What will I learn?

When you commit your education to the social science of understanding children, you commit to improving the future. As a student in our interdisciplinary Child and Adolescent Studies program, the only one of its kind in the University System of Maryland, you’ll plunge into a unique fusion of coursework in psychology, social work, education and sociology. Our curriculum will challenge you, engage you and prepare you to work specifically with children and teens, both in and outside of a classroom setting. When you graduate, your versatility will enable you to work in settings where your acuity will help the people who need it the most.

What You'll Learn

Cultivate your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Discover the fascinating ways children absorb and reflect their environments. Research critical, often complex influencers, from family, society, religion and culture to race, class, gender and sexuality. The child and adolescent studies major offers four concentrations: child life, research, pre-occupational therapy, and child mental health and welfare. In each of your classes, you’ll learn foundational knowledge to work with diverse populations, apply research and theories, and enhance your passion for helping young people. As a student, you will:

Develop effective strategies to meet the distinct needs and demands of school-age children

Identify cultural, biological, psychological and environmental influences on development

Learn the legal and ethical issues around working with children

Explore traditional and emerging methods of social research

Communicate important child-related issues to policy and decision-makers

Analyze the developmental and cognitive stages of school-age children

Our core requirements and electives are designed to give students the opportunity to engage children and adolescents from a variety of perspectives. The program’s interdisciplinary foundation will help you understand how the world affects a child, how a child affects the world and how to serve them in between, no matter how you ultimately put your credentials and knowledge to use.

Special Opportunities

Join: Our campus hosts an active Child and Adolescent Studies Association as well as a chapter of Tau Upsilon Alpha honors society, the national organization for human services.

Experience: You won’t just learn from our knowledgeable faculty — you’ll apply what you learn from them to get hands-on experience of your own. Internships are an integral part of the education journey. Faculty help students find placement opportunities but students are also encouraged to find their own and have worked in occupational therapy facilities, shelters, hospitals and schools.

Career Paths

Graduates of the Child and Adolescent Studies program build gratifying careers and pursue advanced study in early childhood and adolescent development, education, youth advocacy, social work and counseling. More than 75 percent advance to graduate school within two years of graduation from Bowie State. The specialization that they earn here opens opportunities in juvenile corrections, counseling centers, hospitals and hospices, daycares and schools, social welfare and adoption agencies, youth centers, and nonprofits, including:

  • Teacher or educator
  • Early childhood program administrator
  • Counselor or therapist
  • Childcare director
  • Occupational therapist
  • Child life specialist
  • Family attorney
  • Youth program coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Research analyst
  • Teacher’s aide or paraprofessional
  • Teen parenting mentor

Which department am I in?

College of Professional Studies

Study options

Full Time (120 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$16,176.00 per year
Start date

Expected August 2019


College of Professional Studies

James E. Proctor Jr. Building, Suite 302,



20715, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Admission to Bowie State University is granted to all applicants who meet the University's admission standards. For first-time students-those who are graduating high school seniors or who have earned a General Education Diploma- the admission process evaluates grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, and counselor recommendations.