Overview

Family and human development professionals examine how people develop over the course of their lives within families, schools, and communities. Common career paths include becoming a childcare director, crisis specialist, and social service assistants. Put simply, professionals work to evaluate the effect of life events such as adolescence, marriages, and parenthood on individuals to create strategies for encouraging increased intellectual and emotional health.

Given the fact that human and family relationships are changing (especially with the advance in technology), many professionals consider obtaining master’s degrees. The advanced coursework of these programs are designed to ensure that students are up to date on the latest research and on the forefront of contemporary human development—courses cover adolescent problematic behavior as well as theories of family development and change. With the insight that degree holders provide, society can better understand how to intervene and encourage close human and family relationships that allow for maturity and compassion.


  • ? WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MASTER’S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT?

  • ? HOW WELL ACCEPTED IS AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT?

  • ? CAN I GET A MASTER’S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT ONLINE?

  • ? HOW CAN I GET A MASTER’S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT?

  • ? IS A MASTER’S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT WORTH IT?

The desire for healthier relationships is thankfully growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that common positions in human and family development will grow faster than the national average. For example, human and social service assistant positions are expected to grow at a rate of 16% (a very high rate). But aside from job stability, professionals enjoy fulfilling careers helping others develop the empathy and patience necessary for rewarding relationships.

For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.

Our Methodology

Our Methodology

Best Online Masters in Human and Family Development Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Human and Family Development program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and list of the 29 best online Human and Family Development programs.

Read about our methodology here.

Vanderbilt University

230 Appleton Place Nashville, TN 37203

Vanderbilt University boasts a 98 percent placement rate for graduates of the master's in human development counseling program. Through internships, a strong curriculum and expert faculty guidance, current students can rest assured that they will receive a quality education that leads to a promising career upon graduation.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Peabody College
Program Name: Master of Education in Human Development Counseling
Available Concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online, on-campus
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 48-60 credits
Field Education Requirements: 1 year internship

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: December 31

School Type
Private
Tuition
$1,828 per credit

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

178 Pillsbury Dr SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities offers students several options for enhancing their master's degrees and skill set to work in their chosen field. With tracks in child life, individualized studies and infant and early childhood mental health, students can develop the specialized skills to become leaders in the area of child development.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Human Development
Program Name: Master of Arts in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
Available Concentrations: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Child Life, Individualized Studies
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Field Education Requirements: 600-hour clinical internship

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: January 15
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$1,422 per credit

Michigan State University

552 W Circle Dr East Lansing, MI 48824

Michigan State University offers a cutting-edge master's degree program in youth development with it's collaboration with the Great Plains IDEA. This modern program delivers a variety of instructional methods to help individuals work in various and diverse fields and youth-related professions.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Youth Development
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 1; Spring: October 1; Summer: February 1

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $756 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,485 per credit

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611

The University of Florida offers an outstanding learning environment for online students in the master's in family, youth and community sciences program. Students engage in a virtual classroom that mimics the classes on campus, providing live interactions and engaging discussions with peers and instructors.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master's in Gerontology
Available Concentrations: Geriatric Care Management, Geropsychology, Medical Physiology
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asychronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$550 per credit

North Carolina State University

Campus Box 7601 Raleigh, NC 27695

North Carolina State University offers a very customizable, student-focused master's degree program in youth, family and community sciences. Students can customize the program and the courses to meet their personal interests and to align with their career goals for future success.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences
Program Name: Youth, Family, and Community Sciences
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: November 1; Summer: April 1

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $453 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,261 per credit

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

211 Louise Pound Hall Lincoln, NE 68588

Students who want to achieve upper-level positions within their community organizations should consider the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This program includes courses in administration and management, providing graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed in human resources, program management and public policy.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Human Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Child, Youth and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Human and Family Services Administration
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $245 per credit; Out-of-state: $772 per credit

Oklahoma State University

101 Human Sciences Stillwater, OK 74078

Oklahoma State University offers a flexible master's degree program in family and community services for professionals who want to achieve career success by improving their knowledge and skill set. Graduate students can take every course online and work at their own pace, helping them to earn a master's degree without interfering with their current jobs.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: February 1; Spring: July 1; Summer: January 1

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $230 per credit; Out-of-state: $360 per credit

