Family and Human Development, MS

The MS in Family and Human Development is a non-thesis degree program that focuses on the practical application of research. It does not require a GRE for admission and can be completed in as little as 15-18 months, enabling students to enter the job market sooner. Students in this program gain knowledge and skills necessary to promote healthy individual and family development as they study the factors that promote successful relationships and positive outcomes for individuals, families, and communities across the life-span. Graduates often pursue careers working with children, youth, and adults in human, social and government agencies.

18 months to degree
Highly trained faculty
Leader in Child & Family Studies

Degree Overview

This 30 credit-hour terminal master's degree prepares students to help individuals and families succeed in their relationships and achieve positive outcomes working and living within their communities. An applied practitioner-oriented approach teaches students to evaluate and consume research and translate research into best practices. Courses are taught by experienced faculty who are trained in the area and have considerable expertise in delivering high-quality online education.

How to apply

The Sanford School application process is completed online through ASU Graduate Education. Prospective students must submit the admission application form along with the fee and official transcripts. For the department's master's programs, students must submit supplemental application materials.

Applications are accepted for entry Fall, Spring, or Summer. In order to be considered for a semester, all application materials must be received by the applicable deadline listed below. Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed.

Apply by:To start the program in the:
July 30Fall A session (begins mid-August)
December 15Spring A session (begins mid-January)
May 1Summer session (begins mid-May)

See the Academic Calendar ( for specific session start dates.

"I would highly recommend this program to my colleagues. The online format was convenient and the superior education and staff made this a top choice for any professional seeking higher education. The exceptional professors, dynamic courses, and this top university have validated my choice."
-Lucia Galante Johnson


The Online Master's in Family and Human Development requires a total of 30 credit hours. Each course in the Family and Human Development MS program is designed and taught by experienced faculty who are trained in the area and have considerable expertise in delivering high-quality online education. Fall and Spring courses are 7.5 weeks long and summer courses are 6 weeks long.

A minimum of 30 hours is required.

Requirements and ElectivesHours
Core courses9
Other Requirements15
Culminating Experience3

Courses and electives

Learn more about the courses you must take within the Sanford School to complete the master's degree, including when those courses are offered. Note that most courses are offered just one time per year, making it important for students to carefully follow an approved course plan and work closely with the program's academic advisor.

  • CDE 531 Theoretical Issues in Child Development (Fall A)
  • FAS 586 Capstone 1 (Fall B, Spring B)
  • FAS 587 Capstone 2 (Spring A, Summer B)

View brief descriptions of FHD MS courses

FAS 500 Research Methods (Fall B)

  • CDE 501 Social Statistics (Spring B)
  • FAS 598 Diversity and Society (Summer A)
  • FAS 598 Leadership and Social Justice (Fall A)
  • FAS 598 Marriage and Family Relationships (Spring A)
  • FAS 598 Parenting (Summer A)
  • FAS 588 Capstone 3 (Fall B, Spring B, Summer B)

The Online Master's degree in FHD includes three capstone courses that must be taken in sequence, ending with a non-thesis, applied culminating experience. Each part of the Capstone experience allows for some customization to fit individual students' professional and academic needs and interests. Ultimately, this culminating experience will provide students with a deeper understanding of family and human development, as well as professional competencies and insights.

The capstone experience consists of the following parts:

  • Capstone Project Part I: Professional Development. Capstone Project I allows students to explore and begin to specify their professional goals and means of obtaining those goals. This process of professional exploration and goal specification will help ensure that, together, the student and student's capstone instructor can craft personalized Capstone Projects and experiences that maximize the student's potential of obtaining their goals.
  • Capstone Project Part II: Exploration/Specialization. Capstone Project II allows students to delve into their area(s) of interest, developing a greater depth and understanding of topics that influence children, youth, and families, and that further the student's academic and professional goals. Students develop and enhance their writing, research, and presentation skills through various assignments.
  • Capstone Project Part III: Application. Capstone Project III is the culminating experience for the master's program and is taken in a student's last session of the program. This is the point at which students apply what they have learned through their coursework. Once again, the emphasis is on a personalized and useful experience for the students. In consultation with a capstone instructor, the student will fashion a field experience plan that allows the student to gain real-world experience related to family and human development. Activities that fulfill the field experience requirement are vast and varied, often limited only by a student's creativity.