Human Development and Family Studies, M.S.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see

In addition to the materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit:

  • A 1-3 page professional statement to explain their:
    • Reasons for pursuing graduate study in HDFS,
    • Previous experience and training in HDFS or related fields,
    • Professional goals,
    • Primary areas of research interest, and
    • Faculty members with whom they are most interested in working.
  • An academic writing sample (e.g. senior year paper, literature review paper, honor’s thesis, master’s thesis, or a manuscript published or accepted/submitted for publication).

Based on the review of submitted materials, select applicants are invited to visit campus for an interview day, after which final admissions decisions are made. The HDFS Graduate Committee considers the compatibility of the student’s interest areas with those of the faculty and with curriculum emphasis, as well as the student’s availability for full-time graduate study.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 39 credit hours

Core Content (18 credits)
HDF 640Professional Seminar1
HDF 651Contemporary Research in Human Development3
HDF 652Theories of Human Development and Family Studies3
HDF 653Contemporary Research in Family Studies3
HDF 656Race, Class, and Culture3
HDF 661Professional Seminar II2
HDF 745College Teaching in Human Development and Family Studies3
Area of Specialization (6 credits)
Select 6 credits *6
Statistics and Methodology (9 credits)
HHS 625Research Methods in the Health and Human Sciences3
ERM 681Design and Analysis of Educational Experiments 3
ERM 682Multivariate Analysis 3
Research (Capstone Experience) (6 credits)
HDF 699Thesis6
Oral Examination
Total Credit Hours39

Area of specialization courses are selected jointly by the student and the faculty advisory committee. All 6 credits must be fulfilled through content courses taken within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Research methods and statistics courses cannot count as area of specialization courses for the M.S. degree.