Certificate in Positive Youth Development

The certificate in Positive Youth Development equips professionals with an understanding of the theoretical, empirical and experiential bases of the Positive Youth Development (PYD) model. PYD offers an applied perspective to frame applications (programs and policies) for promoting positive development among youth living in diverse communities. The certificate benefits early- and mid-career professional youth development leaders for careers in agencies, institutions, schools, nonprofits, and community organizations that serve youth.

Get Started

Faculty Program Coordinator
Dr. Jacqueline Lerner

Apply Now

At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 4 courses for a total of 12 credits. 

How long will it take?

The certificate requirements may be completed in one year.


Program Faculty & Expertise

What will I study?

Course Course Title Credit Offered Every Fall Offered Every Spring Offered Every Summer
APSY 7419

Applied Adolescent Development

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the theoretical and empirical knowledge base concerning adolescent development. In particular, four broad areas will be considered: (1) psychological, biological, and cognitive transitions; (2) central developmental tasks of adolescence; (3) primary contextual influences; and (4) prevalent types of problematic functioning that emerge during adolescence.

3 X X X
APSY 7420

Positive Youth Development 

Applied Developmental Science (ADS) uses research about human development to inform programs and policies pertinent to topics of social importance. Students will integrate readings about and class discussions of ADS theory and research with information about community-based programs.

3 X    
APSY 8620

Social Issues & Social Policy

This seminar provides participants with a foundation of knowledge concerning current social policy issues involving children and families in the U.S., with a particular focus on issues related to poverty and disadvantage. Considers how research, politics, and advocacy play a role in the initiation, implementation, and evaluation of policy, and how social policies impact children and families.

3   X (odd years)  

Application Information



Early Decision
November 1
Regular Decision
December 1
Late Decision
March 1

Application Form

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants.



In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include:

  • Any teaching or counseling experience (including any licenses already held);
  • Any social justice related experience; 
  • Any language skills other than English (especially Spanish language skills) and;
  • Any research experience or publications


Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.



Official transcripts, bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar or relevant administrator, are required for all post-secondary education. Undergraduate transcripts are required and graduate level transcripts are accepted, but not required. Official transcripts are only required after acceptance and that unofficial copies are acceptable to be uploaded in the application.

Transcripts must be mailed to the following address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education
Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467