Empower families and communities

Brandi Sutherland

Master of Arts in Family and Community Services '16

Brandi works for the University of Missouri's Extension Office and wanted a education that would directly serve her county. The Master of Arts in Family and Community Services online program allowed Brandi, a first generation college student, to finish a degree at her own pace.

Brittany Smith

Master of Arts in Family and Community Services '16

Brittany Smith wanted a program that would challenge her, but would also fit into her busy life as a child health specialist at a children's hospital. Her professors gave her the flexibility and support she needed to help her achieve her goals.


This program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Successful completion of the program requires 30 credit hours from the required courses below. You may complete the remaining 6 credit hours either with 6 credit hours of electives and a capstone examination, 3 credit hours of electives and 3 of internship (H_D_FS 8972), or 6 credit hours of internship.

Courses are offered by multiple public universities in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, and some may have varying start and finish dates. Once you’re a Mizzou student in the program, you will register each semester through Mizzou regardless of the institution offering the course.

The chart below shows when the courses are traditionally offered. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless stated otherwise. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Required courses (30 credit hours)

H_D_FS 7600 Resilience in FamiliesXX 
H_D_FS 7640 Interpersonal RelationshipsXX 
H_D_FS 7690 Family Resource Management XX
H_D_FS 8012 Family Dynamics and Intervention*XX 
H_D_FS 8100 Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services*XX 
H_D_FS 8520 Lifespan DevelopmentX X
H_D_FS 7650 Family Crisis InterventionXX 
H_D_FS 8510 Parenting EducationXX 
H_D_FS 8235 Administration and Program ManagementXX 
H_D_FS 8238 Program Design, Implementation and EvaluationXX 

Suggested electives (up to 6 credit hours)

H_D_FS 8087 Seminar in Human Development and Family Science: Families in Poverty  X
H_D_FS 8087 Seminar in Human Development and Family Science: Transitions to Adulthood   
H_D_FS 8087 Seminar in Human Development and Family Science: NGO's and Families   
H_D_FS 8087 Seminar in Human Development and Family Science: Working with Military Families   
H_D_FS 7233 Basic Grant Development and Management XX
H_D_FS 8234 Adolescents and their FamiliesXX 
H_D_FS 8237 Youth Cultures and the Cultures of YouthXX 
ESC_PS 7575 MU Youth Development Academy: Positive Youth Development in Practice   

Independent effort

H_D_FS 8972 Internship in Human Development and Family ScienceXXX

*We recommend you begin your program with H_D_FS 8012 and 8100.

Note For courses that require a course consent request form, please visit https://online-consent.missouri.edu/search/ for permission.


This program culminates with either a capstone examination or a supervised internship. Exams and internships will include an independently produced paper and an oral examination by your MA committee.


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
    • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 59 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 180.
    • GRE scores are not required.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. We require you submit your application at least six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you wish to start your course work.

    Application dates

    To start classes in Apply by Classes begin
    Fall July 1 August
    Spring Dec. 1 January
    Summer April 15 June
  4. Gather your papers

  5. Applying will be easier and faster if you gather these required documents beforehand:

    • Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
    • Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three professionals who can attest to your critical thinking, analytical and writing skills, demonstrating your potential as a graduate student and professional. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
    • Resumé or CV documenting your research and/or professional experience.
    • Statement of purpose outlining your career goals.
    • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or C1 Advanced score reports for applicants whose native language is not English. For information on sending test scores, visit the Grad School website.
  6. Complete the online application

  7. Carefully follow the instructions on the application site.

    • Upload the above documents in the online application
    • Degree/Delivery: Masters- Distance (Online/Remote Site/etc.)
    • Academic Program: Human Development and Family Science/Family and Community Services-Distance (MA)

    Apply Here

This program is administered by the Department of Human Development and Family Science.

Program contact: