Master of Science in Family Studies

The Master of Science in Family Studies Degree 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 Studies 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.


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

  1. Test scores: submission of satisfactory scores prior to admission on either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); recommended minimum score of 388 on the MAT or a minimum GRE score of 146 on the Verbal and 140 on the Quantitative portions of the exam. (See web site for sliding scale of acceptable test scores and grades.)
  2. Scholastic achievement: minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) is recommended on undergraduate work. (See web site for sliding scale of acceptable test scores and grades.)
  3. Preparation: must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution that meets the general admission requirements for graduate study at UNA.
  4. International Credentials: candidates 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.
  5. References: three professional references must complete our Recommendation for Admission form using the online admissions system. At least one recommendation form must be completed by a current or former faculty member who can attest to the student’s academic abilities
  6. Resume: candidates must submit a record of employment and volunteer activities.
  7. Application essay: candidates must submit a letter of intent that outlines the reasons they are interested in the program and how it aligns with their professional goals.
  8. Professional writing sample: candidates must submit a paper that best reflects their writing and critical thinking skills, typically chosen from undergraduate work.

The Department of Sociology and Family Studies recommends a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum test score (388/MAT or GRE 146/ verbal and 140/quantitative) for admission to the graduate program. Applicants with less than the recommended GPA or the recommended test score may be admitted 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 Families Studies Graduate Orientation (FS 500) with the assistance of the Family Studies 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

Master of Science Degree in Family Studies requires a minimum of 31 semester hours of credit, to include the following:

FS 500Families Studies Graduate Orientation1
FS 600Research Methods in Family Studies3
FS 601Applied Statistics in Family Studies3
FS 602Family Theories3
FS 604Family and Social Policy3
FS 606Family Problems and Methods of Intervention3
FS 599Independent Study-Practicum3
FS 698Comprehensive Examination0
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 Studies3
Total Hours 31
Thesis or Non-Thesis
Select one from the following:

Non-Thesis Option1

FS 698Comprehensive Examination0

Thesis Option1

FS 695Thesis6
FS 699Thesis Defense0