Master of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences

Fall Admission Deadline Extended

The Fall 2024 Admission deadline has been extended to April 1, 2024.

students conversing

Our Program

The Master of Science program in Human Development and Family Sciences at Texas State University prepares students to address the needs of families and individuals across the lifespan. The 37-credit hour program is designed for students interested in research and applied careers. The program currently offers a thesis and non-thesis track in Human Development and Family Sciences as well as a Child Life Specialist concentration.

Program Information

professors discussing

M.S. HDFS

The Human Development and Family Sciences major will provide advanced educational experiences in the content areas of human and family development, cultural diversity, program administration and evaluation, research methodology, statistics, theories related to families and children, child development, and current issues impacting families and children. Students will be encouraged to complete practicums serving children and families in the community and have the option to complete a thesis to prepare them for doctoral programs and research careers.

Child Life

The Child Life concentration, offered with a thesis and non-thesis option, will also provide advanced educational experiences in the content areas of research methodology, theories related to families and children, child development, current issues impacting families and children, as well as knowledge and expertise to become a Certified Child Life Specialist, a professional who has been educated and trained to help children and their families understand, plan, and manage challenging health care experiences in a way that supports children's growth and development, usually within a hospital setting.

professors discussing

Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Human Development and Family Sciences Course Catalog information, includes program overview, requirements, thesis option information, and courses for each track.

Further, students in The Master of Science program in Human Development and Family Sciences have the opportunity to gain research experience in a faculty member’s laboratory, practicum or internship experience, and/or teaching experience.

student smiling

Information Sessions

Join us in our regularly scheduled information sessions to learn more about our program.

Career Opportunities

Early Care and Education Programs

Administrative positions in early care and education programs in the private or public sectors, e.g., university lab schools, Head Start, corporate organizations, medical centers.

Military Early Care and Education Programs

Civilian positions with both international and US based programs; opportunities for both teaching and administration of programs can be found on the USA Jobs website. The international programs are primarily located in Europe.

Public Education

Faculty member of a Community College, School-Age Parenting Program administrator, or Texas Cooperative Extension Service.

Early Childhood Intervention

Programs focused on providing home-based care to high-risk infants and toddlers, e.g., Any Baby Can in San Antonio or Home Spun in the Hays County area.

Child Advocacy

Work as an advocate for children and families at the state or national level with organizations such as the Children's Defense Fund or Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.

Social/Community Services

Positions related to varied educational and/or intervention programs including publicly and privately funded programs, e.g., children's programs affiliated with homeless shelters, Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory services, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas Workforce Commission, or the AVANCE program in San Antonio.

Medical Focus

The Child Life Specialist plans activities and programs and acts as an advocate for children hospitalized with a short-term, long-term, or terminal illness.  This is an area of emphasis within the program.

International Programs

Various positions in education, administration, or social services programs.


Graduate Program Co-Coordinator

Dr. Christine Gray

Senior Lecturer, Graduate Program Co-Coordinator