For detailed degree and program information, please consult the Handbook of Graduate Study which can be found at https://childhood.camden.rutgers.edu.
Master of Arts Program
Students in the master of arts (M.A.) program complete the following program of study in approximately two years.
Most classes will be offered in late afternoon and early evening. General Overview
A student must devote a minimum of one-and-a-half years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree for the M.A. (30 credits). Full-time study for one semester is represented by 9 credits of coursework or research. Successful completion of the degree program requires both fulfilling the credit requirement and the submission and defense of a major paper (the latter is described below). For an overview of the general requirements, see the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
Students are expected to maintain, at minimum, a B (3.0) average throughout the program of study. In the event that a student's cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0, a meeting with the director of graduate studies (DGS) will be arranged to discuss the reasons behind the performance and what steps, if any, need to be taken to bring the student in line with the requirement.
General Timeline for Completion for Full-time Study
The following comes into effect immediately
and retroactively applies to all currently enrolled M.A. students. These students may undertake an M.A. project in
lieu of the earlier M.A. paper.
- Take childhood studies courses from a variety of perspectives.
semester, consult regularly with the DGS or assigned faculty adviser.
- By end of second
semester, choose an adviser who will supervise the M.A. project.
- Beginning of third
semester, submit one-page (single-spaced) plan of study to your adviser.
- End of third semester,
all required courses should be completed.
- Beginning of third or
fourth semester (depending on when graduation is anticipated), indicate
intention to submit a final M.A. project and take the oral exam.
second semester of their first year, students should identify a faculty member
who will serve as her or his adviser and with whom he or she will consult
concerning the M.A. project.
M.A. Project and Defense
The M.A. project and its defense
serve as the final requirements that must be satisfied prior to
graduation. The M.A. project should be
viewed as an opportunity for you to showcase the knowledge and skills learned in
your childhood studies courses. The project
could include, but is not limited to, the following:
- An academic paper - The M.A. project might have
its origins in a paper submitted for a graduate course in childhood studies. You may wish to revise and
enlarge the paper, including conducting additional research. M.A Project papers typically range from 30 to
- Development of curricular materials - The M.A. project
might involve creating or revising educational materials for use in schools or
other educational settings.
- Conducting a program evaluation - Those working in the nonprofit sector may
want to use the M.A. project to assess a particular organizational initiative.
- Developing a media-based project - M.A. projects
may also involve the development of audiovisual materials, such as a website,
video, or podcast.
- Creating a civic engagement project - The M.A. project could involve designing a practical
program of civic engagement on a particular issue aimed at a specific age-group
and might include working with community members to assess needs and receive
Before undertaking any of the
above projects, or perhaps something that is not included above, the student
should discuss their ideas with the faculty adviser. The student, who works
under the direction of the faculty adviser, revises and enlarges the project as
necessary--including conducting additional research--until a final version is
approved by the adviser.The length of
final projects will vary but, all projects will include a written component drawing
connections to relevant issues and perspectives in childhood studies, as well
as an extensive bibliography.
The process of developing and
finalizing the M.A. project is intensive and ongoing. Students need to plan for
the time needed to conduct additional research and expect that their project
will undergo numerous revisions. Perhaps as many as three or four versions of
the project will be required before it is deemed acceptable. Childhood studies
faculty who will attend the oral hearing must receive the approved, final
version of the M.A. project no later than two weeks prior to the oral hearing.
Once a version acceptable to the
adviser is completed, the student is approved for the oral examination. The reading committee for the M.A. project defense is comprised of two faculty
members, in addition to the faculty adviser. The student, in consultation with
the faculty adviser, will select the reading committee members.
Once the reading committee
members have agreed to serve, the scheduling of the exam may proceed. The exam
will be scheduled for one hour and will consist of a brief presentation.
Faculty will then pose questions to the student about the submitted project. At
the conclusion of the exam, the faculty will determine if the oral exam and project
have satisfactorily met the standards of competence in childhood studies and
will inform the student immediately of its decision.
Doctor of Philosophy Program
All students in the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program follow the program of study below, with most completing the courses in two or three years.
Although the program is intended for full-time students, part-time students are accepted into the program (see definition of part-time doctoral study below). Most classes will be offered in the late afternoon and early evening. Please consult the Graduate Student Handbook for a full description of program requirements and expectations: https://childhood.camden.rutgers.edu.
A student must devote a minimum of two-and-a-half years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree for the Ph.D. Full-time study for a semester is represented by a minimum of 9 credits of coursework or research. The minimum requirement for the Ph.D. degree is 60 credits, of which at least 15 credits must be devoted to research. If any of the work is conducted on a part-time basis, the minimum calendar time required will, of course, be longer.
Students are expected to maintain, at minimum, a B (3.0) average throughout the program of study. In the event that a student's cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0, a meeting with the DGS will be arranged to discuss the reasons behind the performance and what steps, if any, need to be taken to bring the student in line with the requirement.
If a student enters the doctoral program with a master's degree or other graduate credit, up to 20 credits may be put toward satisfying the course/credit requirements of the Department of Childhood Studies pending approval of the DGS and the dean of the graduate school. No student can finalize transfer of outside credits toward the Ph.D. degree until after passing the second year review. Students requesting transfer credits must provide syllabi from the courses they wish to be
considered, in addition to the materials required by the Graduate School-Camden.
