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Master of Science in Family & Child Studies

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Master of Science in Family and Child Studies

The Master of Science program in Family & Child Studies 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 two tracks, Program Administration & Evaluation and Child Life Specialist. Both tracks offer either a thesis or non-thesis option.

The Program Administration & Evaluation track will provide advanced educational experiences in the content areas of program administration and evaluation, research methodology, theories related to families and children, child development, and current issues impacting families and children.

The Child Life track 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.

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

Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Family and Child Studies Course Catalog information, including program overview, requirements, thesis option information, and courses for each track, available at http://mycatalog.txstate.edu/graduate/applied-arts/family-consumer-sciences/family-child-studies-ms/

Prerequisites for students entering the graduate program in Family and Child Studies should have a background in statistics, research methods, and lifespan development.

Admission Policy

Admission to the FCS graduate program requires the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • An official Texas State Graduate College application
  • A GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • A preferred score of 285 on the Verbal (145) / Quantitative (140) sections of the GRE
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation must be uploaded with the Graduate Admissions Upload tool HERE
  • A 500-word statement of purpose
  • A resume

 

Financing Your Graduate Degree

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of School of Family and Consumer Sciences graduate assistantships (GAs) are available each semester. To be eligible for an assistantship, the student must be enrolled in nine credit hours and be in good standing with the university. Assistantships may be awarded for either 50% time (20 hours per week), or 25% time (10 hours per week). Those who receive a 50% time assistantship might be eligible to receive university benefits. Contact the Human Resources web site for further information regarding benefits. Assistants are assigned to work with a departmental faculty member. The type of work that will be expected includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Assisting with faculty research

2. Assisting faculty with class preparation

3. Grading papers

4. Substitute teaching a class 'as needed'
 
A sample position description, application procedure, and the application form are included in the Graduate Handbook.

GAs must maintain a 3.0 GPA in coursework to retain their eligibility. Students are eligible to remain in a GA position for two full academic years. Students must reapply for a GA position each academic year. GAs will be evaluated at the end of each semester by their supervising faculty member.

All teaching and instructional assistant GAs are required by the university to take a teaching-related course at no additional cost to the student. This will be offered through each graduate program. The purpose is to strengthen the quality of instruction provided directly/indirectly by the GA.

 

Other Graduate Assistantships

College of Applied Arts Graduate Research Assistantship: http://www.appliedarts.txstate.edu/Graduate-Studies/Financial-Opportunities/caagrainfopage.html

Also see:

College of Applied Arts Financial Resources:

http://www.appliedarts.txstate.edu/Graduate-Studies/Financial-Opportunities.html

The Graduate College Financial Resources:

http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Prospect_Students/Fin_Grad_Ed

What can I do with a Master's degree in Family and Child Studies?

Here is a listing of what some of our recent graduates are doing with their degrees. 

  • Child Life Specialist at various children's hospitals
  • Child Life specialist in community settings
  • Faculty member at local community college
  • Extension Agent with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service
  • Executive Director for Hope of South Texas (a sexual assault and children's advocacy center)
  • Case Manager, Department of Health and Human Services, Montana
  • Administrator of an Early Childhood Education program with a U. S. military base in Europe
  • Research Associate for the Texas Senate Research Office
  • Program Evaluator for Shore Research
  • Parent Educator with Communities for Recovery

Career Opportunities

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. 

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.

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.

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

Military Early Care and Education Programs:  Civilian positions with both international and US based programs; opportunities for both teaching and administration of programs.  www.USAJOBS.gov.  The international programs are primarily located in Europe.

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.

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.

International Programs:  Various positions in education, administration, or social services programs.  www.USAJOBS.gov.

Handouts for Navigating the Waters of Internship Applications:

 https://childlife.adobeconnect.com/p4tqp3m48ye/

-Keep your eye out for the on-demand webinar on the Child Life Council website!

What do our students have to say about the Family and Child Studies Program?

Since enrolling in the Family and Child Studies graduate program at Texas State, I have been presented with infinite opportunities to explore my personal interests in research, teaching, community education, and publishing.  The intimate and flexible nature of the program allows students to follow their own interests and the freedom to apply themselves through various projects.  The professors are accessible, available, tremendously knowledgeable, and ultimately interested in making the program as valuable to the graduate students as possible.  I have felt less like a student and more like a member of a team throughout my time in the program.  I have been inspired, challenged, and motivated by my professors and my coursework.  I've gained a wealth of knowledge and experiences.  As a result, I am confident I could enter countless professions in the field of family and child studies.

