MS in Human Development and Family Science

Admission Contact Information
Ashlie Lester,
411 Gentry; Columbia, MO 65211

Admission Criteria for Campus Programs

Fall deadline: December 15
Spring deadline: November 1

Minimum TOEFL scores:

Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
61 Effective July 1, 2015 must have score of 80 500 Effective July 1, 2015 must have score of 550
  • Minimum GRE scores:

When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative Analytical
Prior to August 1, 2011 50th percentile 50th percentile
On or After August 1, 2011 50th percentile 50th percentile

*Some exceptions are made

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 for last 60 hours
    Required Application Materials for Campus Programs (submitted online via the online application system)
  • Application form
  • 3 letters of recommendation from people who can speak to applicant’s potential to do graduate work (e.g., professors, advisors).
  • GRE score (and TOEFL score for international applicants)
  • Personal statement
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official Transcripts

Plan of Study Options

Programs are structured to provide students with an integration of theoretical perspectives, empirical research training, and practical experiences. The number of hours required for each master’s degree is as follows:

  • Family Studies: 36 hours
  • Child Life: 30 (fast track) or 36 hours
  • Early Childhood: 36 hours
  • Life Span: 36 hours
  • Dual MSorMA/JD: approximately 113 hours Research

Master’s of Science students must complete a thesis (H_D_FS 9090 ). Students who wish to pursue the thesis must petition the department’s graduate faculty for approval. The thesis requires testing a hypothesis or exploring a research question. Student will submit and orally defend the thesis to their committee.  For more detailed information, please refer to the HDFS Graduate Handbook found on the HDFS website ( ).

Satisfactory Progress

Satisfactory progress is based on the student maintaining a sufficient GPA according to the student’s program or funding guidelines and completing all degree forms and milestones according to departmental timelines. For a detailed description of the department’s description of a satisfactory rate of academic progress, please refer to the HDFS Graduate Handbook found on the HDFS website (

Time Limits for Masters’ Degree Completion

Students working toward the master’s degree have 5 years from the semester the first course is taken in which to complete all degree requirements. Extensions for one additional year to complete the degree may be granted with submission of a detailed plan for completion, including a timetable. Students must be making progress toward completion when they apply for the extension. A maximum of two extensions may be granted.