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Lynch School of Education

Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology

master of arts (m.a.) degree

The Lynch School of Education Master’s program in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology (ADEP) is designed for students who seek to enhance their understanding of human development. 

The program provides training in applied development for educators, service providers, advocates, and researchers. It is designed for those who wish to understand and serve the needs of children, adults, and communities.

Our program embeds challenging academic work and a collegial intellectual environment within the broader culture of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, which seeks to promote social justice and enhance the human condition.


Please visit the Program of Study page to download information on the M.A. / Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology program requirements.

The Master’s program is maximally flexible: 30 credits (ten 3-credit courses) are required, which can be completed in a one-year period, or spread over two or more years.

The curriculum includes a core set of program requirements that provide depth in the cognitive and social/affective processes of human development, the central contexts which affect and structure the lives of children and adults, and the primary scientific methods of understanding human development and analyzing social issues and social structures that support or impede development and well-being.

In addition to the core requirements, students choose one of six focus areas: 

  • Education
  • Prevention and Promotion
  • Community Psychology and Social Justice
  • Research
  • Early Childhood
  • Individualized

Click here to learn more about the six focus areas.

In each focus area, students take additional courses which are designed to provide skills and learning targeted towards particular career choices and employment options, such as teaching, program development, research, advocacy, and policy. Some focus areas also include applied or research internships. In all focus areas, a final requirement is a Critical Literature Review or Empirical Study, which allows students to gain expertise in an individually-designated area.

Students with particular interests in Human Rights and International Justice are encouraged to consider the Certificate offered by the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice which can be completed concurrently with the MA.

See the Programs of Study for details on our core program requirements.


What types of jobs do graduates of the ADEP Master's program hold?

Teacher (early childhood, elementary, secondary)
Professor (college, university)
Social worker
Learning specialist (secondary)
Success coach/Academic counselor (college)
Academic advosor (college, university)
Assistant director of experiential learning (university)
Special education tutor (secondary)
Education coordinator (private company)
Research assistant (university)
Doctoral Candidate (university)