Family and Human Development, MS

One important role of adults interested in working with children, youth, and families is helping these individuals succeed in their relationships and achieve positive outcomes within their communities. A master's degree in Family and Human Development can help social and behavioral sciences professionals understand these relationship and developmental dynamics, evaluate and consume research, and translate research into best practices to assist children, youth, and families in community settings.

The Master's in Family and Human Development is an expedited 30-credit hour online program that students can complete in as little as 15 to 18 months. This terminal, non-thesis degree program is designed for students who want an applied practitioner-oriented approach to develop an advanced understanding of the issues and needs of children, youth, and families in the 21st century. Students will gain knowledge and skills to create, facilitate, and evaluate research and programs that promote healthy individual and family development.

Experienced faculty who are trained in the area and have considerable expertise in delivering high-quality online education teach the courses and help direct capstone projects.

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/NameWhen 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, Child Life I: Play in Child 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 A and 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 AFall BSpring ASpring BSummer ASummer B
Year 1CDE 531FAS 500
FAS 586
FAS/CDE 598*CDE 501FAS 598 Diversity
FAS 598*
FAS 587
Year 2FAS 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. Capstone Project III also includes an in-depth investigative paper option . As part of Capstone Project III, students will be required to complete one of the following activities, in addition to coursework that focuses on the application of what has been studied throughout the program:

    • 40 hours of field experience. Field experience hours are typically be obtained by working with a single agency, organization, or project. Examples of field experience may include volunteering with community organizations, completing advocacy or policy work, or starting a non-profit entrepreneurial venture that fills a particular community/societal need. The 40 hours of fieldwork must be completed during the actual 6 - 7.5 week Capstone III course because the fieldwork correlates with the weekly assignments given in class.

      or

    • In-depth investigative paper (40 page minimum). Students will create an in-depth written report that informs the reader of the current state of research, future research directions, and/or identify problems and solutions related to children, youth, and families. Students will be assigned a capstone 3 paper mentor who will work with them throughout the writing process. Note - this is not a thesis.

 

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 for fall scholarships are due by August 1 and applications for spring scholarships are due by January 1. 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 deadlines.

Susan Coleman Scholarships for Online Master’s Graduate Students Interested in the Aging Process

Susan Coleman Scholarship Eligibility Guidelines:
(1) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
(2) Students must maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship.
(3) Students must indicate an interest in studying and working in areas related to the aging process, including human change over time and/or particular developmental periods (e.g., infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, late adulthood).  Preference will be given to those who 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 the area).
(4) Preference will be given to those students who indicate financial need.

Del Webb Scholarship Eligibility Guidelines:
(1) Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
(2) Students must maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship.
(3) Financial need is not a factor in the selection process
(4) Evidence of volunteer activities with older adults
(5) Statement of interest on application must outline career directions

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).

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 30Fall A session (begins mid-August)
December 15Spring A session (begins mid-January)
May 1Summer 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 page to ensure you understand the program, policies, and procedures.

2. Submit Graduate College Application

3. Submit Required Supplemental Materials

  • Submit all of the following materials online via the Graduate College Application at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp
  • Resume or curriculum vitae. Must summarize the academic and employment experiences of the applicant, as well as applicable community involvement.
  • Personal Statement. Must be four to five pages, double-spaced, and address 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.
    • As part of the online graduate application you will submit the names and work email addresses for your recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to electronically send their recommendations.
  • 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.

4. 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 http://graduate.asu.edu/admissions/international.

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

FHD Online Masters FAQ

Program Fit and Careers

Online Format and Coursework

Applying

Program Cost

General Program Information

For More information

 

Program Fit and Careers

Is this program for me?

If you are wondering if this is the program for you, ask yourself the following questions:

Does this particular program fit with your individual goals and aspirations? Before beginning ANY graduate program, it is useful to have a clear vision of your career goals and an understanding of what will help you advance in that career.
Do you have a hard time with time management and being self disciplined? Every graduate degree requires organization, time-management, and self-discipline; however, an online and accelerated format can require this to a greater extent in order to ensure you stay on top of deadlines and keep up with the work-load with decreased face-to-face contact with faculty and students.
Do you need a flexible schedule? The online degree is flexible because we understand that many students work full-time and have families. Like any graduate degree, there are high expectations for students to keep up, be engaged, and be professional.
Are you interested in earning a PhD some day? Typically, a terminal master's degree is NOT a path to earning a PhD (although it is not unheard of or impossible).

