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Human Development and Family Science MA or MS

Mizzou’s on-campus Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Science prepares you to critically consume research, translate research to practice, and make empirically-supported decisions. This degree prepares you to work in a variety of settings to support the lives of individuals and families.


Research the development, diversity, and resilience of individuals, couples, families, and communities in context and across the lifespan.


Create your personalized plan of study and capstone experience to specialize in the area most relevant to your career or educational goals.


Join research teams, support undergraduate instruction, and engage with the community through
student organizations.

Courses are selected from:

  1. Statistics, research methods, and professional development (7 hours)
    HDFS 8200: Research Methods
    Any advisor-approved statistics course 7000 level or above
    HDFS 8087: Professional Seminar I
  2. Theory (6 hours)
    HDFS 8210: Theories of Human Development
    HDFS 8220: Family Theories
  3. Diversity (6 hours; additional courses may be taken to fulfill electives requirements)
    HDFS 7300: Black Families
    HDFS 8087: Poverty
    HDFS 8300: Advanced Seminar on Multicultural Families
  4. Electives (12-15 hours)
    HDFS 7001: Contemporary Issues in Family Science
    HDFS 7001: Contemporary Issues in Human Development
    HDFS 8410: Infancy and Childhood
    HDFS 7640: Interpersonal Relationships
    HDFS 7252: Adult Development and Aging
    HDFS 8012: Family Dynamics and Intervention
    HDFS 8450: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
    HDFS 8640: Family Interaction
    Or any advisor approved graduate level course
  5. HDFS 8090: Project (3 hours)
    HDFS 8090: Thesis (3-6 hours)****Students must petition the graduate committee to complete a thesis and earn a Master of Science degree.

*36 credit hours are required to earn a Master’s degree

Choose a capstone experience to support your goals

  • Project: Develop programming or policy to make a difference in your community
  • Thesis: Hone research skills and contribute to a body of knowledge

Graduates from the on-campus Master’s program work in a variety of settings that support adaptive development and relationships.

  • Human services agencies
  • Family advocacy programs
  • County Extension offices
  • Emergency shelters / Crisis centers
  • Public policy / Government agencies
  • Early childhood centers
  • Assisted living centers
  • Family law offices

Apply Now

Why Mizzou HDFS?

  • Mizzou HDFS ranked #6 nationally in value by Great Value Colleges of all family and consumer sciences departments
  • Excellent national reputation and ranking among HDFS doctoral programs
  • Collegial and supportive culture
  • Over $100,000 awarded annually from departmentcollege, and university fellowships
  • Exceptional post-graduation employment rate in the graduate’s chosen field
  • Award-winning mentorship from nationally-recognized faculty
  • Curated plan of study prepares you for the career you want
  • Built-in opportunities to conduct research, publish, and present at conferences
  • Face-to-face and online teaching opportunities
  • Free professional development workshops

Open Masters Program Flyer
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Liz Dreifuss“HDFS not only provided me with the academic knowledge pertaining to my field of interest but also gave me opportunities to work hands-on in my field to put my knowledge to use. I owe much of my post-graduate success to the HDFS Mizzou program.”

Memory Care Director
Arrow Senior Living Management
St. Louis, MO

“Mizzou’s HDFS program has thoroughly equipped me with everything I need in my career. [I am] confident in supporting families and children in early childhood knowing when and how to ask the right questions, taking the initiative, and putting my best foot forward.”

Director, Military Training & Programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of America

CARRIE LEHMAN“The academic and real-life experiences provided to me through Mizzou’s HDFS program were unparalleled. The faculty’s dedication to my success was reflected in my outstanding internship opportunities and currently in my post-graduate career.”

Assoc. Dir. of the Osher Institute
College of William and Mary
WIlliamsburg, VA