See the Transfer Credit section for details.
Definition of Part-Time Doctoral StudyBeginning with the fall 2010 entering class, all students in the doctoral program must carry a minimum of 6 credits (normally, two courses) per academic semester, not counting Summer Sessions. Exceptions to the 6-credit minimum may be granted on a temporary basis in extraordinary circumstances. Students seeking exceptions must petition the DGS in writing, describing the reasons for and expected duration of the exception. This petition must be received prior to the semester for which the request is to take effect.
Nonmatriculation Policy for Prospective Doctoral StudentsStudents will not be admitted to the doctoral program on a nonmatriculation basis. The department will accept a maximum of 3 credits taken at Rutgers-Camden on a nonmatriculation basis. No specific course requirement (proseminar sequence, methods requirements, focused coursework) will be allowed to be counted toward the Ph.D. degree if taken as a nonmatriculated student.
General Course Requirements (one course usually earns 3 credits)
Required courses in research methodology 9 credits
Required proseminar sequence 6 credits
Theories of Childhood Studies 3 credits
Course requirement for children in context 6 credits
Thesis/research credits 15 credits (minimum)
Electives and focused coursework in childhood studies 24 credits
General Timeline for Completion for Full-Time Study
(one course usually earns 3 credits)
Beginning with the cohort entering in fall 2015:
courses in research methodology 9
- Required proseminar sequence 6
of Childhood Studies 3
Studies Core Curriculum 18
- Thesis/research 15
and focused coursework in childhood studies 9 credits
Students who entered the Ph.D.
program prior to fall 2015 should consult the Handbook of Graduate Study for
the year in which they first matriculated for specific course requirements.
Consult with the director of graduate studies regarding whether any transfer credits may count toward
fulfilling degree requirements.
Ideal Timeline for Completion for Full-time
- Satisfy proseminar requirements. Majority of courses taken should
- (September) second year review for students with 18 or more resident credits (faculty
approval required to continue studies).
of second year: All required courses should be
completed. Secure an adviser by end of spring semester.
- Assemble preliminary examination/dissertation committee.
- Take preliminary examination/complete dissertation proposal hearing.
research and begin writing draft chapters of dissertation.
General Description of Course Requirements
Each entering doctoral student is required to take the two-semester proseminar (6 credits) in his or her first year of study. The proseminar introduces beginning doctoral students to the history, theories, research, and controversies of childhood studies and to the department's faculty and their research. While gaining an overview of the central issues and learning a common language, students in the proseminar begin to locate their own interests more precisely within the field of childhood studies. The proseminar must be taken as a sequence beginning in the fall semester; spring semester admissions are not allowed.
Within the 45 credits of coursework (i.e., 21 credits of required courses and 24 credits of electives), students must complete at least three courses in research methods (9 credits). In order to provide a useful background for understanding constructively the field's wide-ranging literature and to develop competency in a variety of research methods appropriate to the study of children and childhoods, one course will normally be quantitative, another qualitative, and a third in literary or historical methods. It is highly recommended that students take these courses with departmental faculty, when possible, but may take relevant courses in quantitative or nonquantitative methods elsewhere on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the DGS if in doubt whether a specific course will satisfy the research methods requirement or not.
Theories of Childhood Studies
This course draws on writings in philosophy, cultural
anthropology, literary theory, sociology, film and media studies, history, and
feminist theory, that are of significance for childhood studies. The expectation is that students will
understand key theorists and be able to use them to
theorize critical aspects of childhood and children's lives.Students are also expected to demonstrate an
awareness of the importance of theory to interdisciplinary research.
Children in Context
To provide for a solid footing for interdisciplinary research, all students are required to complete at least two courses that examine children in context (6 credits). Typically, students fulfill this requirement by enrolling in two or more of the following four classes: Child Growth and Development, Children and Childhood in Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Youth Identities and Urban Ecology, History of Childhood, or Literary and Cultural Constructions of Childhood. Other seminars may be substituted for the above with permission of the DGS. The overriding concern behind this requirement is to encourage students to take courses offered in a variety of disciplines.
Focused Coursework in Childhood Studies
In the spring of the second year of study, and in consultation with her or his adviser or the DGS, each student begins to craft a long-range plan for her or his course of study with a focus on developing the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge that will provide the foundation for the doctoral dissertation.
It is sometimes advantageous for students to undertake an independent study under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member if a student's specific interest cannot be satisfied by regularly offered courses. After obtaining preliminary approval from the faculty member with whom the student desires to work independently, the student, in consultation with the faculty member, devises a plan for the course, including the number of meetings and a brief description of any written work or other activities that will take place (e.g., travel to a research site) over the course of the independent study. Doctoral students are allowed up to two independent study courses on their degree plans (6 credits).
In order to register for an independent study course, the student must fill out a form, obtainable from the Department of Childhood Studies, that outlines the purpose of the course and is signed by the faculty supervisor. A relevant bibliography of potential readings should be attached. It is required that the student plan and propose the course in advance of the semester in which it is to be taken.