Master of Science Degree in Family and Community Services

The Master of Science Degree in Family and Community Services is an online program intended to meet the educational needs of professionals who wish to serve children and families in family and social service agencies. The Family and Community Services graduate program seeks to train students to be effective leaders in these organizations by providing students with a strong background in research, application, and family studies content.

Non-majors may enroll in a total of six credit hours within the discipline with department approval. Students wishing to take additional courses must seek department approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator prior to registration. Please email the Graduate Program Coordinator for a two year course rotation template that outlines course offerings by semester.


In addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate studies (see General Regulations and Procedures), admission to the Master of Science in Family and Community Services requires the following:

  1. Preparation: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution that meets the general admission requirements for graduate study at UNA.
  2. Scholastic achievement: A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework. 
  3. Formal cover letter: As part of the application process, applicants must submit a formal cover letter. The cover letter should include the applicant’s academic preparation for the MS program, related professional experience in the field of study, and skill sets the applicant will bring to the program. Long-term professional goals should be outlined in the cover letter.
  4. A sample of academic writing: (e.g., class paper, term paper, graduation thesis, etc.) with proper in-text and reference citations in an established academic format such as APA, ASA or MLA. Applicants who do not have an appropriate writing sample will be asked to complete a Mock Writing Assignment. Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for more information about the professional writing sample. 
  5. References: Three reference persons who can attest to the applicant's academic abilities and success potential in our Master’s program must complete the Recommendation for Admission form. The form can be accessed through the online admissions system. References must not be coworkers, friends, or related to the applicant. References should mostly consist of current or former faculty instructors who taught a course in a related social science field that the applicant has taken at an accredited institution of higher education. One of the references may include a work supervisor, if the supervisor possesses an advanced academic degree in the profession or a related field (e.g., Ed.D., MA/MS, MSW, Ph.D.). Unless pre-approved by the departmental admission committee, references that do not include the applicant’s current or former faculty instructor will not be considered complete.
  6. International Credentials: Applicants holding a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or the equivalent from an institution outside the United States of America must submit a WES, ECE, or other approved international credential evaluation.

The Department of Psychology and Sociology requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission to the graduate program. Applicants who do not have the minimum GPA to meet the admission requirement may submit their standardized test scores for admission consideration based on the sliding scale below: 

GPA MAT GRE Verbal GRE Quantitative
3.91 - 4.00 378 138 136
3.81 - 3.90 379 139 136
3.71 - 3.80 380 140 136
3.61 - 3.70 381 141 137
3.51 - 3.60 382 142 137
3.41 - 3.50 383 143 138
3.31 - 3.40 384 143 138
GPA MAT GRE Verbal GRE Quantitative
3.21 - 3.30 385 144 138
3.11 - 3.20 386 145 139
3.01 - 3.10 387 146 139
3.0 388 146 140
2.90 - 2.99 390 148 140
2.80 - 2.89 392 149 141
2.70 - 2.79 394 151 142
2.60 - 2.69 396 152 143
2.50 - 2.59 398 153 144


Students will complete a plan of study in Family and Community Services Graduate Orientation (FS 500) with the assistance of the Graduate Program Coordinator.


Non-majors will be limited to a total of six hours within the discipline and all courses selected require departmental approval.

Degree and Program Plans

The Master of Science Degree in Family and Community Services requires a minimum of 31 semester hours of credit, to include the following:

FS 500Family and Community Services Graduate Orientation1
FS 600Research Methods in Family and Community Services3
FS 601Applied Statistics in Family and Community Services3
FS 602Family Theories3
FS 604Family and Social Policy3
FS 606Family Problems and Methods of Intervention3
FS 599Independent Study-Practicum3
Elective Courses (12 hours of the following or adivsor approved graduate course work)
FS 501Family Life Education3
FS 510Family Diversity and Social Change3
FS 543Social Psychology of Intimate Relationships3
FS 605Contemporary Topics in Family and Community Services3
Total Hours 31
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option: Select one from the following:
Non-Thesis Option 1
Comprehensive Examination
Thesis Option 2
Thesis Defense

Students completing the Non-Thesis Option must, in the last semester in which all other course requirements are expected to be completed, register for Comprehensive Examination Comprehensive Examination (FS 698) (Comprehensive Examination) in order to take a written comprehensive examination prior to graduation in order to complete the program.


In addition to the courses above, students who request and receive permission to complete the Thesis Option must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours of Thesis (FS 695) and register for Thesis Defense (FS 699) during the last semester in which all other course requirements are expected to be completed. Thesis students will not be required to take Comprehensive Examination (FS 698).