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Graduate Program (MA)

Masters Programs Concentration of Study

Child and Family Policy and Programs

This concentration is geared to students interested in careers in child-, family-, or community-focused non-profit service and advocacy organizations; public agencies at the local, state, and national levels; and policy-oriented research organizations. Although CFPP is rooted in developmental theory and research, its primary objective is to expand students' knowledge of the policy process, and of critical U.S. policies, programs, and public practices, also expressed at the local and state level as individual “programs,” that affect children and families. Understanding the socio-cultural contexts in which these public policies are lodged, and the ways in which these contexts influence their implementation and effectiveness, are also key feature of the CFPP. In addition, students gain direct experience, through a capstone internship, in a policy-oriented venue. Students in this concentration will help the field bridge the yawning gap between the research and policy worlds. Students choosing the CFPP concentration may fulfill it with a combination of graduate-level coursework at Eliot-Pearson and other Tufts academic departments, and relevant previous courses and experiences that demonstrate competence in critical domains. In this way, then, the CFPP is a customized concentration, reflecting what the student brings into the MA program. So for example, CFPP students should be informed consumers, and competent producers, of data-based policy reports for general audiences; if a student enters the MA program with previous applied data analysis coursework, or work experiences that demonstrate having those skills, no additional coursework in this area at Eliot-Pearson is required. Departmental course requirements for the MA degree, however, remain in force.

MA Proseminar (1 course for 0.5)

Foundational and Theory requirements (2 courses)

  • Contemporary and Critical Perspectives in Child Development, CD 211
  • Advanced Intellectual Development, CD51, 251 or approved alternate
  • Language Development CD155 or approved alternate
  • Advanced Personal and Social development, CD161, 261 or approved alternate
  • Applied Developmental Science Theory, CD248

Policy content courses (2 required)

  • CD/UEP 282: Social policies for children and families (core: required)
  • Additional policy-focused course, eg.,:
    • CD/UEP 188: Seminar on Government and Families
    • CD/UEP 181: Child Care Policy and Practice
    • CD 172: Bilingual Children in U.S. Schools

Socio-cultural context of programs and policies (1 course required)

  • CD 211: Contemporary and Critical Perspectives on Child Development (can also count for one theory course)
  • CD 153: Culture and Learning: Issues in Education
  • CD 164: Cultural Diversity in Child and Family Services (can also count as policy course)
  • CD 262: Cultural Sensitivity in Child and Family Research/Practice
  • CD 172: Bilingual Children in U.S. Schools (can also count as policy course)

Research methods (1 course)

  • Program Evaluation, CD247 (recommended)
  • Research Design and Methods, CD142
  • Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods, CD144

Statistical methods (1 course)

  • Statistical methods, CD 140 or approved alternate

Concentration Elective (1 course)

  • Relevant course to be chosen according to student interest and background.

Applied or Thesis Track

  • For the thesis track, 1.5 credits consisting thesis (CD245 and CD246), public defense and attendance at the defenses of 3 other MA students.
  • For applied track, 1 credit for applied internship (CD232) and 0.5 for capstone seminar (CD143)