Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Family and Child Studies

Major Program

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

Admission Policy

For information regarding admission application requirements and deadlines, please visit The Graduate College website at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/fcs.html.

Program Administration and Evaluation Track

This track provides a thesis and non-thesis option (37 total hours required). Both the thesis and the non-thesis options require the completion of a common core of 19 semester credit hours and a 3-hour practicum in family and child studies. Students choosing the thesis option are required to complete a 6-hour thesis requirement. The non-thesis option requires the completion of an additional 3-hour practicum. Thesis students will have 9 semester credit hours and non-thesis students will have 12 semester credit hours of prescribed elective courses chosen by the student to create a concentration.

Course Work Requirements

Thesis Option

Core Curriculum
FCD 5100Introduction to Family and Child Studies1
FCD 5341Advanced Child Development3
FCD 5350Research Design and Methods in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5351Advanced Theory in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5352Seminar: Issues in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5353Program Evaluation in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5356Advanced Program Administration3
Practicum in Family Studies
FCD 5358Practicum in Family and Child Studies I3
Thesis Course Work
Choose a minimum 6 hours6
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Graduate Advisor Approved Electives
Choose 9 hours from the list below9
Total Hours37

Non-thesis Option

Core Curriculum
FCD 5100Introduction to Family and Child Studies1
FCD 5341Advanced Child Development3
FCD 5350Research Design and Methods in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5351Advanced Theory in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5352Seminar: Issues in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5353Program Evaluation in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5356Advanced Program Administration3
Practicum in Family Studies
FCD 5358Practicum in Family and Child Studies I3
FCD 5359Practicum in Family and Child Studies II3
Graduate Advisor-approved Electives
Choose 12 hours from the list below12
Total Hours37

Electives to Program Administration and Evaluation Track

COUN 5316Counseling Diverse Populations3
COUN 5340Loss and Grief Recovery Counseling3
COUN 5368Developmental Issues in Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Adults3
COUN 5369Child and Adolescent Counseling Methods3
ADED 5321Adult Learning and Development3
ADED 5344Multicultural Perspectives in Postsecondary Education and Adult Education3
DE 5324Teaching Learning Strategies and Critical Thinking3
FCD 5343Hospitalized Child: Child Life Specialist3
FCD 5344Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health3
FCD 5355Advanced Independent Study3
FCD 5357Comparative Studies in Child Development3
PA 5330Public Personnel Administration3
PSY 5320Principles of Measurement and Statistics3
PA 5332Management Practices in Public Personnel Administration3
PA 5370Public Management and Ethics3
PA 5300Introduction to Public Policy and Administration3
PSY 5342Professional Ethics and Standards of Practice3
PSY 5370Learning, Cognition, and Motivation3
SOCI 5307Advanced Statistics for the Social Sciences3
SOCI 5309Seminar in Qualitative Research Methods3
SOCI 5323Grant Writing for the Social Sciences3
SOCI 5337Seminar in the Family3
SOCI 5370Seminar in Multi-Cultural Relations3
SOWK 5308Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments3
SOWK 5310Social Welfare Policy and Services3
SOWK 5315Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect3
SPED 5314Advanced Educational Strategies for Students with Autism3
SPED 5325Development Perspectives of the Mildly Disabled3
SPED 5334Assessment and Evaluation of Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5375Behavior Management: School Application of Applied Behavior Analysis3

Child Life Specialist Track

This track also provides a thesis and non-thesis option (37 total hours required). Both the thesis and non-thesis options require the completion of a common core of 25 semester credit hours, including the internship. Students choosing the thesis option are required to complete a 6-hour thesis requirement. Thesis students will have 6 semester credit hours of elective courses; non-thesis students will have 12 semester hours of electives.

Course Work Requirements

Thesis Option

Core Curriculum
FCD 5100Introduction to Family and Child Studies1
FCD 5341Advanced Child Development3
FCD 5350Research Design and Methods in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5351Advanced Theory in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5352Seminar: Issues in Family and Child Studies3
Child Life Specialist Courses
FCD 5343Hospitalized Child: Child Life Specialist3
FCD 5345Advanced Methods in Child Life3
FCD 5659Internship in Child Life 16
Elective Courses
Choose 6 hours from the list below6
Thesis Courses
Choose a minimum 6 hours6
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours37
1

The child life internship is a full-time, non-paid internship required by the Child Life Council. It should be completed in the final year of the master’s program. Child life internships are extremely competitive in nature and interns are selected by the individual hospitals. Therefore, internships are not guaranteed. Also, due to the competitive nature of internships, it might be necessary to apply to hospitals outside of the Central Texas area. 

