I. Contact Information
William Evans, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
College of Education
II. Brief Introduction
The mission of the M.S. graduate program in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is to produce knowledgeable, well-qualified graduates who are prepared to enter the professional workforce as informed, well-rounded specialists in at least one area of the lifespan and in the study of the families, and who are prepared to undertake further graduate level education if desired.
III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes
The M.S. graduate program in HDFS aims to generate graduates who are well versed in content, theories, research methods, and the application of knowledge to practice. Graduate students specialize in early childhood education, child and adolescent development, family studies, or addiction treatment services. Graduate students conduct an original piece of research under faculty supervision in the form of a thesis or complete a professional paper, which may include earning the qualification of a Certified Family Life Educator.
IV. Admission Requirements
Priority consideration will be given to M.S. graduate program applicants who meet the requirements for graduate degree admission status listed below:
- Meet the Graduate School admission requirements;
- Complete the Graduate School application;
- Complete the Application for Admission to the Master of Science Program in Human Development & Family Studies
Applications are due to the HDFS program by March 1 for fall admissions and by October 1 for spring admissions. In special circumstances, late applications may be considered. Consideration should be requested of the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Bridget Walsh.
V. Program Requirements
In the M.S. HDFS graduate program, students may specialize in an area of academic interest through the selection of electives and a thesis topic or professional paper. Twelve hours of credit in courses numbered 700 or above are required in addition to 6 credits in HDFS 797 or 3 credits in HDFS 796 . At least 21 of the total credits taken for the degree must be in human development and family studies, as listed below:
a. Foundation Courses (15 units)
Students must include HDFS 720 and HDFS 730 as well as HDFS 791 in their Foundation credits*.
i. Human Development (6 units)
Choose six units from the following, one of which must be HDFS 720 :
ii. Family Studies ( 6 units)
Choose six units from the following, one of which must be HDFS 730 :
iii. Internship (3 units)
b. Research Courses (6 units)
c. Thesis or Professional Paper (6 or 3 units)
- HDFS 797 - Thesis (6 units) Students interested in pursuing further graduate study (i.e., a doctoral program) are strongly encouraged to complete the Thesis option. A thesis provides excellent preparation for completion of a dissertation, and in some doctoral programs, may be used to meet pre-dissertation research requirements. OR
- HDFS 796 - Professional Paper (3 units) There are two options for the Professional Paper. Option A is an applied professional paper, Option B is a professional paper that includes the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) exam.
d. Area of Emphasis (6-9 units)
All students take a series of foundation courses in human development, family studies, research, and theory. Students take additional courses in an area of emphasis based on a topic of interest in conjunction with their faculty advisor. Examples include topics related to early childhood education, child and adolescent development, family studies, or addiction treatment services (EX. CAS, ECE, EDU, EDUC, CEP, EL, PSY, SOC, SW, WMST). The emphasis in Addiction Treatment Services has specific courses that students must take (see below) and requires an additional internship as well as a professional paper or thesis. All other areas of emphasis require at least 6-9 credits of elective coursework chosen by the student and his/her faculty advisor.
i. Addiction Treatment Services (12 units)
A. Required Courses (9 units)
B. Electives (3 units)
Choose one course from the following:
VI. Total Units (33 units) (36-39 units if completing the Addiction Treatment Services)
Twelve hours of credit in courses numbered 700 or above are required in addition to 6 credits in HDFS 797 or 3 credits in HDFS 796 .
VIII. Undergraduate Prerequisites
Before beginning the M.S. graduate program in HDFS, students are expected to have completed an introductory level course on lifespan development (e.g., HDFS 201 Lifespan Human Development or similar), an introductory course on families (e.g., HDFS 202 Introduction to Families or similar), and an undergraduate course in research methods or statistics (e.g., HDFS 391 Introduction to Research or similar). Students who are accepted into the program without these prerequisites will be required to complete coursework in the deficit area(s). A plan for making up the deficit areas will be developed with the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s initial advisor upon student admission to the program.