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Child Studies FAQ

What are the goals of the program?
The explicit goal of the Child Studies Master’s program is to train knowledgeable practitioners and researchers in a range of fields related to child and adolescent development and to best prepare students for eventual careers in related applied fields or for further doctoral study.

Specifically, while working toward Master's degrees, students will deepen their understanding of:

  • How children and adolescents develop, learn, and think
  • How families, schools, and communities impact children's development
  • How to interpret, design, and conduct research related to children and adolescents
  • How to translate theory-based knowledge into practical strategies for workplace, research, and academic settings
  • How to influence policy
  • How to strengthen children, families, and neighborhoods

What is the minimum GRE score and GPA required?
Under the GRE scoring system instituted in 2011, a combined GRE score of at least 300 is expected in order to be considered a competitive applicant. If the GRE was taken before the scoring system was changed (prior to 2011), a minimum score of at least 1000 is expected. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is also expected.

Applicants are reviewed holistically, however, and additional application materials, such as the personal statement and recommendation letters, are considered an important part of the application and given serious consideration in addition to grades and GRE scores.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Students who are enrolled full-time are able to complete the program within 1½ to 2 years.

What if I have not completed the prerequisite courses required for this program?
Ideally, students should complete their prerequisite courses before admittance. Applicants who have a strong academic record, however, may have the flexibility to complete these courses in their first semester of the program, if approved by the program director.

When is the application deadline for the program?
The program has a summer start date (course work typically begins in early July). All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by December 31 of the previous year in order to receive priority consideration for admission and financial aid. Applications are considered on a rolling basis, however, and will be reviewed through June, prior to the July start date.

Can I visit Vanderbilt to learn more about the program?
A student visitation day for applicants occurs in February each year. After applications are submitted, information will be sent about the visitation day. If you would like to arrange a visit and campus tour before or instead of the visitation day, please contact the Program Coordinator, Ally Armstead.

When will applicants be informed of admission decisions?
Most applicants will be informed of an admission decision by early March, prior to the summer they are to begin the program. Vanderbilt undergraduate students applying to the program as a fifth year option will receive notice before the start of the Spring semester of their Senior year.

Must I have an undergraduate major in psychology to compete for a position in the M.Ed. in Child Studies program?
No. The program is open to students from varied disciplines. We are looking for bright, motivated individuals who have a strong interest in working with children and families, regardless of their specific academic background. Those without a major in psychology may not have completed the required pre-requisite courses, however, and will want to pay particular attention to these pre-requisite requirements to insure that they are completed before admittance to the program or that other appropriate arrangements are made.

Is financial aid available for this program?
Information about financial aid for Peabody College Master's students can be found on this page.

Is there a place to view a list of available scholarships?
All applicants to the Child Studies program are considered for a limited number of Dean's Partial Tuition Scholarships (DTS) and Peabody Honors Scholarships (PHS) at the time of their application review. These scholarships cover 1/3 to 2/3 of tuition, respectively. These awards are based on students’ application to the program; no additional materials are required for consideration of these awards. In addition, students can apply separately, where applicable, for Dean’s Endowed and Special Award Funds. More information on those scholarships and how to apply can be found here

Where do I send recommendations?
The online application allows for students to designate and enter the names and emails of those individuals who will serve as applicants’ sources of recommendations.

If those providing recommendations choose to submit outside of the online process, all materials should be sent to the following:

Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833
U.S.A.

Whom should I contact for more information about the program?
For initial information, please contact Ally Armstead, Program Coordinator.

Should you require further assistance with application materials, please contact Kim Brazil, Director of Graduate Admissions.