Youth & Social Innovation Major

What do you need to know in order to design and implement effective programming and policy for today's youth?

Faculty members in the Curry School of Education and Human Development have some answers. As an undergraduate student in the Youth & Social Innovation major, you'll engage in coursework that integrates theory and research on youth development, programming and policy with hands-on application through community service. You'll learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of existing social innovations for youth, and collaborate with a team to design new ones. In the process, you'll gain critical conceptual and practical skills in the development, implementation and evaluation of youth programs and policies.

Students will have ongoing opportunities in research labs and practicum placements to deepen their understanding of youth programming in and out of schools.

“I am learning what it means to be a social innovator. It is something so special and rewarding about being in the class and gaining hands-on experience.”

– Shontell White, YSI major


Embark on a career doing meaningful work with or on behalf of youth. With its dual emphasis on rigorous academic preparation and innovative skill-building, this program prepares graduates for careers in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Students develop critical thinking skills to analyze social, cultural and educational challenges facing youth today. Students graduating from the program will be well prepared to provide leadership, management, research and evaluation services to youth-based and youth-serving organizations.

Our Success Will be Your Success

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Best Education School in the Country, U.S. News & World Report

Program Details

  • Application Due Date

    Complete applications are due by February 1st of each year for the following fall term start date. See Admissions for instructions.

  • UVA Student Financial Services

    For information on financial support for UVA students visit UVA Student Financial Services.

  • Course Overview

    Information on courses required for the major can be found in the Undergraduate Record.

  • Sample Jobs

    Some of our recent YSI Graduates' accepted positions in:

    Master’s Program (School Counseling, Commerce, Social Work, Public Policy)
    Ph.D. Program (Education Psychology, Clinical Psychology)
    Teacher (through alternative teacher certification programs)
    Project Coordinator (EdPolicyWorks at UVA)
    Research Assistant (Children's National Medical Center, The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at UVA)
    College Advisor (Virginia College Advising Corps)
    Youth Entrepreneurship Facilitator

    Potential Employers:

    • child welfare/family services
    • colleges/universities
    • community centers
    • educational corporations
    • government agencies
    • juvenile justice system
    • mental health agencies
    • office of elected official
    • physical health organizations
    • policy organizations
    • public schools (teaching license required for teaching positions)
    • religious organizations
    • social service agencies
    • think tanks
    • youth agencies and associations
    • youth development organizations
    • youth services

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at