Human Development & Family Studies, MS

for the degree of Master of Science in Human Development & Family Studies

department head: Ramona Faith Oswald, Interim Head

director of graduate programs: Brian Ogolsky

department website: 

department faculty:

overview of college admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: 222 Bevier Hall, 905 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 333-3790


Graduate Degree Programs in Human Development & Family Studies

Graduate Majors:

Human Development and Family Studies, MS

Human Development and Family Studies, PhD

The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) focuses on positive development and resilience of diverse children, youth, and families in everyday life contexts. Our doctoral concentration is interdisciplinary, drawing upon the canons of anthropology, economics, education, family studies, human development, psychology, and sociology. Further, we value qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies.

Students who enter the doctoral program without a master’s will complete one as the first part of their doctoral requirements.


Admission is based upon both academic record and the applicant's fit with faculty research programs. We examine grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Examination (GRE, we will accept MCAT scores for Medical Scholar applicants) scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. International applicants from non-English speaking countries must have an official paper Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 103 on the internet based test. We will not admit anyone with a GPA less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. All applicants are required to submit official GRE scores (MCAT in the case of Medical Scholar applicants) and to have previous coursework in a relevant area of social or behavioral sciences. GRE, MCAT and TOEFL scores should be taken no more than two years prior to application. Our application deadline is December 15 for possible admission the following fall semester. We admit students for fall enrollment only. Please refer to our department website for further information.

Graduate Teaching Experience

We do not require our students to teach but recognize the importance of teacher development for their future marketability. Thus, we make teaching assistantships available and encourage students to pursue a variety of teaching experiences as well as mentorship from experienced instructors. We also encourage our students to utilize the variety of teacher training resources that are available across campus.

Faculty Research Interests

Faculty information is available on our department website at

Centers, Programs, and Institutes

Child Care Resource Service (
Child Development Lab (
Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program (
Family Resiliency Center (
University of Illinois Extension (

Facilities and Resources

Bevier Hall
Child Development Lab
Doris Kelly Christopher Hall
Early Child Development Lab

Financial Aid

We are committed to funding all of our students who are making timely progress. The duration and amount of our commitment varies by program. Funding may include fellowships, research assistantships, and/or teaching assistantships. These opportunities typically include stipends and tuition waivers. In some cases, fees are also waived. All applicants are automatically considered for all department funding opportunities; there is no separate application process. Federal and state financial aid is completely separate from the support provided by our department. For information regarding federal and state financial aid, please refer to

for the degree of Master of Science in Human Development & Family Studies

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's Graduate Program Information and the Graduate College Handbook.  

HDFS 501Human Development Theories4
HDFS 521Family Theories4
HDFS 533Community In American Society4
Research Methods and Statistics12
Advanced Research Methods
Qualitative Methods
Intermed Statistical Analysis
HDFS 599Thesis Research8
Total Hours32

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12 (8 within the unit)
A doctoral student terminating our program early and without a master's thesis, must complete 36 hours rather than 32.
Minimum GPA: 2.75