Master's Degree Program

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The 30-hour Master of Science program in Human Development and Family Science with a specialization in Prevention Science trains students in applying research-based knowledge to the development, implementation, evaluation, and administration of prevention programs designed to promote individual, family, and relationship health and well-being across the life course. Students who choose the thesis option will also develop research skills to investigate phenomena within the field of human development and family science. Successful completion of the Master's program in Prevention Science will provide students the necessary knowledge and skills to work in a variety of public or non-profit settings, or continue graduate work in Prevention Science or other related disciplines


Required Courses:

  • HDFS 800: Introduction to HDFS Grad Program (0)
  • HDFS 752: Social Justice Approach to Prevention (3)
  • HDFS 787: Resilience in Families (3)
  • HDFS 770: Development and Implementation of Prevention Science Programs (3)
  • HDFS 852: Theories of Human Development and Family Science (3)
  • HDFS 893: Evaluation of Prevention Science Programs (3)
  • HHS 888: Research Methods in Health and Human Sciences (3)


Research/Thesis Track (12 hours)

  • Methods Course (Choose one of the following) (3)
    • EDCEP 817: Statistical Methods in Education (3)
    • HDFS 806: Statistical Methods in Human Development and Family Sciences I (3)
    • HDFS 809: Qualitative Research (3)
    • STAT 703: Introduction to Statistical Methods for the Sciences (3)
  • HDFS 899: MS Research in HDFS (6)
  • Elective (3)

Applied/Coursework Only Track (12 hours)

  • HDFS 801: Grant Writing (3)
  • HDFS 860: Family Policy (3)
  • HDFS 881: Capstone in Human Development and Family Science (3)
  • Elective (3)

At least 30 credits are required to complete the Master's in Prevention Science.

If desired, students can choose to pursue a graduate certificate to complement or enhance their degree in Prevention Science. Elective credits may be counted towards completion of the certificate. Please note that completion of the certificate may require additional credits beyond those required for the Master's Degree.

Culminating Experience

All students completing the Master's degree in Prevention Science will be required to complete a written thesis or capstone and an oral defense of that written product.

A master's thesis is original scholarship based on the student's research, which is conducted and written under the direction of the student's major professor and supervisory committee. In order to prepare students for successful completion, the thesis process will include pre-proposal and proposal meetings, in addition to mentoring from a student's supervisory committee throughout the duration.

A master's capstone is original scholarship based on an applied project the student conducts. In order to prepare students for successful completion, the capstone process will include a proposal meeting, in addition to mentoring from a student's supervisory committee throughout the duration.

Application Information

Master's Program

    • Fall priority deadline is December 1st for master's program. After this date, rolling admission through June 1st as space allows.
    • Spring admission deadline is November 1st.
    • International students may have earlier deadlines. Please check the Graduate School Website.
    • Get more complete application information.


Program Contacts

For questions about the application process, program requirements, or curriculum please contact Dr. Michelle Toews.