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Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies (MS-HDFS)

This program is focused on the acquisition of basic knowledge of the dynamics of human development and family interaction, rather than clinical intervention. This knowledge is gained through in-depth examinations of theory and the basic and applied research of the field. The thesis experience allows even greater opportunity to develop unique specializations in conjunction with select faculty. Students may choose to specialize in one of two broad content domains, or they may choose to integrate both of them. One sphere emphasizes the development of the child in the context of the family. A second specialty focuses on relationship patterns and dynamics among adult family members in their wider social context.

M.S. Procedural Guide (pdf)

MS Appointment of MP & Committee Members (pdf)

Required Courses for Master's Degree: MS-HDFS


Option in Human Development and Family Studies

HDFS Core Requirements     16 credits
Research Methods/Statistics     6 credits
Electives     4 credits
Thesis     4 credits
Minimum Total (Beyond the Bachelor's Degree)     30 credits

Course Titles and Associated Credits

HDFS Core Requirements (16 credits)

HDFS 6200
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods (3)
HDFS 6300
HDFS and Social Policy (3)
HDFS 7010
Child and Adolescent Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7020
Adult Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7040
Family Process (3)
HDFS 7930
Seminar in HDFS (1)

Research Methods/Statistics (6 credits)

HDFS 7050
Research Methods for HDFS I (3)
HDFS 7060
Research Methods for HDFS II (3)

Elective Courses (4 credits)

HDFS 6960
Special Topics (1-3). May be repeated for maximum of 9 credits.
HDFS 8050
Advanced Research Methods I (3)
HDFS 8060
Applied Longitudinal Methods (3)
HDFS 8070
Advanced Research Methods II (1-3)
HDFS 8970
Advanced Special Topics (1-3)

Elective hours may come from non-core HDFS courses and seminars, from independent reading and research, from practicum and field placements, or from courses identified across campus. Students’ major professors and advisory committees are instrumental in selecting elective courses.

Students in the HDFS option (non-MFT) may also take any MFT content classes as HDFS electives (i.e., MFT Theory I & II; Clinical Issues I, II, & III; and Professional Issues) but they are not eligible to take the MFT practicum or internship.

Thesis (Minimum of 4 credits)

HDFS 7990
Research & Thesis