Child Advocacy at Montclair State University

Child Advocacy (Certificate)

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Child Advocacy (Certificate)

Child abuse and neglect continue to be among society’s most pressing and preventable problems. For this reason, child advocates—trained professionals committed to the well-being of children—are in high demand. However, at present, many individuals working in this capacity are self-proclaimed child advocates. That is, they are dedicated to helping improve the life quality of children but do not have specialized training in the complex dynamics of child abuse and neglect. Increasingly, child advocacy also extends beyond protection to other domains of children’s lives, spanning multiple systems, including education, mental health and juvenile justice. To effectively advocate in these areas, it is necessary to have an understanding of the child serving systems.

The Graduate Certificate Program in Child Advocacy offers both online and on-campus options and is designed to provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of the role of the child advocate as seen through the disciplines of law, social work and psychology. This unique perspective, encompassing these three areas of learning, equips graduates with the training that will enhance their skills in a variety of settings. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate, students may transfer all 15 credits towards the Master of Arts in Child Advocacy, in accordance with all related graduate policy.

Along with the Child Advocacy (Certificate), the following options are available for graduate study: Child Advocacy and Policy (MA)Child Advocacy and Policy (MA) – ONLINE, and Child Advocacy, Public Child Welfare Concentration (MA). Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.

Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission.Fall admission only for the on-campus modality and Fall and Spring admission for the online modality.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Child Advocacy (Certificate) program:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Please provide a personal statement of no more than 600 words, in which you answer the following three questions.
      1. How will earning a graduate degree (or graduate certificate) in child advocacy and policy help you reach your professional goals?
      2. What professional and life experiences have you had that have prepared you to take on this particular degree program and chosen profession?
      3. Serving children and families requires working with individuals of all cultures, races, ethnicities, and other diverse and varied backgrounds. Please describe your commitment to and engagement with social, racial, and/or economic justice.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

This five course, 15-credit graduate program provides a multi-disciplinary understanding of the role of the child advocate as seen through the disciplines of law, social work and psychology. Students who have earned a 3.0 GPA or higher in the certificate may apply all 15 credits toward the MA in child advocacy upon acceptance to the MA program. The Graduate certificate is available in both campus and online formats. For more information, please visit the Child Advocacy (Certificate) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Child Advocacy (Certificate) Program Coordinator:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Coordinator: Emily Douglas
Dickson Hall