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

Successful completion of the program requires eight core courses for 24 credit hours, an independent project or internship of 3–6 credit hours and 6–9 credit hours of electives.

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 7252 Adult Development X 
H_D_FS 7255 Aging PolicyX  
H_D_FS 7256 Environments and Aging X 
H_D_FS 7257 Aging and the Family X 
H_D_FS 8251 Perspectives in GerontologyX X
H_D_FS 8253 Physical Health in AgingX  
H_D_FS 8254 Gerontology Research Methods and Program Evaluation X 
H_D_FS 8258 Professional Seminar in Gerontology  X
H_D_FS 8090 Research in Human Development and Family Science
3–6 credit hours
H_D_FS 8972 Internship in Human Development and Family Science
3–6 credit hours

Suggestive electives (up to 6 credit hours)

H_D_FS 7259 Mental Health and Aging X 
H_D_FS 7260 Women and Aging   
H_D_FS 7261 Biological Principles of Aging X 
H_D_FS 7262 Long-Term Care Administration   
H_D_FS 8001 Topics in Human Development and Family Science  X
H_D_FS 8087 Seminar in Human Development and Family ScienceXXX
H_D_FS 8222 Creativity and Aging   
Or any course approved by your adviser.   


This program culminates in an exam (H_D_FS 8999) or an internship (H_D_FS 8972). No course credit is assigned to the exam.


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) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
    • 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. Graduate Studies will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
    • Résumé or CV.
    • Statement of purpose outlining your career goals.
    • TOEFL or IELTS score reports for applicants whose native language is not English.
  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: Development & Family Studies/Gerontology-Distance (MA)
    • TOEFL or IELTS scores: Institution Code 6875 (if applicable)

    Apply Here

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

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