Merril D. Silverstein, Graduate Program Director
Marjorie Cantor Professor of Aging Studies
314 Lyman Hall
The master’s degree (M.A.) in applied human development and family science is designed to meet the goals of individuals who seek to work in applied settings (such as service agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)) in which a broad background in human development and family science, administrative skills, and an appreciation for increasingly diverse client communities are important. The hallmark of our M.A. is that it offers broad training in the theory and methodology of lifespan human development and family science, training in skills critical for working in administrative or other roles in service delivery agencies, a specialized focus on topics offered through elective coursework, and the opportunity to work in an applied setting with special populations that represent growing sectors of our communities both in national and international settings.
The program requires the completion of 30 credits of coursework including a 3-credit hour project experience. Students may choose to focus their studies in a variety of areas in the HDFS field such as early childhood, gerontology, issues faced by immigrant and refugee children and families, HDFS data analytics, program administration, community and youth development, etc. All students must complete the core course requirements. Depending on their interests, students can use elective coursework to focus their studies on specific areas of human development (e.g., early childhood education, youth development, gerontology, children and families in medical settings), on the development of expertise in particular skills, or in specific areas or populations of the global community. Finally, in this students are required to complete a project either in a local context or an international (see the Graduate Manual for details).
The M.A. program prepares students to work directly with children, youth, and families in various educational, familial, or community settings in both regional and international settings. Courses and training emphasize multicultural perspectives in development and family relationships as well as diverse research methodologies and scholarship.
The degree may be completed through full-time or part-time study. Students who are interested in an accelerated degree, may complete the required coursework and project during a single academic year (including summers).
All students must file a tentative program of study during their second semester of enrollment in the program. Students transferring courses from another institution must file a program of study prior to completing 12 credit hours 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.
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.
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 https://graduateadmissions.syr.edu/funding/
Master’s students are limited to a maximum of 6 transfer credits.
Per University Rules and Regulations, graduate students must earn a minimum average of 3.000 for work comprising the program for the degree or certificate and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.800.
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.).