Iowa State University

901 Stange Rd Ames, IA 50011

Iowa State University's master's in human development and family studies program focuses on the students' career development, helping them to attain the necessary skills to assume upper-level roles within their organizations. Faculty advisers also assist the students every step of the way to ensure they achieve academic and professional success.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Sciences
Program Name: Master of Family and Consumer Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human Development and Family Studies
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online, on-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 35 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: December 15
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$580 per credit

Texas Tech University

1901 University Ave, Suite 513 Lubbock, TX 79410

Texas Tech University designed its human development and family studies master's program for busy professionals who are already employed in child and family services. This program enhances the students' skill set and helps them to earn their master's degrees without disrupting their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Spring, Fall, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: December 1; Fall: April 15; Summer: April 15

School Type
Public
Tuition
$565 per credit

University of Arkansas

AFLS E-202 Fayetteville, AK 72701

The University of Arkansas has a world-class faculty providing a quality education in the master's in human development and family sciences program. The faculty members excel as academic leaders and professionals in the field, sharing their knowledge with students and helping them to achieve career success of their own.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human Development & Family Sciences
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online, on-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.85

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $420 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,138 per credit

University of Missouri

314 Gentry Hall Columbia, MO 65211

The University of Missouri is a military-friendly school and offers reduced tuition for military members and their families. Military students who enroll in the human development and family science program also benefit from a structured curriculum that helps them to develop the necessary skills to lead in the fields of youth development, gerontology or family and community services.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Environmental Sciences
Program Name: MA in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: Youth Development, Gerontology, Family and Community Services
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer, Spring, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: June 1; Spring: December 1; Fall: July 1
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$368 per credit

Arizona State University

1100 S McAllister Ave Tempe, AZ 85287

Arizona State University offers a highly accessible master's degree program in family development, eliminating the need for GRE scores to enroll. Students can start working toward their master's degrees right away and finish the entire program in 15 to 18 months of full-time study.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Family & Human Development
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: March 11, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$522 per credit

Liberty University

1971 University Blvd Lynchburg, VA 24515

Liberty University transforms everyday professionals into leaders in their chosen field. Through the master's degree program in services counseling, graduates emerge with the leadership skills to work with and to make positive impacts in the lives of children, adults and families.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Behavioral Sciences
Program Name: MA Human Services Counseling
Available Concentrations: Parenting and Child / Adolescent
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 1.5 year
Program start dates: March 18, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.0

School Type
Private
Tuition
$565 per credit

Purdue University Global

155 S Grant St West Lafayette, IN 47907

Students who want to gain real-world experience while earning their master's degrees should consider Purdue University Global. The Master of Science in Human Services program includes an internship option to give students hands-on learning opportunities that strengthen their skill set and help them build professional networks in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Services
Available Concentrations: Family and Community Services, Organizational and Social Services
Accrediting Body: Council for Standards in Human Service Education

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: February 27, 2019; April 17, 2019; May 15, 2019; July 3, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

School Type
Public
Tuition
$420 per credit

Kansas State University

1324 Lovers Lane Manhattan, KS 66506

Professionals require a solid foundational skill set to achieve professional success in child and family development, and Kansas State University delivers with an exceptional master's degree program. This program covers everything from child development to adult development and aging, giving graduates the fundamental skills to succeed in their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Ecology
Program Name: Master's in Family and Community Services
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: March 19, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$568 per credit

University of South Florida

4202 E Fowler Ave Tampa, FL 33620

The University of South Florida provides one of the best master's in child and adolescent behavioral health programs in the country. Graduates are prepared to serve in public and nonprofit agencies and schools and have the skills to make positive impacts on the lives of children and adolescents.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health
Accrediting Body: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 39 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: February 15; Spring: October 15
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$348 per credit

North Dakota State University

Dept. 2600 Fargo, ND 58108

North Dakota State University teaches students through experiential learning, having them take on practical applications to develop their skill set. Students in this program learn "by doing," putting theory into practice and emerging with the knowledge to pursue careers in nonprofits, military youth programs, high school programs and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Human Development and Education
Program Name: M.S. in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: Family Financial Planning, Gerontology, Youth Development
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $360 per credit; Out-of-state: $540 per credit

Ball State University

Room 1005 Muncie, IN 47306

Ball State University offers an in-depth curriculum in the master's in educational psychology program. The curriculum covers foundational and advanced topics to prepare graduates for roles as development specialists or for further studies in the doctoral program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Teachers College
Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Available Concentrations: Human Development
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 18 months
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 15; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 2.75

