Advocate for the well-being of children.

Children are our future and the most vulnerable members of society. Unfortunately, there are times when children need adults to speak out on their behalf by protecting their rights and ensuring that the child’s best interest is served. Studying child advocacy generates an understanding of healthy child well-being, the impact of traumatic stress and maltreatment, and strategies to work more effectively to protect against or respond to these incidents.   

UMSL is fortunate to have a fully functioning Child Advocacy Center on campus, giving students access to professors highly connected to current presenting issues in the field and offering training opportunities for students in multiple disciplines while providing forensic interviewing, advocacy and treatment services for citizens of the region.


Program type:

Major, BA


On-Campus, 100% Online

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Bachelor of Arts in -

Applied Psychology of Child Advocacy Studies

The BA in Applied Psychology of Child Advocacy Studies prepares students to be trauma-informed professionals who respond appropriately to experiences of traumatic stress and maltreatment in children and adolescents. This applicable, innovative and accessible degree prepares graduates to move into a variety of child serving sectors. This interdisciplinary program is enhanced by hands-on skill development, immersive learning experiences and mentoring from professionals in the workforce and is one of the first three majors of its kind in the country.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the BA in Applied Psychology of Child Advocacy Studies, graduates will be able to develop and demonstrate Trauma Informed Experiential and Reasoning Skills, apply empirical and conceptual knowledge of traumatic stress, think critically about how to respond to childhood traumatic stress to promote resiliency in children and families. Graduates can advocate for trauma-informed policy changes that promote the well-being of all children, including those which prevent child abuse and secondary traumatic stress.

Employment in the Childhood Advocacy field is projected to grow up to 10% to 2029, with a median annual salary of $59,816., according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Information Network.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2029

Career Opportunities

  • Adoption and Foster Care
  • Case Management
  • Child Protection
  • Child Welfare
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Non-Profit Service and Administration
  • Primary and Behavioral Healthcare
  • Public Policy
  • Victim Services


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the  NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as a psychology and child advocacy major. 

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.