Online Youth Development, MS | University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Youth Development, MS

Master of Science

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The online Youth Development, MS program examines the people, places, supports, opportunities and services young people need to be healthy and successful.

This program prepares students to:

  • Develop policies with a positive effect.
  • Apply basic research and evaluation skills.
  • Understand normative pathways to development.
  • Work with agencies, boards, families and other professionals.
  • Gain the necessary skills for budgeting, grant writing, and fund-raising.
  • Examine the impact of local, state, federal, and global policies on youth.
  • Identify how youth and family cultural issues affect positive youth outcomes.
  • Apply the primary concepts of youth development

The Youth Development, MS uses a strengths-based curriculum that supports youth to make them socially, emotionally and cognitively competent adults.

This program is offered by the Great Plains IDEA Youth Development program which is a recognized leader in professional development and advanced degrees in youth development. Rather than focusing solely on corrective measures, the program utilizes Positive Youth Development which equips young people in the second decade of life with the skills and opportunities necessary to transition to adulthood.

Career Outlook: There are an estimated 17,000 organizations that currently serve more than 30 million young people. Professionals who understand the strengths-based approach are in demand.

Career options may include:

  • Non-profit Youth Organizations
  • Faith-Based Groups
  • Community Recreation Leaders
  • Juvenile Corrections Professionals
  • Elementary, Middle or High School Educators
  • Extension Educators

Yan Xia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Yan Xia believes engaged students and meaningful research help strengthen families and the community. Her research, outreach and teaching have led to many honors and recognition. Her research interests include: research on immigrant youth behavioral and mental health, parent-adolescent communication and relationship, strengths and stress among Asian immigrant families, adolescent substance abuse, program evaluation and Chinese adolescent social competence.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.50 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. A Resume is required

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY, please contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  • Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  • Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to Office of Graduate Studies
  • Apply and be admitted to the department
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
Practicum, Project or Thesis8

Course Number:

CYAF 861Foundations of Youth Development1

Course Number: CYAF 861

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Pass/No Pass only. Fundamentals of youth development and the youth development profession. Ethical, professional and historical elements of youth development as it has evolved toward professionalization.

CYAF 863Youth Professionals as Consumers of Research3

Course Number: CYAF 863

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Research report evaluation skills for youth development professionals. Fundamental quantitative and qualitative research principles guiding disciplined inquiry. Application of research results and theories to practice.

CYAF 864Community Youth Development3

Course Number: CYAF 864

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. National emphasis of strength-based or asset approach to community youth development, encompassing individual development and adolescent relationships with environments. Research, theory and practice applied in communities. Existing models, theoretical and applied literature, and current community efforts. (May be offered via distance education by Michigan State University.)

CYAF 868Adolescents and Their Families3

Course Number: CYAF 868

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Adolescent development as related to and intertwined with family development. Reciprocal influences between adolescents and their families. Working with youth vis a vis the family system. (Distance education course delivered by Michigan State University.)

CYAF 869Administration and Program Management3

Course Number: CYAF 869

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Introduction to the development, administration and management of youth-serving organizations. (Distance education course delivered by Colorado State University or Kansas State University.)

CYAF 872Youth Development3

Course Number: CYAF 872

Prereq: 12 hours CYAF or social sciences. Scientific literature concerning the interrelationship of the physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of the adolescent and young adulthood years. Understanding of individuals and their continuous adjustment within the family life cycle as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood.

CYAF 873Program Design, Evaluation, & Implementation3

Course Number: CYAF 873

Overview of program development process and outcome evaluation of community children and family programs. Theoretical, methodological and programmatic issues in conducting programs and scholarship. Distance education course delivered by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

CYAF 875Youth in Cultural Contexts3

Course Number: CYAF 875

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Cultural context factors that affect youth from a holistic perspective within and outside the family unit. The cultural heritage of differing family types. Social and educational processes. (Distance education course delivered by Michigan State University.)

CYAF 878Youth Policy3

Course Number: CYAF 878

Prereq: Admission to CYAF graduate program. Various federal and state policies designed specifically for youth. Existing state and national policies as to whether they contribute to, or act as barriers to, desired developmental outcomes. (Distance education course delivered by Michigan State University.)

CYAF 880Contemporary Youth Issues1-9 cr, max 9

Course Number: CYAF 880

Issues faced by youth such as life skills, violence, and appearance. Topics vary.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $580.00
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1740.00

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $580.00
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1740.00

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

Other programs selected for you