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M.S. in Developmental Disabilities

Overview

A Master of Science in Developmental Disabilities is designed to prepare researchers, advocates, administrators and policy makers to be leaders in community-based or governmental agencies that address the confluence of issues associated with developmental disabilities throughout the life span. This degree program's body of knowledge will allow graduates of the M.S. program to pursue doctoral-level training in human services, counseling, and public policy, among others. In addition, this degree will provide professionals from disciplines such as nursing and education with the necessary skills to be effective leaders and advance in the field.

Click HERE for a webinar recording on the Developmental Disabilities program and Applied Behavior Analysis.

The successful graduate of the M.S. in Developmental Disabilities program is expected to:

  • Apply knowledge of effective administrative and other leadership skills in the field of developmental disabilities through the use of case study analyses, research papers, and in-class assignments.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the different developmental disabilities and the challenges faced by these individuals across the lifespan.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the family, the educational system, and community services on the successful integration of individuals with developmental disabilities into the community.
  • Apply ethical and legal principles related to working with individuals who have developmental disabilities to real-world cases and settings.
  • Apply knowledge of developmental disabilities, organizational behavior, and strategic planning to the design and/or administration of human services organizations which provide services to individuals and families with developmental disabilities. 
  • Demonstrate research, analytic thinking, and writing skills when creating a program design or evaluation project on a relevant topic in the field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of health disparities experienced by individuals with developmental disabilities and the implications for healthcare and human services organizations.

This program is designed for individuals seeking a career in or as:

  • Program Director (non-profit)
  • Program Coordination
  • Early Childhood Interventionist
  • Transition Specialist
  • Job Coach
  • Child Life Specialist (with Child Life Specialist concentration)
  • Developmental Specialist
  • Case Manager
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Advocate
  • Behavior Analyst or Assistant Behavior Analyst (with ABA concentration)
Students enrolled in the Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities are required to complete 21 credit hours of foundational coursework and 9 credit hours in one of the concentrations (excludes practicum/internship courses) at a minimum (30 credits total) to earn the degree.

Following is a sample degree plan for full-time students.

Please note: students seeking to establish eligibility for the Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analyst (BCaBA), Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), or Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) exams have the option of taking additional courses as needed in the Applied Behavior Analysis and Child Specialist concentrations.

M.S. in Developmental Disabilities SAMPLE Degree Plan (30 credits)

Year One
First Term HSDD 5000: Survey of Developmental Disabilities       (3 credits) HSDD 5100: Program Design and Evaluation (3 credits)
Second Term HSDD 5200: Disability and the Family Cycle (3 credits) HSDD 5300: Legal and Ethical Issues in Disability           (3 credits)
Third Term HSDD 5400: Healthcare Issues in Developmental Disabilities (3 credits) HSDD 5500: Disability Services Administration               (3 credits)
year two
Fourth Term Concentration course (excludes practicum/internship courses) (3 credits) Concentration course (excludes practicum/internship courses) (3 credits)
Fifth Term Concentration course (excludes practicum/internship courses) (3 credits) HSDD 6000: Developmental Disabilities Master's Research Project (3 credits)

HSDD 5000 - Survey of Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the various types of developmental disabilities as experienced throughout the lifespan. Students will have the opportunity to develop a working knowledge of the unique challenges faced by individuals with developmental disabilities, including problems associated with transitional periods in development. In addition, the course will provide an understanding of the assessment process in diagnosing developmental disabilities, as well as how to select the services that will meet the unique needs of individuals and assist them and their families in developing and implementing an individual plan. The course will also address cultural factors in the experience of developmental disabilities and in service provision.  The course will also outline strategies for working with families in order to improve access and engagement in services.

HSDD 5100 - Program Design and Evaluation (3 credits)

This course familiarizes students with the different components of program design such as developing a program philosophy, mission and vision, marketing and budgeting. In addition, the process of program evaluation, including needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, impact assessment, and cost analysis will be covered. Students will gain practical experience through a series of exercises involving the design of a conceptual framework, development of indicators, and development of an evaluation plan to measure impact. In addition, the course covers experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs, including the strengths and limitations of each.

