Graduate Program

Prevention Science Program

This specialization prepares students for a variety of careers, from applied work in the human services to contributing to the knowledge base as a researcher or policy analyst. All students in this specialization obtain in-depth coursework in the processes of lifespan development and normative family functioning as well as theories of prevention science and risk and resilience. They also complete a skill-based sequence involving grant writing, how to develop and evaluate programs, and how to design and analyze research studies. Working with their adviser, students in Prevention Science select additional elective courses that support their career goals. Examples of careers that students in Prevention Science have entered include:

Prevention Science - Program of Study


Many of our graduates manage intervention and support programs in the human services sector. These include comprehensive family centers, hospices, adolescent treatment centers, social services agencies, Extension offices, support programs for the elderly, and school-based diagnosis and intervention programs. Students learn intervention skills that allow them to apply their in-depth knowledge of normative development and family functioning. These skills include program planning and evaluation, program administration, grant writing, research design, and technical communication.

Policy Analyst

Several graduates have gone on to careers in policy analysis, either for state governments or in academic settings. Elective course work on policy analysis is available in several departments at CSU, and students typically complete an internship with a government agency.


The Prevention Science specialization appeals to students who are interested in teaching at the university, community college, or junior college level. M.S. graduates who want to work with young adults, especially at-risk populations, have found careers in college student support services.

Researcher or Program Evaluator

For this career track, elective courses will emphasize the integration of research and theory, and the acquisition of research skills. Students develop advanced competencies in research design and statistics, technical writing, teaching and research presentations, research project management, and a content area such as parenting, gender issues, or adolescence. This career track typically will require completion of a Ph.D. degree, such as in Applied Developmental Science.