Family and Human Development, MS


Whether you wish to prepare for a rewarding human services career or enhance the one you have, you can do so with this program. Deepen your understanding of families, individuals, relationships and yourself. Enjoy a customizable culminating experience that focuses your training in an area that interests you.


Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Family and Human Development

The MS program in family and human development provides practitioner-oriented professionals with an understanding of relationships and developmental dynamics.

Students learn how to effectively evaluate and consume research, translate research into best practices, and apply these principles at work. They gain knowledge and skills necessary for promoting healthy individual and family development as they study the factors that promote successful relationships and positive outcomes for individuals, families and communities across the lifespan.

The online format provides easy access to rigorous and valuable information that informs best practices in improving the lives of families and family members. The program also includes a customizable culminating experience that allows students to focus their training in their areas of interest and work.



Curriculum

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 Electives Hours
Core courses 9
Research 3
Other Requirements 15
Culminating Experience 3
Total 30


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.



At a Glance: program details

  • Location: online
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No




Degree Requirements

Required Core (9 credit hours)
CDE 531 Theoretical Issues in Child Development (3)
FAS 586 or SOC 586 Capstone I (3)
FAS 587 or SOC 587 Capstone II (3)

Electives or Research (18 credit hours)
FAS 500 Research Methods (3)
CDE 501 Social Statistics (3)
diversity course (3)
other elective coursework (9)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
FAS 588 Capstone III (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students complete the coursework and culminating experience courses in consultation with the assigned faculty advisor. The plan of study should be completed and approved by the faculty advisor once completing 50% of the minimum required credit hours for the degree. Acceptance of the proposed plan of study must be verified by the signature of the chair and faculty advisor. After approval from the program or college, the plan of study is submitted to the Graduate College for final approval.

FAS 500 and CDE 501 may be replaced by equivalent courses with approval by the academic advisor.

The diversity course and other elective coursework are chosen with approval by the academic advisor. The remaining elective credits must be from the FAS, CDE or SOC prefixes.




Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00= "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. current resume or curriculum vitae
  4. personal statement of goals relevant to the master's degree program
  5. two letters of recommendation from professional or academic backgrounds
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The personal statement must be four to five pages, double-spaced, and must address the applicant's professional goals, the applicant's strengths that will enable the applicant to succeed in the program, and relevant professional experience or responsibilities to the program.

Letters of recommendation must be from at least two academic or professional sources. Family members or friends do not meet this criterion. Applicants should see the program website for full application deadlines and admission terms and details.



Additional Information

Financial Support

Financial Support

Through the generosity of special contributors, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is able to provide our students with funding. Sanford School Master’s students are encouraged to apply. The number of positions and scholarships vary from year to year depending upon the number of current and entering graduate students who are eligible for support, and the financial support available to the school.

In order to apply for a Sanford School scholarship, students must complete and submit the online Sanford School Scholarship Application for Master’s Students. Applications are not considered complete until the required recommendations are received. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required materials are submitted by the deadline.   

Application Deadline:  Scholarship applications for Fall are due by February 15.

Susan Coleman Scholarship

This award is for one academic year, distributed over 2 semesters (second semester distribution based on continued satisfactory academic performance). It is for students who show a strong commitment to a professional career that addresses needs of an aging population (evidenced in application and history of previous employment, internships, activities, and involvement in area).  Preference will be given to those students who indicate financial need. In order to apply, you must:

  • be an online graduate student enrolled either part-time or full-time in either the online Sociology or Family and Human Development master's program
  • show a strong commitment to professional career that addresses needs of an aging population (evidenced in application and history of previous employment, internships, activities, and involvement in area)
  • maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship.
  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

Del Webb Scholarship

This award is for one academic year, distributed over 2 semesters (second semester distribution based on continued satisfactory academic performance). It is for students who indicate evidence of volunteer activities with older adults.  Financial need is not a factor in the selection process. In order to apply, you must:

  • be an online graduate student enrolled either part-time or full-time in either the online Sociology or Family and Human Development master's program
  • provide evidence of volunteer activities with older adults
  • provide a statement of interest on application that must outline career directions
  • maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship
  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher

Scholarship in Honor of Connie Thomas

This award is for one academic year, distributed over 2 semesters (second semester distribution based on continued satisfactory academic performance). It is for returning students who participate in community service. In order to apply, you must:

  • be an online graduate student enrolled either part-time or full-time in either the online Sociology or Family and Human Development master's program
  • have spent at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student during adult life
  • provide evidence of at least 12 months of community service
  • maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship
  • have cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher

In addition to Sanford School scholarships, there are various sources of financial aid through the University.  Students should contact ASU’s student financial aid office or visit http://asuonline.asu.edu/what-it-costs/scholarship-opportunities for more information.

A limited number of paid student-hourly grader positions are also available as part of the Sanford School’s Undergraduate Online Program.  Students interested in applying for these positions should contact Dr. Amy Reesing (amy.reesing@asu.edu).

