M.S. in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Applied Human Development and Family Sciences (AHDFS) program?

The AHDFS program offers a Master of Science degree. The 30-credit hour graduate program focuses on the study of human development, family dynamics and their relations with the broader ecological context across the life span. This program offers students with a theoretical foundation and practical applications to promote well-being and healthy development of individuals, families and relationships. Graduates are prepared for professional positions in working with children, adolescents and families.  The degree program also prepares students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in a related area.

What is the difference between the AHDFS graduate program without a specialization, the AHDFS program with the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (SMFT) and the AHDFS program with the Specialization in Leadership in Aging Studies (SLAS)?

AHDFS offers three graduate pathways for those interested in studying human development and family relations across the life span.

AHDFS: provides you with the most up-to-date knowledge, practical skills and hands-on experience to promote and improve wellbeing for individuals and families. This program provides you the opportunity for doctoral studies in the future.

Specialization in SMFT: offers you both theoretical foundations and clinical experience in the training of becoming a marriage and family therapist to assist individuals, couples, parents and families in resolving problems. The program prepares you to pursue a license for marriage and family therapists (LMFT).

Specialization in SLAS: provides you the academic and field training and experience to pursue leadership positions in aging, including long-term care, social services, service management and research and evaluation. It is also designed for the preparation to sit for the Illinois Nursing Administrator’s License.

Is an internship required for this program?

You are encouraged to gain practical experiences through internships. The program offers a variety of different internship opportunities; it depends on which path you are taking. The program also offers a college teaching course to provide experience for those who are interested in pursuing college teaching as a career path.

Is a thesis required for this program?

You can choose between writing a thesis (six credits) or taking the written comprehensive examination. You should make a decision between the thesis and comprehensive examination options early in your program. The decision should depend on your strengths, interests and future career goals.

Contact Us

Family and Consumer Sciences
118 Wirtz Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115

Kristine Radtke
Program Coordinator

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