UW Today

February 1, 2017

UW introduces new master’s degree in applied child & adolescent psychology

Boy and young woman teacher during private home lesson

The University of Washington has announced a unique new graduate degree program, the Master of Arts in Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology: Prevention & Treatment, to meet the growing need for mental health professionals trained to serve children, teens and families.

The degree, launching in fall 2017, will equip professionals working in schools, health care, early learning and community settings with specialized skills to support social-emotional development and mental health in youth. The 36-credit program is the first master’s degree to be offered by the UW Department of Psychology. The department is ranked among the top 10 in the country for clinical psychology by U.S. News & World Report.

“We’re pleased to offer a master’s program that addresses the pressing need for well-trained mental health practitioners who work with children and provides them with a comprehensive understanding of effective evidence-based treatments,” said Lynn Fainsilber Katz, one of three UW psychology professors heading up the new degree. “The program allows the university to put its cutting-edge research into practice and help produce positive outcomes, especially by training those who assist high-risk children and families.”

The degree curriculum gives students a broad foundation in child psychology with an emphasis on social and emotional development, along with specific skills in evidence-based diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health disorders in children and teens. Courses also cover risk and protective factors, parenting interventions and treatment for trauma and anxiety. Graduates will be able to diagnose psychosocial disorders and deliver interventions that work.

Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working directly with practitioners in different settings. For those seeking professional licensing, the practicum hours are designed to count toward licensing requirements.

“The practicum provides students with real-world clinical training, so they can further develop and strengthen their assessment, diagnostic and interventions skills,” said Liliana Lengua, director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being at the UW.

The master’s degree is designed to fit around work schedules, with courses mostly meeting in the late afternoons, evenings or weekends on the UW Seattle campus, supplemented by online conferencing. Students can choose between a one-year, full-time program and a two-year, part-time option.

Those interested in learning more can attend information meetings this winter. Early applications received by March 1 will be given priority. The final deadline to apply for this fall is May 1, 2017.

The Master of Arts in Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology is offered by the UW Department of Psychology in partnership with UW Continuum College. Continuum College expands the University of Washington’s educational impact by meeting the needs of learners wherever they are in life — and wherever they intend to go.

For more information, contact psychma@uw.edu

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