Specialization

Specialization

If you are interested in aging and development across the lifespan, consider supplementing your Family and Human Development or Sociology masters degree by completing a Specialization in Life Course and Aging. Students can obtain this specialization through the completion of the following courses:

Typical 30 credit hours of masters coursework (FHD MS or SOC MA at ASU) plus
FAS/SOC 591 Infant/Toddler Development
FAS/SOC 591 Adolescent Development
FAS/SOC 591 Aging

In order to indicate your interest in completing the specialization and receive permission to register for one or more courses, please visit https://forms.gle/Q5Ga4JjFEAfNf27c7.

  • Specialization courses are typically offered each Fall B and Spring B; however, see course schedule to confirm course offerings.
  • Only students in the specialization can register for the specialization courses.

Questions? Email gradadvisingsanford@asu.edu
 

Financial Support: Through the generosity of special contributors, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is able to provide some students with funding to support their interests in the aging process and/or addressing the needs of an aging population. Students in this specialization are strongly encouraged to apply for these scholarships.

Curriculum

Curriculum

The Online Master's in Family and Human Development requires a total of 30 credit hours, including 4 core courses (CDE 531, FAS 598 Diversity, FAS 500, and CDE 501), 3 Structured Topic Courses (offerings may vary over time), and 3 capstone courses (FAS 586, FAS 587, and FAS 588).

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.

The table below indicates when the FHD MS courses are offered. Note that most courses are offered just one time per year.

Course Number/Name When Course is Offered
CDE 531 Theoretical Issues in Child Development (3 hours) Fall A
FAS 598 Structured Topic (e.g., Leadership and Social Justice, 3 hours) Fall A
FAS 500 Research Methods (3 hours) Fall B
FAS/CDE 598 Structured Topic (e.g., Marriage and Family Relationships, and Family Health, 3 hours) Spring A
CDE 501 Social Science Statistics (3 hours) Spring B
FAS 598 Diversity and Society (3 hours) Summer A
FAS 598 Parenting (3 hours) Summer A
Culminating Experience (9 hours)
          FAS 586 Capstone Project I (3 hours) Fall B, Spring B, Summer A
          FAS 587 Capstone Project II (3 hours) Spring A, Summer B
          FAS 588 Capstone Project III (3 hours) Fall B, Spring B, Summer B

View brief descriptions of FHD MS courses

Sample Course Plan

Below is an example of a course plan for a student beginning the program in Fall. Students can choose to follow an accelerated course plan (2-3 courses per semester) or an extended course plan (1 course per session). Course availability and financial aid requirements can influence a course plan; therefore, it is important that students work closely with the Sanford School program advisor to develop and follow an appropriate course plan. Structured course topics (courses for which topics may vary) are indicated by * in the course plan below. If you are a current student with course plan questions, please e-mail gradadvisingsanford@asu.edu. If you are a prospective student with course plan questions, please e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

Sample course plan:

Fall A Fall B Spring A Spring B Summer A Summer B
Year 1 CDE 531 FAS 500
FAS 586
FAS/CDE 598* CDE 501 FAS 598 Diversity
FAS 598*
FAS 587
Year 2 FAS 598* FAS 588

Capstone Courses and Culminating Experience

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.

Program Faculty

How to Apply

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 supplemental materials, official transcript, and fee.

Application Deadlines:

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 30 Fall A session (begins mid-August)
December 15 Spring A session (begins mid-January)
May 1 Summer session (begins mid-May)

Admission Requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an institution with regional accreditation
  • Typically, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE scores are NOT required

Application Process:

1. Carefully review the Master's Program Graduate Handbook and the FAQ section below to ensure you understand the program, policies, and procedures.

2. Submit Graduate College Application

  • Complete the Graduate College at ASU application at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp
  • Official Transcripts. Request your official collegiate transcripts to be sent to the Graduate College. ASU transcripts do not need to be sent. Send official materials to Graduate Admission Services. Learn more at https://admission.asu.edu/graduate/apply
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. Your resume must summarize your academic and employment experiences, as well as applicable community involvement.
  • Personal Statement. Please submit a personal statement that is four to five pages long, double-spaced, and addresses the following:
  • State your professional goals and reasons for desiring to enroll in this program.
  • Describe your strengths that will help you succeed in the program and in reaching your professional goals.
  • Describe the relevant responsibilities you have held.
  • Include any additional information that you feel will help the committee evaluate your application.
  • Two letters of recommendation. These letters should be from people who know you as a student or in a professional capacity. Letters from family members or friends do not meet this criterion. You will submit the names and work e-mail addresses for these individuals as part of the online graduate application. Once your application is submitted, they will receive instructions on how to electronically submit their recommendation letters.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must provide proof of English proficiency. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 is required of any applicant whose native language is not English.

