Master of Science (M.S.) Major in Family and Child Studies (Child Life Specialist Concentration Non-thesis Option)

Program Overview

The graduate program provides students with the knowledge and expertise to attain professional positions and advancement opportunities in programs serving families and children. 

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the current academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the current academic year can be found on The Graduate College's website. International students should review the International Admission Documents webpage for additional requirements.

  • completed online application
  • $55 nonrefundable application fee

          or

  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work
  • official GRE (general test only) with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose (approximately 500 words)
  • three letters of recommendation

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in Human Development and Family Sciences concentration in Child Life Specialist requires 37 semester credit hours. Students who do not have the appropriate background course work may be required to complete leveling courses.

Course Requirements

Required Corses
FCS 5310Research Methods in FCS3
HDFS 5100Introduction to Human Development and Family Sciences1
HDFS 5341Advanced Child Development3
HDFS 5351Advanced Theory in Human Development and Family Sciences3
HDFS 5352Issues in Human Development and Family Sciences3
Concentration
HDFS 5305Foundations of Play3
HDFS 5343Child Life Specialist3
HDFS 5659Internship in Child Life 16
Prescribed Electives
Choose 12 hours from the following:12
Counseling Diverse Populations
Loss and Grief Recovery Counseling
Developmental Issues in Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Child and Adolescent Counseling Methods
Healthcare Organization and Delivery
Grief and Bereavement in Children, Adolescents, and Parents
Program Evaluation in Human Development and Family Sciences
Advanced Program Administration
Practicum in Human Development and Family Sciences I
Seminar in Medical Sociology
Seminar in Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations
Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments
Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect
Total Hours37

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

Students pursuing the non-thesis option will be required to complete a written exam consisting of objective and essay questions that cover the core content areas required for their particular track. As a result, the comprehensive exam should be taken after the student has completed 18 hours of graduate degree credit AND his/her core coursework over which the student will be examined (with a GPA of at least 3.0 and earn a B or better in the core course work). Students must sit for all four exams on their first attempt. After the first attempt students will only be required to sit for the exams which they have not passed.  

The comprehensive exam will be held on the first Friday of March, June, and September on campus at a time and location to be determined. Students planning to take the exam must sign up online through the google link located on the “Current students” page. Students will be given one hour to complete each section. There are a total of four sections.

Comprehensive exam questions are evaluated on both the quality and content of the response. Two faculty members evaluate the student’s response to each comprehensive exam question. If there is disagreement regarding whether a response is acceptable, a third reader will read the response and make a final evaluation decision. The evaluation decision for each section is made independently of the other sections and can be as follows:

• P=Pass all components of the exam.

• CP=Conditional pass (At the discretion of the graduate faculty, the student must write a paper related to the content area that received a CP and/or orally defend his/her response; faculty determine whether the student writes a paper or orally defends his/her response).

• F=Fail (student who fails three or more sections of the exam must retake all four sections of the exam the following semester). Students can “retake” the exam only twice for a total of three attempts. If the student does not pass one or more sections on the third attempt, the student must re-take relevant coursework and pass with a B or better. The student must then petition the program graduate faculty and request to take an oral exam for the final attempt. It is at the discretion of the graduate faculty whether the petition will be granted. If the petition is granted, the oral exam will take place with a format as well as at a time and place to be determined. The student can only pass or fail the oral comprehensive exam. Students will not graduate from the program without passing all sections of the comprehensive exam.

Students must complete the comprehensive exam within five years of beginning the graduate program.

Master's level courses in Family and Child Studies: FCD

Courses Offered

Family and Child Development (FCD)