MA Child & Youth Study FAQs

We understand that you may have some questions about the program, costs and funding, and the application procedure. If you don’t find answers to your questions here, please call or email us.

The Program

What is the MA (CYS)?

The Master of Arts (Child & Youth Study) is an advanced degree program that will allow you to examine the theories behind the professional practice of caring for, educating, and supporting children and youth. This degree aims to provide a solid foundation for students who have the potential to pursue doctoral studies in Child & Youth Study, or who want to pursue teaching, research, and advance their careers in the field.

Students in this program complete eight graduate courses, then perform original research to complete a thesis.

Thesis research is specialized; students consult with their supervisors to develop an appropriate theoretical framework based on each student’s familiarity with, and interest in, a particular area of study.

If you are considering applying to the MA (CYS), you should consider the academic interests of current faculty when choosing a thesis topic. Each student thesis must be supervised by a faculty member with a similar research background.

Visit the faculty profile pages to learn about the academic interests of faculty members.

How long does the program take to complete?

Completion times vary. Depending on course availability, and whether you want to study full-time or part-time, you can finish the MA (CYS) in as little as two years.

Part-time students have up to five years to complete the program requirements.

Do you offer flexible and distance learning options?

Yes! Many of our students work full- or part-time, have families, and other personal and professional commitments. We offer a variety of learning options, including full- or part-time enrolment and evening classes.

If I have an interest in pursuing the MA (CYS), how do I find information about the research backgrounds of potential supervisors?

Visit the faculty profile pages to learn about the academic interests of faculty members. These pages describe our faculty’s research interests, publications, and academic and professional backgrounds.

What careers will the MA (CYS) prepare me for?

MA (CYS) graduates are employed in a wide range of settings and services for children, youth and families. Recent MA (CYS) graduates hold the following positions:

· Instructor, Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education

· Full-time Instructor (Youth Care), Seneca College

· Special Needs Regional Support Coordinator

· Youth Care Coordinator

· Coordinator of Preschool Outreach Programs Early Intervention Centre

· Program Administration Officer, Department of Community Services

· PhD Candidates, Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University

What is the expected workload?

Graduate students should come prepared to do a greater amount of reading and independent study, compared to undergraduate students. Classes normally meet once a week in a three-hour seminar format where students analyze and discuss assigned readings. Graduate students are expected to go beyond the assigned readings to broaden their knowledge.

Money Matters

Do you offer any scholarships, awards or financial aid?

MA (CYS) students are eligible for several internal and external scholarships vetted by the Mount’s Office of Graduate Studies. Visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Research and Funding page for more information on scholarships, bursaries, assistantships, and other funding opportunities.

Applicants will automatically be considered for entrance scholarships. We also encourage all applicants to apply for external awards, including Canada Graduate Scholarships.

What are the program costs?

Please visit our tuition and fees webpage.

Applying to the Program

How do I apply?

Please visit our graduation application webpage.

Do both my references have to be academic references?

Applicants with work experience in the field who have been away from the classroom for some time may use one academic reference and one professional reference.

How should I instruct my referees?

You should provide you referees with the reference form contained in the Graduate Supplementary Application package. You should request that your referees provide us with specific examples of your abilities, knowledge, professional experience and motivation for advanced study in Child and Youth Studies. We encourage referees to attach a more detailed letter of reference to the reference form.

Get more advice on instructing your referees »

Do I need the GMAT?

No, a GMAT score is not required.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline changes from year to year but is usually around mid-February. While all candidates who apply by the deadline are guaranteed consideration, we continue to review applications until the program is full.

May I transfer credits to obtain advanced standing?

If you have completed graduate courses before applying to the MA (CYS), your file will be assessed on an individual basis to determine which courses might be applied to this degree.

Who makes the admission decision?

The Admissions Office will ensure that your file is complete. Complete files are then forwarded to the departmental graduate studies committee which makes the final decision.

How can I contact you?

Do you still have questions about our graduate programs, the admissions process, the campus, or life in Halifax? Call or email us—we’d love to hear from you.

Department of Child & Youth Study


(902) 457-6255

Dr. Shane Theunissen Graduate Program Coordinator

Graduate Student Recruitment Officer

Mr. Randy Headley <>

Tel.: 902.457.5502

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