Graduate Certificate Program Summary
The graduate certificate in Youth Development is a unique online certificate program that focuses solely on Youth Development. The certificate uses an approach that examines people, places, supports, opportunities and services young people need to be happy, healthy and successful, both in theory and practice. Taught through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance for the Human Sciences (Great Plains IDEA), this is the only alliance of public universities to offer it completely online.
Students may complete the certificate in one of two focus areas: Youth Development Specialist or Youth Program Management and Evaluation.
This certificate is aimed at professionals working with youth, including:
- 4-H and Boys and Girls Clubs
- Non-profit youth organizations
- Faith-based groups
- Community recreation leaders
- Juvenile corrections professionals
- Elementary, middle and high school educators
- Extension educators
Online and Distance OpportunitiesAll courses are completed online through Great Plains IDEA, a consortium of 20 universities offering courses and programs in the Human Sciences and Agricultural disciplines.
Application checklist and deadlines
1. Required by Graduate Studies
Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee
- One set of transcripts uploaded to MyRED
- If your native language is not English: verification of English proficiency
- If you are not a US citizen and you hold an F1 visa: concurrent admission to a degree program, because a certificate alone is not sufficient for F1 status
Application deadlineStudents are encouraged to seek admission to begin in the fall semester. Applications will be considered continuously based on available slots.
The certificate requires 12 hours and a one-hour foundations course for a total of 13 credit hours. Some courses listed here require admission to a Child, Youth and Family Studies graduate degree program or permission.
May be applied to either focus
- CYAF 878: Youth Policy (3 cr, Michigan State University)
- CYAF 880: Contemporary Youth Issues (Various topics, 3 cr, UNL, Kansas State University, Texas Tech University, or North Dakota State University)
Required for the Youth Development Specialist focus
- CYAF 861: Foundations of Youth Development (1 cr, at home university)
- CYAF 864: Community Youth Development (3 cr, Michigan State University)
- CYAF 868: Adolescents and Their Families (3 cr, UNL or Kansas State University)
- CYAF 872: Youth Development (3 cr, UNL or North Dakota State University)
- CYAF 875: Youth in Cultural Contexts (3 cr, Michigan State University)