MS Human Development and Family Science

MS in Human Development and Family Science


The Master of Science in human development and family science is designed for students whose career goals include working with children and families. With advanced study in human development and family science, students are able to fill a variety of professional roles in the administration of programs serving children, families, and older adults; in teaching young children, preadolescents, and young adults; and in specialized clinical roles in child life, early intervention, developmental evaluation, and other mental health and human services programs. Each student’s program of study is tailored to fit his or her needs and interests, and students are encouraged to select an area of specialization that will prepare them for in depth study in a related discipline. Opportunities for national and international internships are available for HDFS students to expand their study and experience. Students may apply for the National Council on Family Relation’s certification in family life education and other certifications.

Students may choose one of two options: a thesis option, which includes the building of research skills and the completion of independent research or a professional project option.

Admission Requirements

Admission to East Carolina University does not guarantee admissions into your desired program of study.

The Graduate School has minimum requirements for all applicants to graduate programs.

  • Completed application form with paid application fee
  • Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose/Intent)

The following requirements must be met for admission into the MS HDFS program:

  • Individuals who hold undergraduate degrees in child development, family studies, psychology, sociology, education, or closely related degree are eligible to enroll in the degree program.
  • Other requirements include:
    • Overall gpa of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work from an institution accredited by a regional association.
    • A completed graduate School application packet, including the written statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation from persons who can attest to the applicant’s academic competence or ability to do graduate work.
    • Applicant should have successfully completed at the undergraduate level at least one course in child development and one course in family studies.
    • Applicants may be required to take additional courses as part of the degree requirements in order to make up deficiencies or meet certification requirements.

Program Requirements

The human development and family science program requires 36 s.h.

Required Courses

Delivery Methods

This program is only offered in an on-campus, Face to Face format.

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students

ECU degree programs satisfy the professional licensure and/or certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for these exams.  However, requirements in other states may be different.

If you are considering a degree program that may, would, could or potentially lead to a professional license and/or certification, please note that at this time ECU may or may not be able to advise whether a  program meets requirements outside of North Carolina.  Prior to enrolling in a degree program, please discuss this important topic with your program of interest.