Youth and Community Studies

Youth and Community Studies (YCS) prepares students to work with people of all ages in a variety of settings that do not require teacher certification.  For those interested in teaching, there are options to prepare for Texas certification in middle school and high school English Language Arts or Social Studies, as well as all-level Physical Education Teacher Certification.

By majoring in YCS, you will be prepared to pursue careers in:

  • 7th – 12th grade teacher certification in English Language Arts,
  • 7th – 12th grade teacher certification in Social Studies,
  • All-level teacher certification in Physical Education,
  • youth sports programs,
  • parks and recreation departments,
  • child development centers or after-school programs,
  • assisted living communities,
  • government agencies, and
  • non-profit organizations related to criminal justice and advocacy programs.

Professional Concentrations

As a YCS major, you will choose from one of the following concentrations:

  • Early Childhood – Coursework deals primarily with child and adolescent development and family relationships.
  • Special Populations – Coursework comes from such areas as Communication Science Disorders, Kinesiology, and Social Work, providing an overview of communication disorders, increasing cultural awareness, and developing systems for individuals with disabilities.
  • Coaching - Coursework covers fundamentals of coaching, theory, and practice as well as physiological and psychological aspects of sport.
  • Youth and Social Services – Required courses cover topics in substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment. Elective topics range from the psychosocial aspects of aging to juvenile delinquency and criminal justice.
  • Physical Education – Coursework covers topics related to movement, sport, motor function, and activity for children with disabilities.

Check the degree plan for a list of courses eligible for each concentration.

Physical Education Teacher Certification

As a YCS major, you have the option to work towards a Physical Education Teacher Certification by choosing the Physical Activity Education concentration. You will also need to complete the Physical Education Activity track to complete teaching requirements.

In addition, you will have to apply for and complete the Professional Development Sequence (PDS) for Physical Education. This is a teacher preparation program that includes coursework, fieldwork and observations, and student teaching.

7th – 12th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher Certification

In addition to the YCS coursework, students who wish to work towards the English Language Arts or Social Studies certification must complete the UT Urban Teachers Program Professional Development Sequence. This is a teacher preparation program that includes coursework, fieldwork and observations, and student teaching.

Certificates, Minors, and Specializations

Certificates and Minors

In addition to the YCS major, you can complete a minor or certificate program that complements your studies.

Some of the most popular minors and certificates include:

Beginning with the 2016-2018 catalog, certificates and minors are recognized on transcripts.


Students interested in furthering their education in Kinesiology and Health are encouraged to choose a specialization. The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education offers seven specializations. For details, please visit our KHE Specializations page.