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Youth Development Master’s Program

​​About the Program

Youth Development is a strengths-based approach to working with young people (ages 3-21) across a variety of formal + informal contexts. The YDEV MA Program at Rhode Island College -- the first program of its kind in New England -- equips students with the knowledge and skills to lead, design, research, and innovate in youth settings. A 30-credit Master’s Degree designed for working professionals, the YDEV MA joins theory with practice, offering students the opportunity to learn from and lead with Rhode Island’s vibrant youth development community.​​

Our Mission

Through a commitment to social justice, culturally-relevant care, + democratic, experiential learning, the YDEV MA @ RIC prepares students to lead, design, research, and innovate in youth settings.

Learning Outcomes


Experience, practice, critically engage, and shape the intentional and diverse practices of care that shape youth and community.


Explore both self + others + hone the skills to support young people, staff, and communities in identity exploration.


Explore programming and policy through the lenses of power and difference in order to better understand how to build, sustain and lead positive communities with youth.


Design and practice democratic, collaborative leadership models with youth, colleagues and partners in the field.

Program Curriculum



YDEV 501  Youth Development Theory and Practice 4
YDEV 502  Youth Development Community Retreat 1
YDEV 520/21  Youth Social Policy and Action 4+1
YDEV 540  Leadership in Youth Development 4
YDEV 560/61 Youth Development Research and Evaluation 4+1
YDEV 590  Directed Study in Youth Development 4
Two graduate-level electives of your choice 6-8​

Additional course information.

Admissions Requirements

  • A completed application form + a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records. Applicants must have a BA degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • 3 letters of recommendation, from individuals (supervisors, colleagues, or professors) familiar with your academic and professional work.
  • Current resume or CV.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Minimum 2-years professional experience in Youth Development OR one year + a BA in Youth Development.
  • Extenuating circumstances statement (if needed). If your undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0 overall, or you have circumstances about which you wish to provide more information.
  • An in-person interview may be required.

Please download these overview and curriculum​ fliers for additional program information.


Victoria Restler

Dr. Victoria Restler
Youth Development MA Program Director
(401) 456-8503​​​​​​​

Page last updated: February 27, 2020