Masters in Psychology Child and Adolescent Development

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

Child and Adolescent Development | MS in Developmental Psychology | Walden  University

What is Child and Adolescent Development Psychology?

Clinical child and adolescent psychology is a specialty in professional psychology that develops and applies scientific knowledge to the delivery of psychological services to infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents within their social context.

What does a Child Developmental Psychologist do?

Developmental psychologists work with parents and doctors to understand the situation and detect and treat any resulting psychological or health problems. By intervening early, developmental psychologists work to help a child get on track to normal development.

Become an Expert in Developmental Changes with an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Childhood and adolescence can be a turbulent time. Turns out it’s less about middle school drama and more about actual physical changes happening in young people’s brains. Adolescent psychologists combine therapy and science to make huge changes in the lives of young people.

Why Get a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology?

Earning a master’s in child psychology brings many professional and personal benefits. Among other advantages, the degree leads to fulfilling, high-paying careers in several sectors.

  • Earn a Comfortable SalaryA master’s degree in child psychology can lead to an increase in career opportunities and salary potential. Generally, professionals with a master’s degree earn higher salaries.
  • Fulfill Career QualificationsMany career paths in child psychology require at least a master’s degree. For example, the degree meets the qualifications for a school psychologist license.
  • Build Necessary SkillsDuring a master’s degree, students strengthen their research training and build counseling skills. The coursework covers vital topics like developmental psychology and abnormal child psychology.
  • Work with Your ScheduleAn online child psychology degree offers a flexible, accessible schedule that helps working professionals advance their career. The degree also offers versatility, with opportunities in education, research, and counseling.
  • Further Your EducationAfter completing a master’s degree in child psychology, graduates who want to pursue clinical or academic roles can apply to doctoral programs.
Most Affordable Master's in Child Psychology | Grad School Hub

What can I do with a Master’s in Child and Adolescent Development?

The MS in Child and Adolescent Development can be applied to a wide variety of jobs.

  • preschool teachers;
  • child care center directors;
  • children’s television producers;
  • youth advocates;
  • parent educators;
  • leadership positions in educational and social service agencies; and.
  • part-time or adjunct teaching positions.

What can I do with a Masters in Child Development Psychology?

child psychology degree leads to careers in research, counseling, school psychology, and other fields. Developmental child psychologists research cognitive, behavioral, and emotional development, while school psychologists help children at the K-12 level manage academic and social problems.

What does a child developmental psychologist do?

Developmental psychologists work with parents and doctors to understand the situation and detect and treat any resulting psychological or health problems. By intervening early, developmental psychologists work to help a child get on track to normal development.

Child and Adolescent Psychologist Salary

Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$332,000$27,666
75th Percentile$190,000$15,833
25th Percentile$65,000$5,416

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology Degrees

1University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MN
2University of South FloridaTampa, FL
3Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA
4Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN
5The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicago, IL
6Northcentral UniversitySan Diego, CA
7Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH
8CUNY City CollegeNew York, NY
9West Virginia UniversityMorgantown, WV
10Montclair State UniversityMontclair, NJ
Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology - Masters - Utrecht University

What kind of Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology should you get?

Some specializations within child and adolescent psychology include ecosystemic child psychology, family/child psychology, and educational psychology.

  1. Ecosystemic child psychology looks at the role of social systems in child development. Practitioners become familiar with educational, legal, medical, and cultural systems in addition to conventional child psychology topics.
  2. Family/child psychology deals with the issues that face children within the family unit. This discipline encompasses many others, such as childhood obesity, adolescent development, and familial violence.
  3. Educational psychologists look at the ways in which humans learn. Not all educational psychology students focus on children and adolescents, but some do choose to specialize in how children learn.

Some specializations in this field will require additional hands-on training or supervised clinical practice to meet license requirements, and some require a doctoral degree. Not all positions require a license, however, so take the time to look into career paths for specific concentrations.

How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

In 2018, the median pay for psychologists of all types was just under $80,000 per year, or just under $38 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.’s data on child psychologist salaries, meanwhile, indicates a typical salary of about $68,500 per year.

