Human Development and Family Studies M.S.

HDFS MS students in class
Human Development and Family Studies M.S.

Program Overview

M.S. Degree: Core Areas of Study Program

The Core Areas of Study program has two foci: Child Development and Adolescent Development. Students in the Core Areas of Study Program may elect one of two options to complete their master's degree:  Thesis or Comprehensive Examination.  Both programs prepare students to work in a variety of human service positions and enter doctoral programs.  Please visit the Career Opportunities section of our website for more information.

Adolescent Development: This core area of study is designed to develop general competence in understanding and applying theory and research regarding adolescence through early adulthood within the context of their families and communities. Students are expected to complete a practicum in a program that serves adolescents.

Child Development: This core area of study is designed to develop an understanding of theory and research regarding children from infancy through the early school years and to prepare students to work in a variety of social science positions focused on children's family and school experiences. Students are expected to complete a practicum in a child-focused setting.

Accelerated Master’s for the Core Area Program

UNH Juniors and Seniors with a 3.2 GPA or higher can apply for early admission to the Core Area program in either Child Development or Adolescence by the deadlines noted on the Graduate School website. Accepted students will begin the accelerated program in either the fall or spring of their senior year. Students will be permitted to take up to 12 credits for dual credit.

Contact

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Pettee Hall, 55 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-5021

Curriculum & Requirements

Program requirements for the Core Areas of Study include

Successful completion of a 12-credit core curriculum
HDFS 991Professional Issues for Family Specialists4
HDFS 993Theoretical Approaches to Human Development and Family Studies4
HDFS 994Research Seminar4
Successful completion of 22 additional credits
Students will design a program of study from HDFS and other department's graduate courses
One 800 - 900 Level Statistics Class 4
HDFS 895Advanced Independent Study1-6
HDFS 930Child Development in Context 4
or HDFS 950 Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Development
HDFS 911Graduate Internship4 - 8
HDFS 857Race, Class, Gender, and Families4
HDFS 846Human Sexuality4
HDFS 860Family Programs and Policies4
HDFS 876Children, Adolescents and the Law4
HDFS 894Families and the Law4
SW 814Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention3
SOC 897Special Topics4
Thesis Option
Students electing to complete a research thesis must write and defend a thesis based on original research. Students must earn a minimum of 6 credits of HDFS 899 Master's Thesis.
HDFS 899Master's Thesis (Successful completion of 6 - 10 credits)6-10
OR
Comprehensive Examination
Students electing to complete a comprehensive examination must take an additional 8 credits of approved electives in place of thesis credits. The comprehensive examination consists of a timed, three-hour close-­book portion and a one-week take-home exam.
Comprehensive Examination, plus additional 8 credits of approved electives8

Grade Policy

A graduate student who fails a course must immediately attend a mandatory meeting with the instructor of the course, the Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Coordinator, and, if desired, the student's adviser. If a graduate student receives grades below "B-­" in two or more courses, the Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Coordinator will make a recommendation to the Graduate School that the student be dismissed from the human development and family studies graduate program.

M.S. Degree: Core Areas of Study Courses

HDFS 807Practicum1-6
HDFS 809Child Study and Development Center Internship1-6
HDFS 834Curriculum for Young Children4
HDFS 843Families, Schools, and Community4
HDFS 846Human Sexuality4
HDFS 857Race, Class, Gender, and Families4
HDFS 860Family Programs and Policies4
HDFS 871Observation and Assessment of Young Children4
HDFS 873International Perspectives on Children and Families4
HDFS 876Children, Adolescents and the Law4
HDFS 894Families and the Law4
HDFS 897Special Topics1-4
HDFS 899Master's Thesis1 - 6
HDFS 911Graduate Internship2-8
HDFS 930Child Development in Context4
HDFS 950Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Development4
HDFS 991Professional Issues for Family Specialists4
HDFS 993Theoretical Approaches to Human Development and Family Studies4
HDFS 994Research Seminar4

Explore Program Details

UNH juniors and seniors with a 3.2 GPA or higher now have the opportunity to apply for admission to the Accelerated Core Areas Program in either Child Development or Adolescent Development.  Accepted students will begin the accelerated program in  their senior year, and will be permitted to take up to 12 credits for dual credit.  See the UNH Graduate School website for general information on accelerated master's programs.