HSDD 5200 - Disability and the Family Life Cycle (3 credits)

This course focuses on disability viewed from the perspective of lifespan development and the family life cycle. The course will discuss a wide range of issues in this area including: the sociology of the family; the experience of family members of persons with a disability; the educational system and its impact on outcomes of children with disabilities; characteristics of successful inclusion efforts, and the relationship between inclusion and school reform. Transitional issues from youth to adult life for individuals with disabilities will also be discussed.  These will include: family life of adults with disabilities such as, marriage, parenting, and caring for aging parents; the importance of social networks and support in the lives of people with disabilities; and approaches to challenging dynamics, such as individuals dually diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Finally, the use of various treatment approaches and support options for individuals with disabilities will be discussed. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5300 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Disability (3 credits)

This course discusses current laws related to disabilities such as ADA and IDEA as well as contemporary issues affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and the daily responsibilities of disability professionals. This course further examines the application of ethical principles to matters associated with genetics, treatment decisions, and competency. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5400 - Healthcare Issues in Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)

Provides an introduction to the health disparities experienced by individuals with developmental disabilities. This course will cover the Declaration on Health Parity for Persons with Disabilities issued by the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). Challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in access to appropriate medical, dental, and mental health services will be discussed as well as the importance of health promotion for those with developmental disabilities. The significance of attention to inclusion of the impact of developmental disability upon individuals, families, schools, and other organizations and agencies in the education of health professionals will be addressed. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5500 - Disability Services Administration (3 credits)

The application of management and leadership theory and research in non-profit and public agencies will be addressed. This course will focus on strategic planning, employee motivation, recruitment, retention, fiscal management, long-term planning, board development and succession planning. In addition, effective communication skills will be addressed and strengthened through interactive exercises with feedback.

HSDD 6000 - Developmental Disabilities Masters Project (3 credits)

In this course, students are expected to work with a faculty member advisor to complete a research project in which they will design a social service program targeting individuals with developmental disabilities or will evaluate an existing program that serves developmentally delayed individuals. Program design and evaluation methodology, analytic thinking, and writing skills will be infused throughout the curriculum to prepare students to complete this research project. Specific deadlines will be provided so that the student can complete the project in a timely manner. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5110 - Grant Writing (3 credits)

Students in this course will learn the basic principles of grant writing and will develop the critical thinking and writing skills required to effectively define a problem or recognize an opportunity (Assessment), map a viable plan (Proposal Writing), weigh funding options and create funding relationships (Grant Development) and communicate information and leverage collaboration (Report Generation).

HSDD 5120 - Leading for Change in Disability Services (3 credits)

This course will examine the role that public policies currently in place play in providing quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as analysis of the costs of these services. Organizational factors will examine the impact of program administration in public and private agencies servicing individuals with disabilities. Also, the design and evaluation of community-based services are addressed.

HSDD 5130 - Trends and Issues in Disability Advocacy (3 credits)

This course provides insight into disability policy through the examination of policy making. The course will focus on different political/ideological approaches to disability policy. In addition, examines how the federal government addresses discrimination against individuals with disabilities in public (e.g. transportation, housing education, and employment).  Participants will gain basic skills and knowledge in: contextual analysis; problem/issue identification; analysis and prioritization; power mapping; goal/objective setting; analysis of advocacy arenas and strategies; message development, writing reports and working with the media; engaging in public outreach and mobilization; lobbying and negotiation; advocacy leadership and coalition building; and assessment of program success.

HSDD 5310 - Aging and Disability Across the Lifespan (3 credits)

This course will provide an interdisciplinary focus on aging and disability from different theoretical perspectives. The dynamics of aging across the lifespan will be addressed and specific challenges faced by young adults, middle age individuals, and older adults with developmental disabilities will be reviewed. Students will be able to apply knowledge obtained to specialized population and be able to assume leadership roles and engage in support efforts for these individuals as demonstrated through paper and presentations.

HSDD 5320 - Students with Disabilities in Higher Education (3 credits)

Examines the experience of students with developmental disabilities in higher education and crucial components related to their full participation in college life. Knowledge of demographic trends of students with developmental disabilities in higher education, awareness of important transition issues of students from K-12 to postsecondary education, strategies for increasing retention, and understanding the different types of accommodations typically required of students with developmental disabilities will be covered.

HSDD 5330 - Employment and Independent Living (3 credits)

This course provides an analysis of the integration of individuals with developmental disabilities into the community and within institutions. Challenges faced by individuals with developmental disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment and independent living will be addressed as well as strategies for promoting successful community integration.

