School of Health and Human Sciences

1. What are the deadlines to apply for your graduate programs?

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program: February 1st
MEd (BKISED) program: February 1st
MS (thesis) and MS/PhD program: Dec 15th
PhD Program: Dec 15th
Currently, all of our graduate programs offer fall admission only.

2. What are the requirements for the application?

All programs are fall admission only. Prospective graduate students submit their application materials to the Graduate School (not the HDFS Department). The Graduate School requires a 3.0 undergraduate GPA for full admission into UNCG graduate programs. A completed application includes: 1) the online application, 2) $65 application fee, 3) three references (preferably at least two from academic faculty professors), 4) one copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Note: If one transcript shows transfer credit from another institution, you do not need to provide a transcript from the original institution). 4) a 1-3 page professional statement*, and 5) an academic writing sample* (for our MS or PhD program only).  You will apply online and request your references from your chosen recommenders through the online system.

*The professional statement is a chance for the applicant to: 1) address their reasons for pursuing graduate study in HDFS; 2) previous experience and training in HDFS or related fields; 3) their professional goals; and 4) fit with the HDFS Graduate Program.  Students applying for admission to the MS program or the PhD program should also indicate their primary areas of research interest and the faculty members with whom they are most interested in working.  MS and PhD program applicants must also include an academic writing sample (e.g., senior year paper, literature review paper, honor’s thesis, master’s thesis, or a manuscript published/accepted for publication/submitted for publication). PhD applicants are encouraged to include a resume or CV as well.

The HDFS Department encourages students to submit the online application form even if they do not yet have all the other application materials. This can speed up the application process.

GRE scores are no longer part of the admission process for our graduate programs.

International Applicants: Learn more about International Application Requirements from the Graduate School.

The HDFS Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, Michael Kerley, can also arrange for you to speak with a current faculty member, the Graduate Program Director (Dr. Heather Helms) or a current graduate student about the program or about your interests, either over the phone/virtual meeting or during Campus Interview Day in the spring. Please call Michael at (336) 334-5307 or email for more information.

Or you may write to:

Department of Human Development and Family Studies
PO Box 26170
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27402-6170

(336)334-5307; FAX (336)334-5076

3. When should I hear about my admission status? How does the admission process work?

The Graduate Admissions Committee, faculty advisors, and the Graduate Program Director begin to review applications once they are complete and continue to review all applications submitted by the December deadline through the end of January.  In January, a select group of applicants will be invited to Campus Interview Day, typically held in February.  Admissions decisions are made after Campus Interview Day and are informed by applicants’ interviews and feedback from recruiting faculty.  If the student is admitted, a preliminary advisor is assigned at that time.  The student is then sent an email from the HDFS Department notifying them of the department’s recommendation for admission to the Graduate School.  Students admitted by the department should expect to receive an official emailed admission letter from the Graduate School within 5 business days of the departmental letter.  The entire admissions process takes several months from the time the complete application is submitted.  Since an application does not begin to be reviewed until it is complete, students wishing to expedite the processing of their application should make sure to submit all required materials, including the professional statement and writing sample, well in advance of the application deadline.  The two items the Graduate Admissions Committee is most commonly waiting on are recommendation letters and international transcript evaluations, so submit these as much in advance as possible.

This year our Campus Interview Day is Friday, February 10th, with a social the evening of February 9th.

4. Tell me about graduate assistantships and tuition waivers for MS thesis and PhD students:

The HDFS Department attempts to provide support for all eligible MS thesis and PhD students. Typically, departmental financial support is limited to two years for MS only students, three years for PhD student who enter with an MS (with thesis) in HDFS from another university, four years for PhD students who enter with an MS (with thesis) in a related field, and five years for PhD students who enter directly from their undergraduate degree program (and will earn their MS with thesis in HDFS@UNCG as part of our PhD direct entry program). The support is intended to (a) assist you in meeting the expenses of graduate study without having to find employment outside of the University, and (b) provide assistance to faculty in meeting their research and teaching responsibilities. Most support comes from departmental Research Assistantships, but other sources of support are available.

