention
  • Youth Development and Non-Profit Organizations

Empirical Research Track

For students whose academic and professional goals include preparation for positions in research or further graduate studies, such as doctoral studies in Clinical, Developmental, Educational, or Cognitive Psychology, this program is designed to strengthen students’ backgrounds for success in these settings and to provide experiences that complement that preparation. Students are matched with a faculty mentor and provided opportunities to participate on a research team in an area of substantive interest to them. Research methods and statistics coursework and completion of an independent research project appropriate for submission for publication are further requirements. The Empirical Research Track is well-suited for students whose interests include developing expertise in conducting developmental or clinical research and preparing for doctoral studies and eventual careers in academia, research, and other university and clinical settings.

Areas of Concentration may include:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
1 - 2 years
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