HSDD 5410 - Early Identification and Assessment of Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)

This course will provide students with the opportunity to obtain knowledge of the assessment, evaluation, and diagnostic skills of young children with developmental disabilities from an interdisciplinary perspective. Risk factors and early warning signs of atypical development will be reviewed. Students will be exposed to commonly used assessments to identify developmental delays in various fields and will be exposed to different diagnostic approaches such as the DSM-IV, ICD-10, and Zero to Three. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5420 - Early Intervention in Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)

This course helps students apply their knowledge of challenging behaviors such as aggression, self-injury, tantrums, etc. and of different modalities of intervention typically applied with individuals with developmental disabilities such as developmental (speech, physical, occupational), behavioral [Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), and Floortime], and educational supports through case analysis and discussion. Factors that contribute to treatment success will be addressed. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

HSDD 5430 - Integrating Children with Disabilities in Educational Settings (3 credits)

This course will focus on historical approaches to the education of children with disabilities. It will address current models utilized in educational settings such as inclusion, mainstreaming, and self-contained classrooms. Supports that can be provided to children with developmental disabilities to promote successful educational outcomes will be assessed. The common approaches to providing supports including individualized education plans, frequency assessments of behavior, behavioral intervention plans, and the role that they each play in the educational system will be critiqued. Prerequisite: HSDD 5000.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination. Please check with an advisor about course selection.

Click here for more information about BCBA examination pass rate.

*Please be advised that students completing the Applied Behavioral Analysis concentration cannot be placed in practicum sites within the states of North Carolina and New York due to state licensure regulations.  

HSDD 0710 - Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

This course will focus on the basic tenets of the science of applied behavior analysis that are the underpinnings of effective teaching strategies. Students will study the philosophy and science of applied behavior analysis, an overview of the areas of the field of ABA and its relation to education and psychology, basic vocabulary and concepts in the field, strategies for measuring behavior, and basic strategies for increasing and decreasing behaviors of students in a variety of settings.

HSDD 0720 - Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

This course will extend the Basic Principles and Concepts course to include application of the principles of applied behavior analysis. It will focus on assessment strategies, behavioral intervention strategies and change procedures, and methods of accountability in ABA interventions. In addition, focus will be placed on making decisions regarding treatment for individuals with a variety of challenges. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.

HSDD 0730 - Behavioral Assessment Models in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

This course will focus on conducting behavior analytic assessments in order to identify targets for behavior change programs. Additionally, the class with cover the variety of delivery models for services within the ABA model. Areas of focus will include the behavioral models of developmental disabilities, behavioral medicine, treatment of autism/developmental disabilities, organizational behavior management, and education. Principles and research in each area will be addressed and participants will employ a variety of strategies from each area in the course assignments. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.

HSDD 0740 - Evaluating Interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

This course will focus on evaluation strategies used in both research and in the ethical provision of interventions. It will cover a variety of measurement and assessment strategies for determining the effectiveness of interventions on a single-subject and small group design. Additional focus will be placed on the interpretation of the research literature to make sound decisions about assessment and intervention strategies for a variety of populations.

HSDD 0750 - Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

This course will focus on issues of professionalism for the practice of applied behavior analysis in research and clinical settings. It will also address issues of working with systems to effect positive change in organizations and for individuals through consultation and collaboration with other professionals. Using applied behavior analysis to provide systems support and change and to enhance work as a consultant will be the underlying basis for the course. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.

HSDD 0790 - Ethical Conduct for Applied Behavior Analysts (3 credits)

This course will focus on the ethical practice of applied behavior analysis across clinical, research and professional settings. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s current professional and ethical standards will be reviewed, explored and applied. Additional focus will be given to common ethical dilemmas that may arise during clinical research and practice in applied behavior analysis and strategies and guidelines for resolving ethical issues. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.

HSDD 0614 - Seminar on Advanced Topics in ABA (Elective, 3 credits)

This course will provide a comprehensive guided review of the necessary content required to fulfill Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) requirements. As such, it is designed to prepare students for this type of professional certification. Students will enhance their knowledge and skills of the following areas of applied behavior analysis (ABA): principles of behavior analysis, evaluating interventions, professional issues, behavioral assessment models, and applications of ABA.

