Child and Youth Studies (PhD)

A unique transdisciplinary approach to the study of children and youth where students are encouraged to think and study across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This program is part of a growing international movement for transdisciplinary Child and Youth Studies perspectives. Students gain a theoretical foundation for the study of children and youth and the application of social science research methods through the completion of a research-based thesis.

Entry point:

  • September


  • Thesis – 12 terms (4 years)

Application deadline:

  • January 29th

Applications are accepted until the program is full. Applications submitted after the deadline may be looked at on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications typically open in October.

Admission requirements

  1. Check the university requirements and the program requirements.
  2. Complete the online application and submit the non-refundable application fee.
  3. You will need to submit your transcripts as well as the following program-specific materials:
    • A personal statement of research interests. The statement should describe your proposed research study and address your previous academic studies (how your academic training prepares you if you do not have the prerequisite course), your research experience, as well as any work conducted with children and youth. It should be no more than two double-spaced pages (or one single-spaced page) and provide some indication of your research experience (i.e., thesis research, research assistant work) and your intermediate and long-term goals for pursuing a Doctorate degree in Child and Youth Studies. Applicants should have a commitment by the professor they wish to work with prior to submitting their application. Please note that the commitment by a professor does not indicate admission to the program.
    • A recent example of written work (no more than 12 pages in length), or a demonstration of professional experience.
    • Two references, preferably academic, are required. One should be from your MA supervisor, if possible. In some cases, one of the references may come from a work or volunteer-based supervisor.
    • Current CV (Curriculum Vitae).

Career outcomes

  • Disciplinary academic positions in fields such as sociology and psychology, as well as multidisciplinary academic positions at Colleges and Universities in diverse fields, including education, child and youth studies, youth care, humanities, theories of culture, histories of thought, and women’s and gender studies.
  • Research positions requiring expertise in aspects of young people’s lives and experiences
  • Careers in social service agencies supporting children and youth
  • Child and youth care work
  • Positions in government agencies
  • Child and youth advocacy, including children’s rights