If an understanding of family and human development can enhance your career and help you achieve your goals, if you are ready to be an active learner, and if you are ready to be in control of your education and academic progress, then this is a great program for you!

[return to the top]

What can I do with this degree?

For many students, the Master's in Family and Human development is a vehicle to a better job, better position, or better pay. Other students pursue this degree because of a passion for the field of family and human development, a desire to apply what they learn to their existing job, or aspirations to address social needs and issues in applied settings. Graduates from programs such as this often find work in a variety of human services settings, including:

  • human resources
  • community support programs
  • non-profit organizations
  • government agencies
  • child protective services
  • private business
  • education support and administration in elementary schools, high schools, and universities
  • family violence centers
  • crisis intervention centers
  • before and after school programs
  • early childhood centers
  • family support and child care
  • law enforcement
  • correctional facilities or juvenile detention centers
  • adoption agencies
  • health centers and hospitals
  • volunteer centers
  • youth programs
  • nursing homes
  • group homes
  • customer service centers

Additionally, this program can enhance professional degrees and careers students may already have. Teachers; lawyers; speech, occupational, and recreational therapists; police officers; substance abuse counselors; and medical and health professionals, to name a few, could apply the information from this program to increase their knowledge base and job effectiveness.

[return to the top]

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

The master's in Family and Human Development does not license or qualify students to become counselors, therapists, or psychologists. While the information students learn in this program could be beneficial to therapists and counselors, this degree does not enable students to seek licensure as a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist, and the completion of an additional program or degree would be required to do so.

[return to the top]

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

You will graduate from this program with a Master of Science; however, this program does not provide any additional licensing or certifications.

[return to the top]


Online Format and Coursework

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

Our online classes are flexible and recognize variations in student needs and schedules! Although classes will have assignments, projects, and exams due by specific dates, students are able to access course materials, readings, lectures, and discussion boards at their convenience.

[return to the top]

How long is each class?

Fall and spring classes run for 7.5 weeks and summer classes run for 6 weeks. Because each class is accelerated, students are expected to devote approximately 10 to 20 hours per week per class.

[return to the top]

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

No, the online Master's in Family and Human Development will be completed completely online; however, we do try to foster an active student community through the internet.

[return to the top]

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

All students are required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework from the Sanford School; however, if you have completed a graduate level research methods or statistics course, it can be evaluated for equivalency to our courses. If approved, we will waive the statistics and/or research methods requirement for you (i.e., you will not need to re-take research methods and/or statistics). Instead, you will consult with the director of online graduate studies to find FAS MS courses to take in place of these waived courses. If you have questions concerning a research methods or statistics course you have taken, you can e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

[return to the top]

What does a sample schedule for this program look like?

You can view course map under the Program of Study tab on this page.

[return to the top]


Applying

How do I apply?

Find information on how to apply at the bottom of this page.

[return to the top]

When are applications due?

Admissions deadlines are as follows:

Apply by:In order 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)

[return to the top]

Are GREs required?

No, GREs are not required for admission to this program.

[return to the top]

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

If you do not come from a Family and Human Development, Social Behavioral, or Social Science background, you are still welcome and eligible to apply and be admitted to this program! Family and Human Development is an interdisciplinary field - no single background is better suited for this degree than another. Your academic and work experience may qualify you for the Master's degree in Family and Human Development. Additionally, students with no education or experience in this field may have the opportunity to be admitted to the program conditionally, allowing students to be admitted to the program, followed by completing supplemental coursework related to the field prior to officially beginning the Master's program.

[return to the top]

Program Cost

How much does the program cost?

Visit https://asuonline.asu.edu/degree-programs/graduate/master-science-family... to see the cost per credit hour for this program. Students can find more detailed tuition information by visiting https://students.asu.edu/tuitionandfees.

[return to the top]

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

Through the generosity of special contributors, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is able to provide 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.

You can learn more about these opportunities by visiting https://thesanfordschool.asu.edu/fellowships.

[return to the top]

Can I work while going to school?

This program was designed based on the recognition that many students who are interested in advancing their education also work and have lives outside of school making it difficult or impossible to engage in an on-campus program. The 7.5 week online class format makes this program a great option for such students. The program is intended to be a full-time program, with accelerated (7.5 week long) classes that require approximately 15 to 20 hours of your time per week per class; however, many busy students find that the workload is manageable due to the shorter class length (7.5 weeks rather than 15 weeks) and the flexibility offered with the online format. Additionally, busy students appreciate the fact that the program can be completed in 15-18 months, at which point they are able to advance in or begin their careers.