This course will focus on the ethical practice of applied behavior analysis across clinical, research and professional settings. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts and Professional Disciplinary and Ethical Standards will be reviewed, explored and applied. Additional focus will be given to common ethical dilemmas that may arise during clinical research and practice in applied behavior analysis and strategies and guidelines for resolving ethical issues. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.


Applied Behavior Analysis Elective Practicum – Optional – (9 Credits)

HSDD 0760 - Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis I (Elective, 3 credits)

This introductory practicum is designed to meet the supervision requirements for the BCBA or BCABA certification. Students must be engaged in practicum activities at least 20 hours per week in a job that requires the application of ABA principles. Supervision will take place weekly in both group and individual formats and will address both increasing and decreasing behaviors. Students will be expected to collect and share data on their cases and employ strategies of behavioral assessment and intervention with input from their supervisor. Prerequisite: HSDD 0710.

HSDD 0770 - Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis II (Elective, 3 credits)

This course is designed to continue the supervision begun in HSDD 760 and has similar requirements. Students will be expected to provide written reports and intervention plans as part of their supervision. Students must be engaged in practicum activities at least 20 hours per week in a position that requires the application of ABA principles. Supervision will take place weekly in both group format and individual formats and will address both increasing and decreasing behaviors. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 0710, HSDD 0760.

HSDD 0780 - Advanced Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis I (Elective, 3 credits)

This advanced practicum is designed to meet the supervision requirements for students seeking their BCBA and will continue the work begun in the previous two practicums. Students must be engaged in a position requiring the application of ABA principles at least 20 hours per week. Supervision will take place weekly or bi-weekly in a group or individual format and will address both increasing and decreasing behaviors. Students will be expected to collect and share data on their cases and employ strategies of behavioral assessment and intervention with input from their supervisor. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 0710, HSDD 0770.


Certification

The ABA course sequence in the MS in Developmental Disabilities program meets the Behavior Analyst Certification Board coursework and experience requirement for eligibility to take the BCBA exam. Following completion of academic coursework and supervision, students will still need to pass the certification exam offered by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. More information about certification requirements can be found at Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

*Please be advised that students completing the Child Life Specialist concentration cannot be placed in internship sites within the states of North Carolina and New York due to state licensure regulations.

2019 Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)

Exam Eligibility Requirements

Min # of classes required by the ACLP for Child Life Professional Certification Exam eligibility Subject NSU Child Life Specialist Courses
1 Child Life

HSDD 5510 Foundations in Child Life and Family Centered Care

2 Child Development

HSDD 5522 Theories of Child Growth and Development

HSDD 5523 Theories of Adolescent Growth and Development

1 Family Systems HSDD 5518 Family Systems and the Hospitalized Child
1 Therapeutic Benefits of Play

HSDD 5532 Therapeutic Benefits of Play

1 Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying

HSDD 5534 Death and Dying

1 Research

HSDD 5100 Program Design and Evaluation

3 Additional courses in child life or related content area

HSDD 5515 Ethics in Child Life

HSDD 5530 Interventions in Child Life

HSDD 5525 Medical Terminology for the Child Life Professionals

Experiential Requirements:

Students may elect to complete experiential training hours through NSU.  Students must successfully complete 600 hours of child life clinical internship under the direct supervision of an approved, Certified Child Life Specialist.

HSDD 5510 - Foundations of Child Life and Family-Centered Care (3 credits)

This course will provide an introduction to the spectrum of child life practice in direct and non-direct services in pediatric health care including a historical review of the profession and its development in the evolution of children's healthcare. Students will develop an understanding and affirmation of the values of supporting individual development, family-centered care, therapeutic relationship and developmentally appropriate communication. Additionally, students will learn to represent and communicate child life practice and psychosocial issues of infants, children, youth and families. This course will provide students with the knowledge and effective strategies to assess and support healthy interactions between families and outside institutions. Continuous engagement in self-reflective professional child life practice will also be a focus of this course.

