2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Development and Family Science, MS


Eunjoo Jung, Graduate Program Co-Director

Rachel Razza, Chair, Graduate Program Co-Director
144D White Hall

Program Description

The Master of Science degree (M.S.) in human development and family science is a 30-credit degree program that aims to promote an understanding of human development across the lifespan. With an emphasis on the importance of social-cultural context, students gain broad knowledge of the study of childhood and family systems across various cultural and societal contexts.

All M.S. students must complete the core course and elective course requirements. Courses and training emphasize multicultural perspectives in child and family relationships and diverse research methodologies and scholarship. Elective coursework may be selected from additional HFS courses and other University departments such as anthropology, psychology, education, sociology, gerontology, social science, nutrition, special education, or women’s studies.

In addition to course work, the M.S. degree requires the completion of a master’s thesis (see graduate manual for details). M.S. programs prepare students to pursue careers in research, health services, and community agencies. Students may further their educational goals by applying to enroll in the doctoral program in the department. All students must file a tentative program of study in their second semester. Students transferring courses from another institution must file a program of study prior to completing 12 credits at Syracuse University.


Students seeking admission to the Department of Human Development and Family Science must meet the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School. Although no single factor determines entry to the program, competitive applicants typically have a minimum of: 1) GPA of 3.00 or higher (undergraduate and/or graduate work); 2) GRE scores of 144 Quantitative, 153 Verbal (please note, the GRE exam must be taken within the last five years). For international students whose primary language is not English, TOEFL scores of 577 (paper test) or 100 for the internet based (IBT) test are desirable.

Part-time Study

Students may pursue their graduate degree on a full or part-time basis. Students must enroll in a minimum of nine credit hours for full-time status. Students enrolled in six credit hours or less are considered part-time.

Financial Support

Limited department financial aid is available in the form of graduate assistantships and scholarship credits for students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs. Financial aid is determined based on merit.

Additional information regarding graduate financial aid can be found at Graduate students applying for financial aid - Syracuse.edu.

Transfer Credit

Master’s students are limited to a maximum of 6 transfer credits.

Satisfactory Progress

To maintain good standing, all graduate students are required to:
  • Earn a B or better in all required courses.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, including courses taken outside the department (e.g., anthropology, education, psychology, sociology, etc.).

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Analyze and evaluate theory and empirical research on children and families

2. Explain human development and changes in individuals and families across the lifespan

3. Explain and apply the roles of development and change in different cultural communities and contexts

4. Generate knowledge on a specific topic in child and family development via independent research

Distribution of Credits

Core Requirements 15

Suggested Courses 12

Thesis (HFS 997) 3

Total 30