[return to the top]


General Program Information

Is this program accredited?

This is an accredited program in that it is from an accredited university; however, this degree does provide students with any licenses or certifications. It does not train, certify, or license students to counsel or provide therapy. You can read more about ASU's accreditation at https://provost.asu.edu/accreditation.

[return to the top]

When can I begin the program?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for entry Fall, Spring, or Summer. Students may begin the program in one of five sessions:

Fall A (begins mid-August)
Spring A (begins mid-January)
Summer (begins mid-May).

[return to the top]

How long does it take to complete the program?

If you follow the prescribed schedule (1-2 classes per 7.5 week session), then you can complete the program in as few as 15 to 18 months.

Graduate Education policies dictate that students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour during all phases of their graduate education, with registration for every fall semester and spring semester required. Additionally, Graduate Education policies require students to complete their master's degree within 6 years.

[return to the top]

What does a sample schedule for this program look like?

You can view course maps under the program study tab at the top of this page.

[return to the top]

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

All students are required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework from the Sanford School; however, if you have completed a graduate level research methods or statistics course, it can be evaluated for equivalency to our courses. If approved, we will waive the statistics and/or research methods requirement for you (i.e., you will not need to re-take research methods and/or statistics). Instead, you will consult with the director of online graduate studies to find FAS MS courses to take in place of these waived courses. If you have questions concerning a research methods or statistics course you have taken, you can e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

[return to the top]

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

Rather than requiring students to complete a thesis, students participate in a culminating experience. This applied culminating experience consists of a 3-part Capstone Project. Each part of the Capstone experience will be customized to fit individual student's professional and academic needs and interests. The culminating experience is limited only by the student's creativity and motivation, with possible experiences being as varied as the student's interests and individual circumstances. Ultimately, this culminating experience will provide students with a deeper understanding of family and human development, as well as a comprehensive professional portfolio for work in fields relating to children, youth, and families. The culminating 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 advisor 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 is a written paper that 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.
  • Capstone Project Part III: Application. Capstone Project III is the point at which students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned through their coursework and the Capstone II written report and research. Once again, the emphasis is on a personalized and useful experience for the students. In consultation with an advisor, 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. Capstone Project III also includes an investigative paper option that builds upon the research interests that were explored in Capstone Project II.

[return to the top]

How do you suggest undergraduate students prepare for this program?

If you are an undergraduate student and interested in pursuing the online Master's degree in Family and Human Development, you can begin to prepare for your Master's degree now! Although the program does not have specific prerequisite courses required for admission, you might consider taking college classes such as Human Development, Infant/Toddler Development, Family Processes, Family Diversity, Aging, Parenting, and Marriage and Family Relationships.

A basic statistics class and research methods class will also help prepare you for the program, where you will further learn how to evaluate and understand research in the field of Family and Human Development.

[return to the top]

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

You will graduate from this program with a Master of Science; however, this program does not provide any additional licensing or certifications.

[return to the top]

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

There is no reference to "online" on a student's transcript or diploma from ASU.

[return to the top]


For More Information

If I still have questions, who should I contact?

For additional information about the program, please contact:

Dr. Bethany Van Vleet, Director of Online Master's Programs
Email: graduatesanford@asu.edu

You may direct questions relating to your graduate program application to:

Gina Perez, Graduate Coordinator
graduatesanford@asu.edu
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 873701
Tempe, AZ 85282-3701

[return to the top]

If you have any questions about the online application procedures or about the program, please email graduatesanford@asu.edu.

 

Degree Offered

Family and Human Development, MS
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of

Location
Online

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadline

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 (https://students.asu.edu/academic-calendar) for specific session start dates.

Graduate Online Information Sessions

If you would like to learn more about the Graduate Online Master's Programs, please attend one of our online information sessions. You will learn about the application process, programs of study, and have a short Q&A with our Graduate Programs Coordinator, Gina Perez.

Tues., March 20, 2018 from 1 – 2 pm*
Wed., April 4, 2018 from 1 – 2 pm*

*Arizona time zone

Get more details and RSVP today!

Handbook

Family & Human Development (MS) Handbook