Human Development and Family Sciences
Students are prepared for academic, research and applied careers that address the needs of diverse families and individuals across the lifespan.
The human development and family sciences program offers a flexible model of graduate training that allows students to develop individualized degree plans catered to career goals, provides opportunities to conduct research, supports cross-disciplinary education and emphasizes mentorship and professional opportunities to support students’ development and career placement.
Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:
“With small class sizes, friendly staff and professors who truly care about my future, I knew that I had made the right choice in choosing this program at Texas State. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”
— Leslie Wells, M.S. ’17
The 37-credit hour program is designed for students interested in research and applied careers. The program currently offers three concentrations: program administration and evaluation, child life specialist, and research in family and human development. All concentrations provide advanced educational experiences in the content areas of research methodology, theories related to families and children, child development, and current issues impacting families and children.
The program administration and evaluation concentration provides applied experiences as well as knowledge and expertise to administer and evaluate programs related to children and families. The child life specialist concentration gives students the foundation to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. The research in family and human development concentration prepares students for doctoral programs and research careers in the field of family and human development.
|Degree||Concentration||Hours||Thesis Option||Minor Option|
|M.S.||Child Life Specialist||37||Non-Thesis||No minor|
|M.S.||Child Life Specialist||37||Thesis||No minor|
|M.S.||Program Administration and Evaluation||37||Non-Thesis||No minor|
|M.S.||Program Administration and Evaluation||37||Thesis||No minor|
|M.S.||Research in Family and Human Development||37||Thesis||No minor|
Part of this program may be offered online. If you are not a Texas resident and will not relocate, please visit the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. International students, please visit International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) regarding additional considerations in taking online courses.
Students are accepted to top Ph.D. programs and receive various employment opportunities. Child life students have notable success securing internships and employment as Certified Child Life Specialists.
The goals of the human development and family sciences program are to provide students with exceptional classroom and research experiences, support students through practicum and internship experiences, and prepare students to work with diverse populations.
As the first graduate-level child life academic program in Texas, the program also strives to continue to offer its exceptional training from Certified Child Life Specialists that combined have nearly 50 years of clinical experience.
Faculty have established research programs in social and cultural processes; family relationships; infant, child, adolescent and young adult development; gender; teacher-child relationships; and gerontology. Faculty members’ research has been published in top-tier journals including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Family Process and Journal of Family Psychology. Faculty research has been supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Greater Texas Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Students will find a variety of career options available after graduation including:
- Child Life Specialists in hospitals and community-based nonprofit organizations
- leadership roles in nonprofit agencies and early childhood education programs
- research and project coordinators in governmental agencies
- faculty members at community colleges
Students are also prepared to continue their studies in doctoral programs.
The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.
Transcripts & GPA
- baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
- a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
- minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
- background course work
Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.
- official GRE (general test only) required with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections
Review important information about official test scores.
*GRE scores not required for fall 2021 applicants.
TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores
Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.
- official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
- official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
- official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
- minimum individual module scores of 6.0
This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.
Review important information about official test scores.