School Type
Public
Tuition
$616 per credit

Missouri State University

905 S National Ave Springfield, MO 65897

Missouri State University offers a comprehensive master's degree program in early childhood and family development. This program covers every aspect of the field and provides students with a core education in early childhood education, child development and family development all in one convenient online program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $214 per credit; Out-of-state: $477 per credit

University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Dr Hattiesburg, MS 39406

The University of Southern Mississippi provides a collaborative learning environment for students in the master's in child and family studies program. Students enter as a cohort and work together throughout the program, developing the necessary skills to work with individuals and groups in their careers after college.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Child and Family Studies
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 37 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 30

School Type
Public
Tuition
$473 per credit

Stephen F. Austin State University

1936 N St Nacogdoches, TX 75962

Stephen F. Austin State University offers advanced courses in the master's in human development and family studies program. Through courses in philosophy of human services, child development and parenting, adult development and aging and more, graduates emerge with advanced knowledge to succeed as leaders in their respective positions.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Human Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human Development & Family Studies
Accrediting Body: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$395 per credit

University of La Verne

2118 D St La Verne, CA 91750

The University of La Verne offers one of the best master's degree programs in child development. Through rigorous coursework, this program emphasizes the study of children and provides graduates with the skills to better understand the social, physical and emotional development of children.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: LaFetra College of Education
Program Name: Child Development, MS
Accrediting Body: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

DeliveryFormat: Online, on-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 18 months
Program start dates: March 25, 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

School Type
Private
Tuition
$750 per credit

Wilmington University

320 N. DuPont Hwy New Castle, DE 19720

Professionals seeking career advancement in human and family development should consider Wilmington University. This program emphasizes skill building and provides the credentials to improve the students' resumes for upper-level positions within their respective educational institutions and public and nonprofit agencies.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Applied Family Science
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Field Education Requirements: 120 hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 18 months
Program start dates: Spring II: March 11, 2019

School Type
Private
Tuition
$477 per credit

Murray State University

102 Curris Center Murray, KY 42071

Murray State University offers specialized concentrations in the master's in human development and leadership program, giving students a way to hone their skills in a specific area that interests them the most. Whether students focus their studies in intercultural development, educational administration or another specialty area, they receive a quality education and graduate with the skills to succeed as leaders in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Human Services
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Development and Leadership
Available Concentrations: Criminal Justice, Educational Administration, Educational Data Management and Analytics, Environmental Education, Industrial Supervision, Instructional Development, Intercultural Communications, Leadership Development, Non-Profit Leadership, Public Administration
Accrediting Body: SACS-COC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer/Fall: March 15; Spring: October 15

School Type
Public
Tuition
$644 per credit

Texas Woman's University

304 Administration Dr Denton, TX 76204

Texas Woman's University offers exceptional student support for those in the master's in family studies program. Students work with faculty advisers who help them to customize a career-driven curriculum that leads to academic success in the classroom and professional success in the field.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Science in Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Family Resource Management
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 34-35 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $270 per credit; Out-of-state: $685 per credit

University of North Alabama

Room 217 Bibb Graves Florence, AL 35632

The University of North Alabama is a great value in terms of tuition and overall student support. This program offers competitive tuition for in- and out-of-state students and also includes other benefits such as convenient online schedules, a career-driven curriculum and advisory services throughout the students' time in school.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science in Family Studies
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 31 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: March 4, 2019

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $326 per credit; Out-of-state: $652 per credit

Concordia University - St. Paul

1282 Concordia Ave St. Paul, MN 55104

Concordia University, St. Paul is an innovative leader in higher education and provides an outstanding master's degree program in family science. This program delivers relevant skills and real-world outcomes for professionals in various fields and leads to job offers usually within one year of graduation.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Family Science
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Private
Tuition
$395 per credit

Amberton University

1700 Eastgate Dr Garland, TX 75041

Amberton University offers an interdisciplinary master's degree program in family studies, merging the fields of counseling with human behavior and development. Students develop a solid skill set for pursuing careers in social service agencies, foster care programs, assisted living facilities and more.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master Of Science in Family Studies
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online, on-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

School Type
Private
Tuition
$795 per credit

Bryan College

140 Landes Way Dayton, TN 37321

Bryan College is a leader in distance education, offering a master's degree program in child and family studies in a completely online format. Students meet in nine-week classes and can complete every assignment and project from the comfort of home.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Education In Child And Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child and Family Studies
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 14 months
Program start dates: March 12, 2019

School Type
Private
Tuition
$425 per credit