Non-thesis Option

Core Curriculum
FCD 5100Introduction to Family and Child Studies1
FCD 5341Advanced Child Development3
FCD 5350Research Design and Methods in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5351Advanced Theory in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5352Seminar: Issues in Family and Child Studies3
Child Life Specialist Courses
FCD 5343Hospitalized Child: Child Life Specialist3
FCD 5345Advanced Methods in Child Life3
FCD 5659Internship in Child Life 16
Elective Courses
Choose 12 hours from the list below12
Total Hours37
1

The child life internship is a full-time, non-paid internship required by the Child Life Council. It should be completed in the final year of the master’s program. Child life internships are extremely competitive in nature and interns are selected by the individual hospitals. Therefore, internships are not guaranteed. Also, due to the competitive nature of internships, it might be necessary to apply to hospitals outside of the Central Texas area. 

Electives to Child Life Specialist Track

COUN 5316Counseling Diverse Populations3
COUN 5340Loss and Grief Recovery Counseling3
COUN 5368Developmental Issues in Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Adults3
COUN 5369Child and Adolescent Counseling Methods3
FCD 5353Program Evaluation in Family and Child Studies3
FCD 5356Advanced Program Administration3
FCD 5358Practicum in Family and Child Studies I3
HA 5300Healthcare Organization and Delivery3
SOCI 5337Seminar in the Family3
SOCI 5363Seminar in Medical Sociology3
SOCI 5370Seminar in Multi-Cultural Relations3
SOWK 5308Human Behavior in Individual and Family Social Environments3
SOWK 5315Social Work Intervention in Child Abuse & Neglect3

Additional Course Requirements

At the discretion of graduate faculty, leveling courses may be required for applicants with limited academic credentials in family and child studies.

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation. The thesis handbook may be accessed at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/docs/Thesis_Diss_Guide.pdf.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Master's Thesis Proposal form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. The required thesis proposal form may be obtained from The Graduate College at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/gcforms.html. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, graduate advisor’s signature (if required by the program), and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the thesis proposal form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. Enrollment for the thesis will be in course number 5399A for a student’s initial thesis enrollment and a thesis B course for each subsequent thesis enrollment in the field in which the subject matter of the thesis falls, e.g., PS 5399A and PS 5399B. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

A student will be required to enroll in and pay the fee for at least one hour of the thesis course during any term in which the student will receive thesis supervision or guidance and/or in which the student is using university resources. Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B. The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis is filed in the Alkek Library and the librarian has electronically returned the thesis card to the office of The Graduate College.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during summer the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted at the following web page: http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Thes-Diss_Info/T-D_Deadlines.html. The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee no later than 41 days before the date of the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred.

The following must be submitted to the office of The Graduate College no later than 24 days, not counting weekends or holidays, before the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred (see The Graduate College webpage for specific deadlines):

  1. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form bearing original signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) copy of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, on standard paper (Hard-copy Submission Option) or PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the on-line Vireo submission system (Vireo On-line Submission Option).

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, the process is as follows:

  1. For the Vireo On-line Submission Option:
    1. No copies are required to be submitted to the Alkek Library. However, Alkek will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to the Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

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

Courses Offered

Family and Child Development (FCD)

FCD 5100. Introduction to Family and Child Studies.

Focus on gaining information and competencies important to graduate study success. Includes academic expectations for graduate students as well as information related to the Family and Child Studies graduate program. Required for Family and Child Studies majors. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5101. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required as a condition of employment for graduate teaching and instructional assistants. This course provides regular in-service and planned periodic evaluations of instructional responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable with different emphasis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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FCD 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. Focus is on data collection, analysis, and writing of thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5399A.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. Focus is on data collection, analysis, and writing of thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5399A.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5340. Advanced Cultural Diversity of Families.

