Children's Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1560. Exhibited at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Children's Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1560. Exhibited at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Children and Youth Studies

In 1991, Brooklyn College became the founding institution of the interdisciplinary field of children's studies. Hailed as "pioneering" by The New York Times, the Brooklyn College program has been emulated at many universities and colleges both here and abroad since its inception. Brooklyn College and the City University of New York have been the source of significant academic and scholarly programmatic innovations in higher education through this interdepartmental program, which brings together knowledge about children and youth from infancy through the age of legal majority as seen from the perspectives of the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, medicine and the law. Students can declare a major, concentration or minor. In fall 2011, the name of the program at Brooklyn College was officially changed from Children's Studies to Children and Youth Studies. 


On June 18, 2012, for the purpose of discussing its Alternative Report, the Children's Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service of CUNY Brooklyn College was invited as one of three U.S. nongovernmental organizations to attend the Pre-sessional Working Group meeting and appear before the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Gertrud Lenzer, founding director of the Children's Studies Center, attended and participated in the official Pre-sessional Working Group meeting and hearings in Geneva.

What can I do with a children and youth studies degree?

Children and youth studies offers not only a holistic and comprehensive perspective on children and young people, but also provides a diversity of career opportunities that are available for working with or for children. A degree in children and youth studies will help provide you with the education and background that will benefit you when you are looking for further graduate and professional training and careers related to children and young people. Here are some examples of some of the many career paths that our students can take with a degree in children and youth studies:

  • Advertising and corporate sectors with focus on children
  • Arts education
  • Attorneys, judges, prosecutors and legal experts, who work with children in family and criminal courts, juvenile justice systems, child protective local and state agencies, and law firms representing children and young people
  • Child advocacy organizations (local, national and international)
  • Child life specialist
  • Child protective services
  • Child welfare
  • Children and the media and publishing industries
  • Children and mental/public health
  • Education
  • Guidance counselor
  • Human rights organizations (local, state and international)
  • Juvenile justice
  • Pediatrics
  • Research
  • Social work
  • Youth and after-school programs

Contact Information

Director: Nadell, Martha J.

Location: 1304 James Hall
Phone: 718.951.3192
Fax: 718.677.6154