Infant and early childhood mental health professionals support the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. Drawing on development theory, infant and early childhood mental health professionals address the needs of young children by assessing family needs and recommending developmentally-appropriate prevention strategies and interventions. Infant and early childhood mental health professionals also lead programs or craft policies that promote healthy early development. This program offers an option for students in Minnesota to become licensed clinical professionals.
Take foundational online courses in child and adolescent development:
In addition to the program’s core online courses, you'll take:
With an M.A. in applied child and adolescent development with a specialization in infant and early childhood mental health, advance your career as a mental health provider or practitioner in a variety of fields that serve young children and their families. If you reside in Minnesota, you can choose to pursue an option that would lead to LPCC licensure.
Infant and early childhood mental health fields include:
If you reside in Minnesota, you have the option to take an additional 28 credits concurrently with your MA coursework through the University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies’ (CCAPS) Integrated Behavioral Health program to complete LPCC licensure application requirements. LPCC licensure courses are primarily in-person courses offered on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.
The University does not award licensure; however, this option would allow you to meet the requirements to apply for licensure through the state of Minnesota. For current requirements, visit the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy website.
Taken together, infant and early childhood mental health and licensure courses would prepare you to apply a two-generational approach to your counseling work with infants and young children in high-risk caregiving environments, such as those who have caregivers with histories of mental illness, substance use, or related risks like homelessness or extreme poverty.
In addition to online core and track coursework, complete the following LPCC licensure courses. Licensure courses will be offered primarily in an in-person format:
Choose one of the following courses as an elective:
Minnesota is one of 31 member states of the global organization, the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health®, that offers the credential for Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health®. Our online MA program meets the theoretical foundations and competencies for the Alliance endorsement process.
Endorsement levels include:
More information on the endorsement process is available through the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health-Infant and Early Childhood Division or through your state’s infant mental health association listed under the Alliance member states. Don't live in Minnesota? Learn if your state is a member of the Alliance.
I am grateful to the Institute of Child Development for their support and commitment to my work and for expanding the field to promote the healthy development of all children in our communities.
Graduate of the infant and early childhood mental health track
Recipient of the Irving B. Harris Foundation Diversity Scholarship
Students who take all of their courses online qualify for the Minnesota resident tuition rate. Tuition for our M.A. program follows the University’s general resident graduate tuition rates. Full-time enrollment is 6 to 14 credits per semester. Each track in our M.A. program has its own course and credit requirements.
The Irving B. Harris Foundation promotes infant and early childhood mental health through professional training and education. With their support, we offer diversity scholarships for underrepresented students and professionals. To apply for a scholarship, write a brief explanation of why you feel you would qualify and upload as part of your application. This scholarship is only available to Minnesota residents.