Some of the Core Area courses are offered every other year, as a result, a student's course of study will vary based on the student's year of entry. For the spring of senior year:

  • Child Development students could be taking HDFS 930: Child Development in Context plus up to 8 elective courses credits.
  • Adolescent Development students could be taking HDFS 950: Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Development plus up to 8 elective courses credits.
  • Child Development and Adolescent Development students could be taking up to 12 elective course credits and taking HDFS 930/HDFS 950 as a first year graduate student.

Deadline: 

  • Juniors: March 15th  - start fall of senior year
  • Seniors: October 15th - start spring of senior year

Contact

Barbara R. Frankel
Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program and Center
Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator
Email: barbara.frankel@unh.edu

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of New Hampshire offers a program of study leading to a master’s of science degree in HDFS with a Core Area of Study in Adolescent Development. This Core Area of Study is designed to develop general competence in understanding and applying theory and research regarding adolescent and emerging adult development with particular emphasis on the influences of families and communities.

  • Study is grounded in an ecological approach that focuses on supporting the health and well-being of all adolescents and emerging adults with special attention to influential contexts, such as the family and school for physical and mental health.
  • Students will use a developmental perspective to conduct research and may develop programs, policies, and other interventions that address contemporary risk and protective factors.
  • Students will be expected to complete an internship with a program working with or for adolescents or emerging adults.

This program is intended for those who want expertise in adolescence and emerging adulthood, opportunities for leadership positions involving adolescents and emerging adults in community contexts, and to enter a doctoral program.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of New Hampshire offers a program of study leading to a master of science degree in HDFS with a Core Area of Study in Child Development.  Students also explore the ways in which a child's social, emotional, moral, and cognitive development is impacted by family, school and community.

  • Grounded in an ecological and social constructivist framework for understanding the development of children from infancy through the early school years.
  • Access to work and conduct research at CSDC, a laboratory school of 120 children age infant through Kindergarten, and the Family Connections Center, whose work strengthens the connection between incarcerated parents and their families while facilitating ties to the community through education and support. 
  • Students will be expected to develop a deep understanding of how the social construction of childhood has shaped and continues to shape parenting, schooling, and social policy.
  • Students will be required to complete an internship in a child-focused setting.

This core area of study is intended for students with experience working with young children and their families and who desire opportunities to work in leadership roles with children in community contexts, including a variety of social service positions. In addition, professionals seeking to enter doctoral programs with a focus on research, leadership and practical applications can develop advanced knowledge and understanding of child development in context through this program of study.

  • Collegial and Supportive Culture
  • Competitive Stipends
  • Scholarship opportunities from the University and Department
  • Award-winning mentorship from nationally recognized faculty
  • Many career options
  • Individualized M.S. plan of study, to prepare you for the career you want
  • Access to UNH’s Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program
  • Family Connections Center
  • CSDC  (work and conduct research - 120 children: Infant thru Kindergarten)
  • Travel stipend available
  • Exceptional placement rate post-graduation
  • Open research teams
  • Built-in-opportunities to conduct research, publish, and present at conferences
  • Practical experience through internship
  • The Department of Human Development and Family Studies contributes to the well-being of individuals and families through knowledge, teaching, leadership, and professional practice.
  • Through connecting research, practice and policy our faculty and students conduct significant research on a range of issues facing children, adolescents, and emerging adults in today’s society.
  •  The department employs innovative outreach efforts that extend knowledge to policymakers, employers, and professionals.

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