About Our Master of Science Degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health
Please note that up to 12 credit hours can be taken prior to acceptance into the program. For information on taking classes as a non-degree seeking student, visit the USF website. Please contact the Program Director, Academic Services Administrator, or Concentration Director for more information on admissions and the application process.
The Master of Science (MS) Degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health (MSCABH) prepares professionals to serve in public and non-profit agencies and schools that work with diverse children and adolescents experiencing behavioral health challenges and their families. Surveys and interviews with potential employers have shown there is high demand for master’s degree level graduates to fill positions such as directors, supervisors, and case managers in mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, developmental disability, and child welfare agencies, as well as consultants in schools and early education and care programs. Educational opportunities include advancement to doctoral programs in public health and the behavioral and social sciences. Download general flyer.
The unique and distinctive curriculum of the MSCABH:
- focuses on children and adolescents with behavioral health challenges who interact with multiple service sectors and cross geographic and political boundaries
- supports the development of a highly skilled, culturally competent workforce and professionals with high levels of education and training who are especially needed for administration of behavioral healthcare and related community services
- provides interdisciplinary training and transformational learning opportunities that are intellectually and scientifically sound through a multidisciplinary faculty that is involved in cutting-edge research related to best practices and behavioral health policies.
This interdisciplinary program includes core courses and electives addressing emerging national priorities, including:
- increasing diversity and leadership capacity in the behavioral health workforce
- cross-training in prevention
- increasing knowledge about developmental disabilities in combination with behavioral health, and
- closing the research-to-practice gap through translational research education.
Concentrations within the MSCABH are:
- Developmental Disabilities
- Leadership in Child/Adolescent Behavioral Health
- Research and Evaluation
- Youth and Behavioral Health
Thesis and Applied (Non-Thesis) Tracks
The MSCABH program offers both a thesis track and an applied (non-thesis) track that includes field experience and a project.
Thesis Track Requirements:
Students selecting the Thesis Track will complete 6 hours of thesis research. The thesis will consist of original research designed and conducted by the student under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The student will conduct the thesis research study once approved by the committee, then write the thesis document and defend the study before the committee.
Applied Track Requirements:
Students selecting the Applied Track will complete 6 credits of field placement and complete a related final paper. The student will assemble an Applied Track Committee that includes their faculty advisor and a second faculty member. This committee must approve the field placement site, the topic of study, and the final paper.