Survey study of family diversity through selected family science research methods and topics including family structure and function, family life patterns, multicultural groups, agents of enculturation, and family life education.Prerequisite: Graduate Standing. (MULT).
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Multicultural Content
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5341. Advanced Child Development.

Focus on developmental processes and influences from conception through early childhood period. Includes interactive relationship of biological and environmental factors in total development of the child. Child observations required. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5342. Early Childhood Intervention.

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction, study, and application of information to the professional discipline of early childhood intervention and the early intervention specialist (EIS). Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5343. Hospitalized Child: Child Life Specialist.

This course enhances students’ ability to utilize theoretical and applied technologies when interacting with children and families in hospital settings. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5344. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

This course provides an interdisciplinary understanding of the social and emotional development of infants and young children within the context of the family. Focus will be on the role of the infant mental health specialist in strengthening the development of young children and the parent-child relationship.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5345. Advanced Methods in Child Life.

This course focuses on the applied techniques and methodologies essential to the child life profession. In addition, this course offers guided experience and opportunities for stepping into the child life profession, ongoing career development and self care.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5346. Foundations of Family and Child Studies.

This course will cover the foundations of family and child studies. Topics will include child development, principles of guidance, and family relationships. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. This course does not earn graduate degree credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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FCD 5347. Grief and Bereavement in Children, Adolescents, and Parents.

This course includes a historical review of theoretical models on grief and bereavement, influences on grief and bereavement responses, and current perspectives on helping the bereaved cope. Implications for child life specialists will be analyzed.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5348. Pain and Anxiety Management for Children.

This course provides child life students with theoretical foundations and applied non-pharmacological strategies for assessing children’s pain and anxiety and assisting them with alleviation during painful healthcare and other life experiences.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5350. Research Design and Methods in Family and Child Studies.

Evaluation of research concepts, methods, and strategies in family and child studies. Topics include the nature of scientific research, sampling, measurement, data collection, types of socio-behavioral research, data analysis, and evaluation of research reports.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5351. Advanced Theory in Family and Child Studies.

A critical evaluation of theoretical concepts and current research in family and child studies. Emphasis on recent trends in family and child theories.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5352. Seminar: Issues in Family and Child Studies.

Seminar to examine current issues in family and child studies. Emphasis on current research, theories, and applications. Also includes orientation to the conceptual and methodological perspectives of multi-disciplinary study in the field of family and child studies.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5353. Program Evaluation in Family and Child Studies.

Study of the diversity and effectiveness of family and child services programs at the federal, state, and community levels. Program evaluation strategies and measures, fiscal management, and grant writing will be included.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5355. Advanced Independent Study.

Individual work on problems related to student’s primary area of specialization. Work may consist of empirical research or of critical reviews and integration of existing literature. Course may be repeated once for credit when topics vary.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5356. Advanced Program Administration.

Study of family and child services systems. Management theory and strategies, strategic planning, program development and implementation, personnel management, and public policy are emphasized.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5357. Comparative Studies in Child Development.

The study of cultural values and beliefs regarding children and the reflection of these in childrearing and early care and education programs and practices in the U.S. and selected countries. The interactive influence of culture and national policies will also be studied.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCD 5358. Practicum in Family and Child Studies I.

Structured practical experience in family and child studies in a private or public setting. Supervision provided by a member of the graduate faculty and a designated individual at the work site. Focus will be on experiential learning. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5359. Practicum in Family and Child Studies II.

Continued practical experience in family and child studies at a private or public setting with supervision provided by a member of the graduate faculty and a designated individual at the work site. A research report will be integrated with practical application. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5358.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. Focus is on identification of thesis topic, review of literature, and research design. No thesis credit is awarded until student has completed the thesis in FCD 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. Focus is on data collection, analysis, and writing of thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5399A.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. Focus is on data collection, analysis, and writing of thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5399A.
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5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5659. Internship in Child Life.

Structured hospital experience for individuals who plan to pursue a career in child life. Provides opportunity to work in a hospital setting under the direction of a certified child life specialist. Prerequisite: 30 hours of graduate coursework or approval of graduate advisor. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis.
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6 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 32 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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FCD 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. Focus is on data collection, analysis, and writing of thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: FCD 5399A.
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9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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