The exterior of the NYU Silver Center for Arts and Science building, home to some of the interesting classes in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies minor.



Ask an NYU student for some of the most interesting classes they’ve taken, and you’re bound to receive answers with intriguing titles like The Science of Happiness, Love Actually, and Road to Resilience. So, what do all of these course selections have in common? The NYU Child and Adolescent Mental Health minor. Fun fact: Students in the program affectionately refer to this minor as CAMS! The program is in the College of Arts and Science and works with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health.

Students are drawn to the program’s unique classes, which dive into children’s mental health. Additionally, related classes investigate the continued impact of these issues through adolescence and into adulthood. For that reason, undergraduate students from across NYU decide to complete the CAMS minor, since it’s available to all undergraduate students.

No, seriously! I mean everyone!

Most important to note is that the only class required for this program is Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. Following that requirement, students can select from dozens of exciting courses to complete the CAMS minor. They can select these unique classes according to their own interests and passions.

Still, I should admit I am a student in NYU Steinhardt’s Teaching and Learning department! Since the CAMS minor related to my Early Childhood Education and Special Education major, my adviser recommended it to me. It was certainly a great recommendation. I’ve taken CAMS classes that closely relate to other education classes and help with my student teaching.

And while this minor is especially common among Psychology, Nursing, and Social Work majors, there is no one type of CAMS student. I’ve had classmates from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study to the Stern School of Business. But the beauty of a minor with so many fascinating electives? There is an interesting class for everyone.


My Favorite CAMS Classes

The Literature of Children and Adolescents
The covers of four books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Snowy Day, Charlotte's Web, and Goodnight Moon
Some of my favorite course readings for The Literature of Children and Adolescents

How many of your college classes will have picture books on the syllabus?

In this interesting course, we spent the first half of the semester using picture books to explore developmental child psychology. What’s more, we examined important issues of those stages. Following that section of the class, we transitioned to longer middle-grade fiction. Then we continued our discussions on topics such as trust, autonomy, and family and peer relationships.

I loved getting to take a deeper look at favorite books from my childhood like Goodnight Moon and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

Singin’ in the Brain: Music and the Developing Child

As someone who adores music and the arts, this class was perfect for me! I was able to learn about how musical influences and experiences aid development, the evolution of musical abilities, and the connection between various brain areas and musicality. In my favorite unit of the course, we discussed the role of lullabies and early musical interactions between babies and caregivers. 


Play and Creativity

My favorite thing about this course is that I never knew what to expect. The professors used a “flipped classroom” model where my classmates and I were responsible for presenting the material in a creative and engaging way to our peers every week. The class explored scientific, clinical, cultural, and artistic perspectives on the role of play in a lifetime. We used songs, games, and practical activities to cover the material. 

Is CAMS right for me?

One of my favorite things about the CAMS program is the accessibility. That is, for those interested in studying child development and evolving research surrounding mental health or education, it’s natural to consider adding this minor to your plan of study.

However, virtually any undergraduate NYU student can access the unique set of electives to supplement their course of study! Take courses like Children and the Media, The Nature of Success, or Looking Back on Growing Up and enjoy all that CAMS has to offer.

Maggie (she/her) is a senior at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development studying Early Childhood and Special Education, with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Originally from Southern California, Maggie is currently a student teacher working with elementary schoolers and adores the time she spends in the classroom. In addition to being an Admissions Ambassador and serving as a Community Supervisor, she is the co-president of Kesher: Reform Jews at NYU, and the Vice President of the NYU Hillel Student Executive Board. When she isn’t on campus or in the classroom, she loves to read, crochet, play music, sing in a choir, and see musicals with her friends.