Inspire a generation

Kearsten Peoples

As a former collegiate athlete, Kearsten knows the importance of leadership in lives of youth. As an adult, she wants to be a vital influence in her community. She earned a master of arts in youth development online from the University of Missouri. With the goal of working at a non-profit, Kearsten learned about agency budgeting, fundraising, grant writing and other essential skills that will enable her to have a impactful career.

Penny Kittle

Master of Arts in Human Development and Family Science `18

Penny Kittle was looking for an opportunity to advance her career by earning her master's — what she found was so much more. Through the University of Missouri and the Great Plains IDEA program, she had the unique opportunity to share experiences with people across the world. Most importantly, she proved to herself and her family that she could overcome any obstacle that stood in her path along the way.

Quick facts

  • Program type: Master’s degree
  • Academic home: College of Human Environmental Sciences | Department of Human Development and Family Science
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Delivery mode: 100 percent online
  • Credit hours: 36
  • Estimated program cost: $21,239.64*

*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, course choices at Mizzou and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Get the degree you deserve

An online master’s degree in youth development from MU can help you provide youth with positive opportunities to learn and grow. If you want to gain the knowledge and skills to create, facilitate, and evaluate programs promoting healthy youth development, this may be the degree for you.

Career prospects

Employment growth
Median salary

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers

This degree may help you qualify for positions in

  • 4-H
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Cooperative extension
  • Correctional facilities
  • Faith-based groups
  • Non-profit organizations

Program structure and topics

Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Courses are semester-based and offered by multiple universities taking part in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Depending on which university is teaching your course that semester, your courses may have different start and finish dates.

Students typically take two classes each semester and finish in two to three years.

Course work covers

  • Agency budgeting, fundraising, grant writing and processing
  • Conceptual approaches to youth development
  • Normative pathways to development
  • Policy development for optimal youth outcomes
  • Problem-solving with funding sources, boards, agencies, families and other stakeholders
  • Youth and family cultural issues

Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA)

Great Plains IDEA is a partnership of multiple public universities offering fully online degree programs. Students apply to and are admitted by one university, enroll in all of their courses through that university and graduate from that university. However, the online courses are taught by faculty in the discipline from several universities. All students pay one common price no matter where each of the classes is based. Learn more

This program is administered by the Department of Human Development and Family Science.