HSDD 5515 - Ethics in Child Life (3 credits)

This course will provide students with the insight necessary to identify and manage ethical and professional issues within a multidisciplinary approach in clinical and research settings. Students will learn the ethical and legal issues surrounding healthcare, including transition of pediatric patients to adult healthcare; medical treatment; and medical technology, including: advance directives and living wills, resource allocation, transplantation issues, withholding and termination of treatment, and death and dying. Both the ethical and legal perspectives regarding how to support patients and their family members when making challenging medical choices will be explored. The official documents of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) including the Code of Ethical Responsibility, Child Life Competencies and Standards of Clinical Practice, the Child Life Mission, Values and Vision Statements, and the Code of Professional Practice and their role in ethics will also be addressed. Students will also develop the ability to evaluate child life services and make recommendations for program improvement. As part of this course, teaching and supervision of students and volunteers will be addressed.

HSDD 5518 - Family Systems and the Hospitalized Child (3 credits)

This course will provide students with in-depth training regarding family systems and their importance when working with children and families in healthcare settings. Focus will be placed on the family as a social system. We will discuss family relationships; the historical and contemporary theories related to family structure and functions; adaptations in family structure and interaction patterns; diverse family systems; parenting, caregiving and family life from a cross-cultural perspective; adult-child interactions; and exploration of current research and theory as it applies to family systems.

HSDD 5520 - Child and Adolescent Growth and Development (3 credits)

This course will examine issues in human development that are especially relevant to infants, children and adolescents. It is designed to present theory, research and evidence-based practice concerning the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children. Typical versus atypical developmental progress, as well as factors that threaten to impede typical development will be addressed. This course will also emphasize cultural competence when working with children and families in a collaborative context.

HSDD 5522 - Theories of Child Growth and Development (3 credits)

This course will examine theories of human development that are especially relevant to infants and children in early and middle childhood. Students will learn psychoanalytic, social learning, behaviorist, ecological, humanistic and psychosexual theories and will apply these theoretical perspectives to child growth and development. This course is also designed to present research and evidence-based practice concerning the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of children.

HSDD 5523 - Theories of Adolescent Growth and Development (3 credits)

Adolescent Development reviews the physical and sexual, cognitive, emotional, moral and social growth and development of young people as they transition between the immaturity of childhood and the maturity of adulthood.  We will view adolescence from a scientific (rather than intuitive) research perspective within the context of the adolescents’ lives.  This requires a multi-disciplinary approach with input from the sciences of psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology and the disciplines of education and history.  A critical examination of theories, methods of research, and findings from current research on human growth and development will assist in this review.

HSDD 5525 - Medical Terminology for the Child Life Professional (3 credits)

Students participating in this course will receive an introduction to medical terminology, designed to increase familiarity with medical terms while reviewing basic anatomy and physiology; an introduction to medical procedures and diagnoses; and will discuss ways to explain common tests, procedures, and diagnoses to children of different developmental levels and children with developmental differences.

HSDD 5530 - Interventions in Child Life (3 credits)

This course will introduce students to theories and intervention techniques that help children and families cope with stress from hospitalization or other life events that disrupt normal development. Strategies to assist with issues such as pain management; adjustment to chronic illness and long-term hospitalization; and adherence to medication management and routine medical care will be covered. Students will learn to assess and implement developmentally appropriate interventions, based on empirical data, to create individualized treatment plans in collaboration with the treatment team. The central role of play therapy in child life services will be emphasized, along with the provision of a safe, therapeutic and healing environment. 

HSDD 5532 - Therapeutic Benefits of Play (3 credits)

This course will provide students with training necessary to identify and understand the therapeutic benefits of various types of play. We will discuss the classical and contemporary theories of play, assessment of children’s understanding using play, play principles and values, the role of play in the development of children, the structure of therapeutic play sessions, promoting creativity in play, providing guidance of play in a therapeutic context, the function of play in curriculum and program development, and the therapeutic benefits of play for the hospitalized child.

HSDD 5534 - Death and Dying (3 credits)

This course provides students with training regarding theories related to death and dying, developmental understandings of death and dying, and provision of interventions when working with the child and family experiencing death and dying. We will examine the cultural context of death and the effect of death upon surviving family members. This course will also cover historical and ethical viewpoints, along with exploration of one’s own reactions to death, dying and bereavement.

HSDD 5535 - Child Life Practicum (3 credits)

Students are required to complete a specified number of hours of child life clinical experience at a selected agency working under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications at an approved setting.  Students will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours in 14 weeks, completing 8 hours a week. During that time, the student is expected to increase his or her competence in the areas of observation, child life assessments, developmental theory integration, therapeutic play interventions, and rapport building.

