Bachelor of Arts in Youth Studies

Format: Online, Synchronous, Asynchronous
Application Deadlines
  • Spring 2024 Priority Deadline: November 6, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Regular Deadline: December 4, 2023

There are over 73 million people under the age of 24 living in the United States who face multiple inherited crises with defiance and creativity. In the US, there are approximately 2.5 million youth workers and counting. This continued growth confirms the urgent need for credentialled, professional development opportunities for those who are partnering with young people to co-create a better future.

The BA in Youth Studies degree program helps fill this critical need by ensuring that staff have the skills, knowledge, competencies, and commitments to ally with young people. The degree provides the concrete skill development needed to work with this age group while infusing an approach rooted in critical youth studies and a commitment to a social justice orientation. 

The BA in Youth Studies was designed in collaboration with alumni, current students, and professors of the MA in Youth Studies degree program, as well as staff from youth-serving nonprofits and city agencies. This participatory approach to program design by differently positioned people in the field means that this degree offers relevant skills grounded in day-to-day youth-work practice as well as a visionary view of the competencies needed for the future of the field.

The degree offers multiple paths towards successful completion of the program such as Credit for Prior Learning, which acknowledges a candidate’s experience in the world of work. The program also offers multiple opportunities to acquire and stack credentials in the field through agencies such as the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Administration for Children's Services, and the New York State Network for Youth Success. Acquiring this credential means that graduates will be eligible for higher salaries, promotions, and a variety of positions across the youth-serving sector.

Mode of Learning

The BA in Youth Studies offers students the flexibility of completing their degree while working full-time, part-time, or at a distance.

Meeting the needs of today’s student, the degree offers options of learning where students have a mix of online course content combined with online and remote asynchronous and synchronous class meetings.

Each course has a mix of asynchronous and synchronous components. In a 15 week course, students will meet 6-7 times in a synchronous (live virtual meeting) from 6:15-9:15pm EST via zoom. All other weeks, coursework is to be completed independently.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the BA in Youth Studies are well prepared to design and offer programs that exemplify best practices in youth work. Students graduate with the skills to run or work in programs for youth, communities, and families in the out-of-school time, community centers, credible messenger networks, juvenile justice, child welfare, arts and sports-based youth development, advocacy/activism, college access, and success and workforce development for young adults. For students who wish to continue their education, graduating with a BA in Youth Studies prepares candidates to enter rigorous academic fields and graduate programs in education, social work, psychology amongst other types of departments of study. 

Additionally, students can earn up to nine credits towards the 30 credit MA in Youth Studies degree, allowing them to consider and pursue graduate education while on track for their undergraduate degree.

Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements are formal agreements between CUNY School of Professional Studies, (CUNY SPS) and two-year colleges and universities, allowing students to transfer the maximum number of credits with ease to our BS in Information Systems program from institutions with which we have an established transfer process in place.

Meet our Faculty

Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop

Adjunct Faculty, Youth Studies

Headshot of Manijeh Hart
Manijeh Hart

Adjunct Lecturer

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must possess at least 24 transferable credits from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. For applicants with GPAs below 2.5, please see CUNY SPS’s Jump Start program as a supportive pathway to admission.  Applicants need to demonstrate basic proficiency in reading, writing, and math, per CUNY standards. Students can transfer up to 60 credits from other undergraduate institutions, Credit for Prior Learning, and CLEP exams.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring 2024 Priority Deadline: November 6, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Regular Deadline: December 4, 2023
Apply Now

Recent News About Bachelor of Arts in Youth Studies

The cover of "Whiting Out" by CUNY SPS Youth Studies Professor Dr. Elizabeth Bishop

Youth Studies Professor Dr. Elizabeth Bishop Publishes Anti-Racist Book

November 14, 2023

Whiting Out: Writing on Vulnerability, Racism and Repair

CUNY SPS Youth Studies Professor Dr. Elizabeth Bishop recently published her book "Whiting Out: Writing on Vulnerability, Racism and Repair." The book "Whiting Out" is for both aspiring and experienced teachers (especially white folks), as well as anyone open to writing new narratives and imagining new possible worlds. The text calls upon all critical educators to (re)commit to deep learning toward our collective anti-racist queer-inclusive liberation, toward intersectional futures where healing, justice, and repair are prioritized.
Two CUNY SPS students looking at tablet computer together

CUNY SPS Celebrates Highest Enrollment and Largest Transfer Student Class

October 20, 2023

In an eye-popping increase, over 4,400 students enrolled at CUNY SPS for the Fall 2023 semester.

Dr. Regina Bernard is smiling and is in a natural setting

Dr. Regina Bernard Earns Fellowship

October 13, 2023

Social Practice CUNY

CUNY SPS Associate Professor and Academic Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Regina Bernard was recently named as a faculty fellow in the SPCUNY educational network. The SPCUNY educational network amplifies the collective power of socially engaged artists, scholars, and advocates throughout CUNY's rich tapestry of faculty, staff, and students working for social justice. Based at the CUNY Graduate Center, SPCUNY’s theory of educational transformation fosters structures for diverse creative leaders who will empower New York City as an inclusive, justice-driven cultural landscape. This initiative is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CUNY Office of Research Awards $400,000 in Seed Funding to 10 Cross-Disciplinary Research Projects

April 03, 2023

CUNY Office of Research

Dr. Regina A. Bernard-Carreno, associate professor in the CUNY SPS youth studies program, is one of several researchers who have been awarded the CUNY 2023 Interdisciplinary Research Grant (IRG). Offered by the CUNY Office of Research, this grant funds projects that join expertise across disciplines and stipulate a clear path to expansion and new external funding. Dr. Bernard-Carreno will collaborate with Anna Ortega-Williams from Hunter College on “NYC Land-Based Historical Trauma Healing Project,” which will look at how gardens and urban farms affect the well-being of youth of color in the context of historical trauma and structural racism. Dr. MacLachlan, director of grants and research programs for the CUNY Office of Research, is also a student in the CUNY SPS MS in Research Administration and Compliance program.