                                                                                                                                  -Brittany Kolkhorst
                                                                                                                                        Thesis Student

I chose the Family and Child Studies program at Texas State because of its small size and its focus on both coursework and applied experiences.  The professors are caring and attentive to students' needs, the classes are challenging but beneficial, and my classmates are like family to me.  Furthermore, the greatest benefit of this program is that it has given me a jump-start into my future career (applied research), for which I am extremely grateful.

                                                                                                                                        -Alice Navarro
                                                                                                                                Graduate Assistant

I chose the Family and Child Studies program at Texas State because it provided me with a wide range of educational experiences to meet my needs in working with family and child programs.  It also fit my work schedule by offering classes at night and on weekends.  Even though I had years of work experience in this field, this program provided me with the depth of knowledge I needed to continue my work with families and children in both an administrative and training aspect.  I highly recommend this program for anyone working in the field because every class was very applicable to the real world.

                                                                                                                                  -Jackie Taylor, MS
                                                                                                      Early Childhood Education Consultant

Choosing to attend the Family and Child Studies graduate program at Texas State was easily one of the best decisions I ever made!  The professors were fantastic and were truly invested in helping the students.  Not only did I leave Texas State with the diploma I had set out to achieve, but I also left with a wealth of knowledge that I could actually apply to my profession as a Child Life Specialist.

                                                                                                                        -Jennie Cerny, CCLS, MS
                                                                                                           Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

I chose the Family and Child Studies program not only for its emphasis on Child Life but also for the opportunity to be challenged academically.  This program has strengthened my knowledge of child development and families in order to have an advantage in what is becoming an increasingly competitive field.

                                                                                                                                      -Robyn Dickson
                                                                                                                         Graduate Child Life Intern

Current Students

Graduate Handbook

Comprehensive Exam

Find detailed information regarding the comprehensive exam in the Graduate Handbook. As a reminder, the comprehensive exam will be held on the first Friday of March, July, and October on campus at a time and location to be determined. Students will be given one hour to complete each section. There are a total of four sections. The sections for the program administration and evaluation track students are as follows: 1. Research AND Evaluation, 2. Theory, 3. Child Development, and 4. Administration.  The sections for the child life track students are as follows: 1. Research, 2. Theory, 3. Child Development, and 4. Hospitalized Child: Child Life Specialist AND Advanced Methods in Child Life combined.

Students must complete the following form at least one week prior to the scheduled exam date: https://goo.gl/forms/ixnzD0jTFY3CH1SV2

Completing a Child Life Practicum or Internship?

  • If you are completing a Child Life Internship, please make sure to complete the following form ASAP or upon registering for FCD 5659: http://goo.gl/forms/gXqajL1Koq
  • If you are completing a practicum, please make sure to complete the following form ASAP or upon registering for FCD 5358 or 5359: http://goo.gl/forms/df4USvPGdW 

 

Thesis and Other Course Catalog Information

Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Family and Child Studies Course Catalog information, including program overview, requirements, thesis option information, and courses for each track, available at http://mycatalog.txstate.edu/graduate/applied-arts/family-consumer-sciences/family-child-studies-ms/

Opportunities for FCS Students!

United Way of Greater Austin
Full and Part time positions 2016 - 2017  PDF

Beyond the classroom: How to effectively score a Child Life Internship
March 5, 2016   PDF  
Registration PDF

Child Life Council Internship Application Process Guide
  PDF

Child Life: International Opportunities
These are volunteer opportunities  PDF

Stay up to date with The Graduate College and all of its Resources!

http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Current_Students.html

…Such as Candidate & Graduation Information:

http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Current_Students/Graduation.html

Resources from the College of Applied Arts

http://www.appliedarts.txstate.edu/Graduate-Studies.html

…Such as information on The College of Applied Arts Hooding Ceremony

http://www.appliedarts.txstate.edu/Graduate-Studies/CAA-Hooding-Ceremony.html

Dr. Melissa Delgado, FCD Graduate Coordinator
Texas State University - San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone 512-245-2155
Fax 512-245-3829
For more information email MSFamilyandChild@txstate.edu