Departmental Research Assistantships. Initial offers of support are made to the best qualified applicants to the graduate program at the same time, or shortly after, an offer of admission is extended. If you are not offered support at the time of admission, you may be offered support later, as it becomes available. In addition to an assistantship, tuition waivers are typically offered to cover in-state and out-of-state tuition expenses.  Tuition waivers do not cover fees; therefore, students are still responsible for paying fees. If you are granted an assistantship or tuition waiver, you must fulfill all student immunization requirements before August 1st in order to be credited your financial aid.

Fellowships and Scholarships: In addition to Departmental assistantships (which have an research service requirement), UNCG has non-service fellowships and scholarships that are awarded by the Graduate School to exceptionally qualified students who meet the particular requirements of the award. Included among these awards are Greensboro Scholar Awards, Excellence Fund Fellowships, Charles A. Hayes Fellowships, and Adelaide Fortune Holderness Fellowships. Students who have been granted non-service university fellowships are able to select an HDFS faculty member of their choice to work with, and do not have the required service responsibilities that Research Assistants have. However, the Department believes that, if fellowship students are to progress most successfully through their graduate programs, they also should align themselves closely with the research program(s) of one or more HDFS faculty members. This should be accomplished by meeting with your selected faculty member at the beginning of each Fall semester to contract a mutually agreeable plan of collaborative participation for the year.

5. When do you offer courses?/Can I look up current course offerings?

Most of our graduate programs are designed for full time students, and therefore, most classes are offered during the day on weekdays. Our online B-K Graduate program classes typically take place once per week from 4-7pm.

Applicants are encouraged to visit UNCG’s course search to see when HDFS classes have been offered in the past few semesters and in the upcoming semester. Class offerings do vary from semester to semester — we do not guarantee that the same classes will be offered every semester, or that classes will be offered at the same time every semester. A list of Tentative Graduate Course Offerings for several years can be found on our Graduate Forms and Manual webpage.  Some faculty members also have course syllabi and other information on their courses on their faculty web pages.

6. Do you offer online courses?

Our MS and PhD programs are designed for traditional delivery with students meeting face-to-face with a professor on UNCG’s Greensboro campus. Our three graduate programs in B-K are all online. This includes the BK:ISED/MEd graduate program, the Leadership in Early Care and Education Certificate (LECE), and our graduate certificate in B-K Licensure.

UNCG is currently authorized to offer online courses to students in all states except Iowa, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota.

7. How long does it take to complete each degree?

Although students vary in how long they actually take, course offerings and programs are designed so that full-time students can complete their degrees in the following time spans:

Certificate Program: 1.5 years
MEd: 2 years plus any prerequisite courses
MS thesis: 2 years
PhD (without an earned MS with thesis from another university): 5 years
PhD (with an MS with thesis from another university): 3 years after, plus any prerequisite courses

8. For the MEd with an emphasis in Program Administration, what if my GPA is below 3.0?

If your GPA falls below the 3.0 level then you have the option of taking a graduate level course as a visiting student and then applying for the program. We recommend that students take SES 605 in the summer (starting May 15th through June 18th) and then apply for the program by July 1st. Students are not guaranteed admission to the program (a full application review along with the interview and short writing sample will still be required) but they will be considered as eligible applicants if they earn a B or better in SES 605. Please note that TEACH scholarships will not be available to visiting students but this course may be reimbursed if students are accepted for all admission. The CCSA should be contacted about potential reimbursement for this tuition cost. Visiting students must apply through UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning program for summer.

9.  I’m interested in the MS or PhD program.  How do I know what faculty are accepting students?

You may email the faculty member directly to introduce yourself and inquire, check our webpage, contact the Graduate Program Administrative Assistant (Michael Kerley,, and follow our UNCG Department of Human Development and Family Studies Facebook page and Twitter feed.