Youth Development Graduate Certificate
Sample plan of study
Frequently asked questions
Graduate faculty information
Tuition and Fees
Youth development is an emerging professional field. It has a positive orientation, meaning its focus is on promoting the positive development of youth, and it is an applied field, with professionals who put developmental research and theory into practice in structuring and implementing programs and services for adolescents.
A graduate certificate in youth development prepares students for careers in organizations such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, non-profits, faith based groups, community recreation, juvenile justice facilities, middle and high school programs, extension services, and military youth programs.
The online Youth Development Graduate Certificate is a collaborative, inter-institutional program offered by Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), a web-based distance education program. The program requires 13 credits.
If you are interested in a complementary master's program, consider our online M.S. in Human Development and Family Science: Youth Development option.
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Sample Plan of Study
- HDFS 710 Foundations of Youth Development (1 CREDIT)
Select four courses from the following list.
- HDFS 711 Youth Development (3 CREDITS)
- HDFS 712 Community Youth Development (3 CREDITS)
- HDFS 713 Adolescents and Their Families (3 CREDITS)
- HDFS 714 Contemporary Youth Issues (3 CREDITS)
- HDFS 715 Youth in Cultural Contexts (3 CREDITS)
- HDFS 719 Youth Policy (3 CREDITS)
Total Credits: 13
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long are the Youth Development Graduate Certificate programs?
In either of the certificate programs, a student can finish in two semesters.
Are students required to come to campus during the program?
No, the program is completely online.
Is a practicum or thesis required for this program?
Students enrolled in the certificate options have no practicum or thesis requirements.
Which university will I receive my graduate certificate from?
If you apply and are admitted to NDSU, you will receive a degree from NDSU even though some of your courses will be taught by professors from other institutions.
What is the difference between earning a graduate certificate and earning a master’s degree in youth development?
A certificate is a way of showing that you have completed a coherent set of courses within a certain field. Both the Youth Development and the Youth Program Management and Evaluation Graduate Certificates cover a subset of courses that are in the master’s program. If you are interested in the certificate program and decide to continue on to the master’s program the courses you take for the certificate program will apply.
Can I transfer previous graduate coursework into this program?
You can transfer up to nine credits into the youth development master’s program if they are relevant to the program. The syllabus of those courses will need to be provided to the Department of Human Development and Family Science graduate program in order to determine if the coursework is relevant.
I am employed full-time and have a family. How many credits would you recommend I take each semester?
For students with family and employment obligations we recommend taking four credits (the Foundations course plus one other course) the first semester. Then students are able to see how it works with their schedule and can determine how many courses they are able to take each semester.
Can I take some youth development classes without being admitted to the program?
Is the program accredited?
There is no accreditation in the youth development field. Online degrees and classes offered through NDSU Distance and Continuing Education are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and are approved through the academic departments and colleges at NDSU.
Why go into the youth development field?
There is an increasing demand for employees of youth-serving organizations to obtain graduate degrees, certificates, and/or licensure. Students completing the master’s degree program in youth development will be qualified to work with various youth-serving organizations, such as: 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, community recreation, correctional facilities, and Cooperative Extension. A master’s degree in youth development will benefit elementary, middle, and high school educators; extension educators; and military youth specialists.
Is there a required degree to be admitted into the program?
There is not a required undergraduate degree to be admitted. Some experience as an undergraduate with social science courses (e.g. psychology, sociology) would be helpful.
What is the application process for the youth development program?
To be admitted to the program applicants must meet the Graduate School admission and application requirements.
What do I do after I am admitted to the program?
Students admitted by NDSU into the program will be contacted via email by Karen Murie from NDSU’s Distance and Continuing Education department. Karen Murie will register students in the Great Plains database and for classes. Students will need work with their advisor to identify the classes they should register for and then will notify Karen of those classes as soon as possible since class sizes are limited.
For information about graduate faculty for this program as well as their current research interests, visit the Youth Development Graduate bulletin page.
Apply for admission
View Getting Started Guide
For current admission requirements, visit the Youth Development Graduate Certificate bulletin page.
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NDSU Department of Human Development and Family Science
NDSU Distance & Continuing Education
Phone: 1-800-726-1724 or 701-231-8638
NDSU Graduate School
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