Current Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for psychology job growth look good, too. The Bureau predicts psychologist jobs will grow at a rate of 14% between 2016 and 2026, with most of that growth among clinical, school, and counseling psychologists. While this does not guarantee any psychology graduate a job, the prospects for growth in this field well outstrip the national average.

What can you do with an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

After graduating from an online master’s degree program in child psychology, students can go on to work in schools, non-profit organizations, or government agencies.

  • Schools – Those who work in school settings can be special education technicians, school counselors, program directors, and program evaluators. These positions often involve working directly with children.
  • Non-Profit Organizations – In non-profit organizations, psychology graduates can use their expertise to advocate and raise funds for young people and assess current research. They might be lobbyists, research analysts, or grant writers.
  • Government Agencies – Child and adolescent psychologists in government agencies help develop policies and support interventions in children’s lives. These positions include research analysis, foster care management, and many types of administrative work.

What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

  • Bachelor’s Degree – Most schools require a bachelor’s degree, though this degree doesn’t need to be in psychology. Many schools require students to be familiar with the basics of the field as well as research methods, however, so a psychology degree may be easier.
  • GPA Requirement – Some schools waive such requirements, but others will expect a 3.0 or higher GPA in undergraduate work. This may be limited to just a student’s psychology courses, or the latter half of a program.
  • GRE Scores – Students should expect to take the GRE before applying to an online master’s in child psychology.
  • Other Documents – Depending on the program, a school may expect a statement of purpose, multiple letters of recommendation, or both.

What are the best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology degrees?

These rankings show the ten best online master’s degree programs in child and adolescent psychology. These rankings use data from U.S. News & World Report and to rank the top programs. Academic quality, affordability, and student satisfaction all come into play when deciding which schools win out.

Students who pursue child and adolescent psychology at these schools can be confident that they will receive a quality education without going out on a financial limb, and that such an education will prepare them for professional work in child and adolescent psychology.

U.S. News & World Report and

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

LOCATION: Minneapolis, View School Profile


Kicking off our list is the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The oldest and largest of the University of Minnesota system, this public research institution is considered one of the nation’s “Public Ivy” schools. The university is a leader in innovative research, pushing forward new ideas in the world of health, technology, and psychology.

Program Features

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stands out above the rest for its MA in Applied Child and Adolescent Development. This program is offering 100 percent online and covers 32 credit-hours of classes. Your curriculum will be defined by prerequisites, and 15 credits in an emphasis area. Here’s a quick look:

  • Early Childhood Assessment
  • Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood
  • Child Life Theory, Practice, and Program Development
  • Early Childhood and Public Policy


Within the program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Child Life, Individual Studies. Each track includes 13 customized courses. This is a fantastic way to elevate your resume.

University of South FloridaLOCATION


View School Profile


Located in Tampa, the University of South Florida is a three-fold institution that maintains three schools: USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg, and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The Tampa campus is by far the largest, with over 41,000 students. As an overall school, USF ranks #68 among the 100 Top Public Schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Program Features

Through the fully online MS in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health degree at USF, you’ll jump into a world of engaged professors and streamlined courses. A total of 39 courses are required for this degree. The program can be delivered as a thesis or a non-thesis degree. All students will take a series of core courses that include:

  • Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health
  • Cultural Competency in Children’s Mental Health
  • Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Policy
  • Evaluation & Research Methods in Community Health


Within your full curriculum, you will cater your degree to one of four concentrations: Developmental Disabilities, Leadership in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Research & Evaluation, or Youth & Behavioral Health. Pursuing one of these areas gives you a huge head start in a career.

Child Psychology Master’s Program Guide

Child psychologists help children struggling with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They conduct research to understand child development, offer counseling sessions as school psychologists, and practice in clinical settings. A master’s in child psychology leads to engaging and fulfilling opportunities in the field.

Psychologists earn above-average salaries, with a median annual salary of over $79,000 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects strong job growth for psychologists. This guide introduces prospective students to characteristics of a master’s in child psychology and the steps necessary for them to become a child psychologist.

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