3. International Students – Required additional materials

International applicants must also meet all of the requirements and supply all of the information requested by the Graduate College at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate-apply.

If you have any questions about the program, or are interested in the application process, please email graduatesanford@asu.edu.

FAQ

FHD Online Masters FAQ

Program fit and careers

Is this program for me?

What can I do with this degree?

Will this program allow me to become certified as a counselor, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist?

Will I graduate from this program with any special licenses or certifications?

Online format and coursework

How does an online class work? Do I need to "attend" class online on specific days and times?

How long is each class?

Do I need to come to campus to complete this degree?

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

What does a sample schedule for this program look like?

Applying

How do I apply?

When are applications due?

Are GREs required?

If I am completing (or completed) a major unrelated to Family and Human Development, can I still be admitted into this program?

Program cost

How much does the program cost?

Does the program offer any special scholarships, grants, or teaching/research assistant positions to help cover program costs?

Can I work while going to school?

General program information

Is this program accredited?

When can I begin the program?

How long does it take to complete the program?

What does a sample schedule for this program look like?

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

If this program does not require a thesis, what does it require?

How do you suggest undergraduate students prepare for this program?

Will I graduate from this program with any special licenses or certifications?

Will my diploma or transcripts specify that this is an online program or that courses were taken online?

For more information

If I still have questions, who should I contact?

Description of FHD MS Courses

FHD MS Course Descriptions

CDE 531 Theoretical Issues in Child Development
The primary emphasis is placed on understanding theories of change that take place during the development of individuals. An emphasis is placed on understanding how theories affect the way you perceive and react to others, with a particular emphasis placed on children and adolescents. We cover the 'grand' theories of development with an emphasis on practical application. We also will cover the important role that observation plays in interpreting and understanding developmental change. In this way, an enhanced appreciation of children and their changing needs should be gained, as well as an appreciation of the issues involved in guiding and socializing them.

FAS 500 Research Methods
This course is designed to strengthen your ability to evaluate and conduct social research. We will first focus on the fundamentals of social research, including: the scientific method, developing testable theoretical propositions, causal inference, sampling, and measurement. We will also explore the diverse methods available to social scientists, including surveys, social experiments, observation and ethnography, and content analysis, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

CDE 501 Social Science Statistics
This class is designed to introduce you to the statistical concepts necessary for understanding research in the social sciences and the application of that research in real world settings. This class will help you to (a) analyze, organize, and interpret data using common statistical tests conducted with SPSS, (b) understand the logic of common data analysis techniques, (c) choose appropriate statistical procedures, and (d) critically assess statistics encountered in both the popular media and academic settings. The primary focus of this course will be on applied statistics and does not require an advanced mathematical background. If you are someone who plans on working in settings outside academia but desires to be a wise consumer of information, this class is an excellent choice. If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to conduct research and analyze data in an applied setting, this class will start you on the path to understanding and selecting appropriate statistical techniques.

FAS 598 Cultural Diversity
This course examines issues of diversity in families within the United States and around the world. It explores the context of individual family units with a focus on family systems theory and larger systemic issues affecting diverse families utilizing critical race theory. Today, families in the United States are more diverse, in terms of structure, culture, and ethnicity, than at any other point in history. At the same time, common family experiences are shared across groups, across cultures, and across borders. The course explores risk and protective factors associated with ethnoracial, physical, religious, and sexual diversity, as well as resilience, prevention strategies, and future directions. This class is atypical in its approach to family diversity issues in that it does not examine families by categorizing them into groups that are viewed as monolithic and unchanging. Thus, do not expect to learn about "Asian families" or "Hispanic families" or "African families;" rather, expect to learn about families/family dynamics and the reciprocal influence of culture, ethnicity, economics, and politics.

FAS 598 Parenting
Focus on theoretical, empirical and practical applications of parenting and parent-child relationships across the lifespan.

FAS 598 Marriage and Family Relationships
The purpose of this course is to contribute to students' understanding of family theory and the use of theory to understand family interactions. Major theoretical perspectives on family relationships will be introduced from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, history, and economics. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing students' ability to critique, compare/contrast, and integrate family theories. Each week there will be scholarly discussions and analyses of the ideas contained in the reading material and the implications of the theories for our understanding and study of families.

FAS 598 Leadership and Social Justice

This course will expose you to current literature on leadership, especially as related to social justice. It will allow you to practice leadership in a "safe place," where failure can be seen as personal growth as well as success. This course also is designed to provide you with new knowledge about yourself, others, and social justice. It will prepare you for real world leadership and strategic planning.

Capstone Courses and Culminating Experience

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.

Courses and Electives

Core courses (9 hours)

  • 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)

Research (3 hours)

FAS 500 Research Methods (Fall B)

Other Requirements (15 hours)

  • 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)

Culminating Experience (3 hours)

  • FAS 588 Capstone 3 (Fall B, Spring B, Summer B)

Capstone courses

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.

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