It is mandatory that students enrolled in this course will meet in “live” sessions via GoToTraining/GoToMeeting on a biweekly basis, for two hours, on a day and time to be determined by both the instructor and the students enrolled in this course. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 5510, HSDD 5515.

HSDD 5550 - Child Life Internship I (3 credits)

Students will be required to successfully complete a specified number hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications at an approved setting. During that time, the students will be expected to increase their competence in the areas of basic interviewing, assessment, and intervention skills. Furthermore, integration of ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in child life service delivery will be addressed. Best practice and conflict resolution issues will also be incorporated. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 5510, HSDD 5515, HSDD 5532.

HSDD 5560 - Child Life Internship II (3 credits)

Students will be required to successfully complete a specified number hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications at an approved setting. During that time, the students will be expected to increase their competence in the areas of basic interviewing, assessment, and intervention skills. Furthermore, integration of ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in child life service delivery will be addressed. Best practice and conflict resolution issues will also be incorporated. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 5510, HSDD 5530, HSDD 5550.


Child Life Specialist Internship Information

Internship:

Students may elect to complete their internship at an NSU approved child life specialist site. During their training, students are expected to complete a minimum of 600 clinical training hours under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. NSU's clinical training representative is available to assist students in securing internship opportunities.

Certification:

The child life concentration offered in the M.S. in Developmental Disabilities program is designed to prepare students for certification as a child life specialist. For detailed information regarding certification requirements and application, please visit the Child Life Council.

Application Requirements

To ensure that your application is complete, please use the checklist below and follow the detailed instructions provided for each item. All documents that are submitted to the University will need to include your name on each page.

  1. Complete online application form.
  2. $50 nonrefundable application fee
  3. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework or a master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
  4. A personal statement of approximately 300 words, double spaced, single sided, typewritten pages. Include  why are interested in the program to which you are applying for, as well as your professional goals, your assessment of your abilities to manage the challenges of graduate school, and any other information you would like to provide.
    • *Students may choose to complete this requirement within the application or they may choose to submit it as a separate document.
  5. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you attended need to be mailed directly to Enrollment Processing Services (EPS), including agency evaluation of foreign degrees for determination of U.S. equivalence (including Canadian transcripts). All applicants must hold a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution. International Students should visit International Students and Scholars for further information. *
  6. Two letters of recommendation
  7. Interview conducted via telephone
  8. International Student applicants should submit English proficiency scores, if applicable. International Students should visit International Students and Scholars for further information. *

 

Please Mail Items To

Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services
Attn: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
3301 College Avenue
P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905

 

Address without P.O. Box:
Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services
Attn: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida 33314
 
Official electronic transcripts must be sent to electronictranscript@nova.edu.
 
NOTE: EXTERNAL INSTITUTIONS ONLY.
 
If you have any questions about the admissions process, call (954) 262-8500 / (800) 986-3223, ext. 28500, or email to eduinfo@nova.edu.

International Students

Foreign nationals who reside outside the U.S. at the time of application, and whose native language is not English, must present evidence of proficiency in English by satisfactorily completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Score requirements are the same as undergraduate admission and are as follows: minimum paper score =550; minimum computerized score = 213; minimum internet score=79). A score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (ILETS) exam is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL.Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. While there are several credential evaluators, the most widely used companies are listed below or visit www.naces.org.International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by email at intl@nova.edu, or visit our  International Students Page.


Deadlines

TERM DEADLINE
Fall August 1st
Winter December 10th
Summer April 20th

Program Format: Online

The master's program is offered entirely online. The online format allows for students to participate in courses from anywhere in the world where internet access is available. In addition, it allows for the flexibility of completing your master's degree without interrupting your career.

Master's students are provided NSU computer accounts including email and Canvas, but must obtain their own Internet service providers, use their own computer systems and have a usable web camera. Online students use the web to access course materials, announcements, email, distance library services, subscription library databases, and other information, and for interaction with faculty and fellow students. Online, interactive learning methods are based on the use of Canvas as a learning management system. Online activities facilitate frequent student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction. They are supported by threaded discussion boards, white boards, chat rooms, email, and multimedia presentations. In addition, Canvas enables students to submit assignments online in multimedia formats and to receive their professors’ reviews of assignments online in the same formats.

 

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