School of Health and Human Sciences

The Master of Science thesis program focuses on the development of theory and research knowledge. It prepares graduates for research positions and for advanced research study at the doctoral level.

The MS thesis program of study is multidisciplinary, calling for a synthesis of knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences and for an examination of the influence of social context and policy on individual and family behavior and development. Graduate course work focuses on the contributions of family, peer, school, and other cultural contexts to the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children, adolescents, and adults; the changing nature of the family constellation; local and national policies affecting families; and issues related to the elderly. The M.S. thesis degree program requires the completion of a minimum of 40 semester hours of course work and research beyond the Baccalaureate degree. The degree program must be completed within five years. Required and elective course work and research are listed below.

Degree Requirements

Core Content (19)

HDF 640 Professional Seminar I (1)
HDF 653 Contemporary Research in Family Studies (3)
HDF 651 Contemporary Research in Human Development (3)
HDF 652 Theories of Human Development (3)
HDF 655 Family Theory (3)
HDF 656 Race, Class, and Culture (3)
HDF 661 Professional Seminar II (1)
HDF 745 College Teaching in Human Development and Family Studies I (2)

Area of Specialization (6)

Area of specialization courses are selected jointly by the student and the faculty advisory committee. All 6 hours must be fulfilled through content courses, and at least 3 of the 6 hours must be taken within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Please note that research methods and statistics cannot count as area of specialization courses for the MS degree.

Statistics and Methodology (9)

ERM 680 Intermediate Statistical Methods in Education (3)
ERM 681 Design and Analysis of Educational Experiments (3)
HDF 658 Research Methods in Human Development and Family Studies (3)

Research (6) (Capstone Experience)

HDF 699 Thesis (1-6)
Oral Examination