US News Best Online Programs Grad Education 2023The Master of Arts in Family & Community Services prepares students to empower individuals and families with diverse backgrounds and needs. Students will gain skills to manage, evaluate, and deliver programs for children and families, and provide leadership in social service agencies. Our graduates will:


Learn how individual development and family, social, and community dynamics intersect across the lifespan


Partner with families to create and evaluate evidence-informed programs that meet their varied needs


Administer family and community programs and sustain them through securing funding and managing personnel effectively

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts – 36 total credits

Required Courses (30 credits)

Understand Families in Community Contexts

HDFS 8100: Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services (3) a
HDFS 7690: Family Resource Management (3)
HDFS 8012: Family Dynamics (3)
HDFS 8520: Lifespan Development (3)
HDFS 7640: Interpersonal Relationships (3)
HDFS 7600: Family Resilience Across the Life Course (3)

Deliver Family Service Programs:

HDFS 8510: Parenting Programs and Parent-Child Relationships (3)
HDFS 7650: Family Crises Intervention (3)

Manage Family and Community Service Programs:

HDFS 8235: Program Administration and Management (3)
HDFS 8238: Program Design, Evaluation, and Implementation (3)

Suggested Electives* (up to 6 credits)

HDFS 7233: Basic Grant Development and Management (3, Summer)
HDFS 8087: Families in Poverty (3, Summer)
HDFS 8087: Transitions to Adulthood (3, Summer)
HDFS 8087: Nongovernmental Organizations and Families (3, Summer)
HDFS 8087: Family Policy (3, Fall)
HDFS 8234: Adolescents and their Families (3, Spring)
HDFS 8237: Youth Culture (3, Fall)
*Or any other adviser-approved course

Independent Capstone Effort* (choose 1 option):

HDFS 8972: Internship (variable credits, consult your adviser)
HDFS 8999: Comprehensive Exam (no course credit assigned)

No course credit is assigned to the exam option. Students typically complete the exam during their final semester of coursework. The Internship option is available with adviser approval.

a HDFS 8100 should be completed in the first semester of enrollment.

NOTE: Up to 6 credits can be transferred from other graduate programs, if your adviser deems the courses relevant.



Graduates from Family and Community Services work in a variety of settings. Empower and serve those in your community!

  • Family advocacy programs
  • County Extension offices
  • Military community services
  • Social service agencies
  • Emergency shelters / Crisis centers
  • Public policy
  • Government agencies

Graduates may qualify for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential from the National Council on Family Relations