The Undergraduate Certificate in Childhood and Adolescence Studies (CAS) covers topics related to children and their social worlds. Through its classes, students examine how race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability impact development and cognition. CAS is an interdisciplinary program built around a core of liberal arts courses, with primary course offerings in sociology and psychology, and other complementary courses drawn in from health sciences, social work, education, and criminal justice.

Students complete the certificate with a better understanding of children and adolescence and how they are affected by society, culture, religion, politics, economics, health, and education policy. The certificate complements a number of different majors including education, psychology, sociology, social work and political science, and can make graduates more marketable for jobs that involve working with children.

Certificates are similar to minors in terms of credit requirements but draw on coursework from multiple fields of study rather than from a single department.


The Childhood and Adolescence Studies Undergraduate Certificate is intended to enhance a bachelor’s degree. The Program is open to all students seeking a bachelor’s degree from UWM and to students who previously have received a bachelor’s degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university. Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.


To obtain the certificate, the student must complete, with a minimum grade point average of 2.500, at least 18 credits in approved childhood and adolescence studies courses as indicated below. Courses for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Twelve of the 18 required credits must be earned in residence at UWM. Of these twelve residence credits, nine must be taken at the 300 level or above. Of the 18 required credits, 12 must be in the College of Letters and Science, with at least six of these at the 300 level or above. Three credits must be elected from outside the College of Letters and Science. No more than nine credits from any one department may count toward the Childhood and Adolescence Studies Certificate.

A maximum of six credits in Independent Study may count toward program requirements.

PSYCH 260Child Psychology3
ANTHRO 446The Child in Different Cultures3
Electives 1
Select at least 6 credits from approved Letters and Science courses below6
Select at least 3 credits from approved Non-L&S courses below3
Select 3 additional credits from the list of approved courses below3
Total Credits18

Students may petition the CAS Advisory Committee for approval of appropriate courses not on the approved list.

Approved Courses

Independent study courses focusing on children and adolescents may be accepted with the approval of the CAS Advisory Committee. If a core course is not offered in the years an undergraduate student is pursuing the certificate, the student can petition the CAS Advisory Committee to accept another course in its stead. Other courses not on this list but relevant to the study of children and adolescents may be accepted with the approval of the CAS Advisory Committee.

Credits earned at other institutions equivalent to courses in the certificate program may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the program requirements, subject to review by the CAS Advisory Committee. Students currently enrolled at UWM who have fulfilled some of the program’s requirements prior to the program’s approval may have their credits applied retroactively to the certificate program.

Letters and Science
AFRIC 314The School in African-American Life3
AFRIC 451Rites of Passage in Black Societies3
AFRIC 545Raising Children, 'Race-ing' Children3
COMPLIT 135Experiencing Literature in the 21st Century: (Youth Culture in the Middle East Through Literature, Art, and Film)3
ENGLISH/FILMSTD 312Topics in Film, Television and Digital Studies: (Troubled Teens)3
FILMSTD 212Intermediate Topics in Film and Television Studies: (Teens on TV)3
FRENCH 426Growing Up French3
HONORS 200Honors Seminar: The Shaping of the Modern Mind: (Growing Up)3
INTLST 550Senior Seminar in International Studies: (Global Youth Language and Culture)3
PSYCH 205Personality3
PSYCH 660Experimental Child Psychology4
SOCIOL 246Juvenile Delinquency3
SOCIOL 248Sociology of Education3
SOCIOL 448Sociology of Children and Adolescents3
Non-L&S Courses
COMSDIS 240Normal Speech and Language Development3
CRM JST 671Juvenile Justice3
CURRINS 233Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature3
CURRINS 650Reading Interests of Adolescents3
CURRINS 651Literature for the Young Child3
ED POL 534Students Placed At Risk: Deconstructing Risk, Defining Promise3
ED POL/EXCEDUC/SOC WRK 580An Overview of Child/Youth Care3
ED POL/SOC WRK 581Youth Work Practice3
ED PSY 330Introduction to Learning and Development3
ED PSY 640Human Development: Theory and Research3
EXCEDUC/ED POL/SOC WRK 580An Overview of Child/Youth Care3
EXCEDUC 600Survey of Exceptional Education3
HCA 203Human Life Cycle3
INFOST 645Library Materials for Children3
INFOST 646Library Materials for Young Adults3
INFOST 691Special Topics in Information Science: (African American History in Children's Literature; GLBTQ Literature for Young Adults; or Multicultural Children's Literature)1-3
NURS 203Human Growth and Development Across the Life Span4
NUTR 245Life Cycle Nutrition3
PH 206Child and Adolescent Health3
PH 306Adolescent Health & Development3
SOC WRK 250Human Behavior and the Social Environment3
SOC WRK 562Child and Family Services3
SOC WRK 580/ED POL 581An Overview of Child/Youth Care3
SOC WRK 581Youth Work Practice3

Summer 2024: Upcoming Courses in Program

Check catalog for compatibility -

Fall 2024: Upcoming Courses in Program

Check catalog for compatibility -

Certificates are similar to minors and generally require the completion of six to eight classes. Unlike a minor where all of the classes come from a single subject area, the classes come from multiple subject areas related to the theme of the certificate. Certificates are typically earned in conjunction with a degree though some certificates are available as a standalone credential.