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Master's Degree Program

Prevention Science and Practice

The program information below is for academic year 2020-2021. This program has enrolled their final cohort. We are dedicated to helping you prepare for an impactful career in education by offering powerful learning experiences and field-based opportunities that will develop critical professional skills. We encourage you learn more about our reimagined Master's in Education.

In the Prevention Science and Practice (PSP) Program, you will explore the many risk and protective influences on child and adolescent development, and learn how to design strengths-based interventions that promote well-being across academic, social-emotional, and health domains. 

The central mission of PSP is to prepare graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to promote positive, healthy development, and academic achievement.

Senior Lecturer Mandy Savitz-Romer, faculty director

The many strengths of PSP include:

  • Cohort and Community – During your time at HGSE, you will have the opportunity to learn alongside a diverse group of peers who have a shared passion for education and an intellectual curiosity that will help transform the field. You will develop strong bonds and a supportive learning community through participation in various cohort and community-building, virtual activities hosted by your program, student organizations, and HGSE faculty and staff.
  • Internships and Fieldwork – Fieldwork provides a lot of value to your academic experience, providing real world applications of new knowledge and theory. A core tenet of PSP is the integration of research and practice. Although the specific details regarding fieldwork in the Prevention Science and Practice program are still being finalized, fieldwork will continue to be an important part of the PSP and HGSE learning experience. Logistical and other program details are subject to modification for academic year 2020-2021. However, there will be an opportunity for students in PSP to participate in field learning locally to students’ residence. We will be working with alumni and K-12 partners to expand opportunities. 

Curriculum Information

PSP’s curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of prevention science and practice. The curriculum is rigorous but flexible, structured in a way that focuses on the healthy development of children and adolescents. In this program, you will study core concepts and topics, ranging from development and advocacy, to school counseling and social, emotional and cognitive development across the lifespan, to program management and school partnerships. In addition, addressing structural inequality and violence, fostering strength-based programming, caring for ourselves and each other, and advocating for educational equity and justice are all central to our work in Prevention Science and Practice. You will complete 8 courses (32 credits) in total, with access to courses across HGSE, including the new set of schoolwide courses, and other parts of Harvard University.

Prevention Science and Practice Program Requirements

  • Developmental Insights: Linking the Science of Human Development to Practice and Policy (4 credits)

Prevention Practice Strand Requirements

  • Prevention Science and Practice Internship (2 credits fall/2 credits spring) ~ This is an 8-10 hour internship. Enrollment in this experience includes required attendance at a weekly, consultancy group. 
  • Prevention Science and Practice Seminar (2 credits fall/2 credits spring) ~ Enrollment in this course includes weekly discussion groups.
  • Electives (20+ credits)

See my.harvard for a complete list of courses.

Prevention Research Strand Requirements

  • Research Experience in Prevention Science and Practice (2 credits fall/2 credits spring) ~ Enrollment in this experience includes a weekly course requirement.
  • One Course in Research Methods (4 credits)
  • Electives (20+ credits)

Review the list of approved Research Methods courses here.*
See my.harvard for a complete list of courses.

*Chosen among a list of approved research methods courses, students are required to take one, 4-credit research methods course. Students who wish to enroll in two, 2-credit research methods modules may request permission from the program to do so.

Licensure Disclosure: Certificate of Advance Study in Counseling leads to professional licensure in the state of Massachusetts. Harvard has not determined whether the program meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in any state other than Massachusetts.

Program Faculty

HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty that PSP students most often work with include:

Alumni & Student Profiles

PSP graduates are working to improve the academic, social-emotional and health outcomes of students in a variety of professional and academic settings. Alumni who graduated with the C.A.S. in Counseling are working in public, charter, and independent schools across the as school counselors, adjustment counselors, or school social workers. Prevention and Research graduates draw on their prevention science background to, work for youth social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, research organizations, out-of-school time programs, and policy-oriented nonprofits. PSP is also excellent preparation for a doctorate degree, and several of our alumni now teach and conduct important research at colleges and universities worldwide.

Christine Ha

A Commitment to At-Risk Youth: Christine Ha, PSP'22

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Prevention Science and Practice reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

Legal Matters Do Matter

Recent graduate Ayesha Cotton helps families overcome legal obstacles at her school.

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