Masters in Family Science

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Online, In-Class
or Blended?
Online, In-Class or Blended?

Offered Online?
Classes meet entirely online.

Offered In-Class?
Classes meet face-to-face at our St. Paul campus or other off-campus location.

Offered Blended?
Course work is completed through a combination of in-class and online class meetings.

Master of Arts in Family Science

Course Length: 7 Weeks
Total Credit Hours: 36
Cost Per Credit Hour: $475


Family science focuses on health family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The skills and knowledge needed for healthy functioning are widely known: strong communication skills, knowledge of typical human development, good decision-making skills, positive self-esteem, and healthy interpersonal relationships. The goal of family science is to teach and foster this knowledge and these skills to enable individuals and families to function optimally.

Family Science Degree

ncfrThe masters in Family Science prepares professionals to work with societal issues influencing the family; including economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, gender and more within the context of family. Problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers the individual family as part of larger social systems.Knowledge about healthy family functioning can be applied to prevent or minimize many of these problems.

Students complete coursework to prepare for helping roles that focus on maintaining healthy families. The family science degree includes courses on parenting, family systems, child growth and development, family communication and relationships.

Concordia University’s online Family Science degree program is approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Graduates earn the international designation of Certified Family Life Educator.

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Families In Society

This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the history, evolution and demographics of the family. Kinship, family structures, functions and roles are explored. Particular emphasis will be placed on the family’s relationship to other systems and institutions in the society.


Navigating Oceans of Data

The course is designed to introduce the scope and function of information and the research process in family studies. The course will introduce students to types and fundamental concepts and process in the research literature. Problem solving is viewed as one of the primary functions of the research literature information, leading to strategies and action for solutions and change. Students will gain experience developing a framework for consuming the research literature and information in family studies.


Systemic Dynamics

This course is designed to provide an understanding of family strengths and weaknesses in light of internal dynamics of the family. Students will explore the family as a system of relationships extending across the family life cycle. The course includes a survey of current developments in the study of family and analysis of changes in American society and their influences on family life. Emphasis is placed on using family systems processes to examine and understand the internal dynamics of the family that lead to effective family life education program planning, implementation, and assessment.


Family Decision Making

This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the decisions individuals make about developing and allocating resources to meet their goals. The focus of the course is on internal dynamics of family decision-making processes and on the goal-directed behaviors of families in improving their quality of life. Topics include: decision-making, valuing, planning, communication, and organization skills for resource use.


Family Comm/Relationships

This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of developing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. An emphasis will be placed on the physiological, psychological, social, and sexual development of relationships across the life span.


Intimate Relationships

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the emotional and psychological aspects of intimate relationships. Topics include: dating and courtship; love and romance; and sexual behavior, values and decision-making. An emphasis will be on sexuality and intimacy in interpersonal relationships across the lifespan.


Seminar in Human Growth

This course includes a study of human growth and development throughout the life cycle. Consideration of physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral, sexual, spiritual and personality development is included.


Parent Education

This course explores how parents teach, guide, and influence their children and adolescents. The course will emphasize parenting as a process, a responsibility, and a role that changes across the life span. Variations in parenting practices will be discussed in the context of building on strengths; empowering parents, and remaining sensitive to individual and community needs.


Public Policy/Applied Ethics

This course explores historical development of laws and public policy affecting families. Ethics and ethical implications of social change will be explored.  Students will understand the legal definition of the family and laws that affect the status of the family. The course will focus on the role of the family life educator as an advocate for the well-being of the family. The formation of social values, respect for the diversity of values, and the social consequences of value choices are discussed within a family life education framework.


Reflexive Assessment & Eval

This course reviews the connection between research methods and the research question or problem. Students will explore the role of assessment and evaluation in early childhood education. Various forms of assessment will be considered with an emphasis on the recursive nature of assessment. Students will experience the process of establishing strategy for a program in early childhood education.


Methods in Programming

This course provides a pedagogical framework for planning, implementation, and evaluation of programming for parent and family education.


Seminar C

This course assists students in synthesizing previous coursework leading to greater self-reflection and assessment of learning. In addition, the student will present and discuss the final MA Capstone eFolio.


1. Apply Online

2. Submit official transcripts from the regionally accredited institution stating the conferral of a Bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 system.

3. Submit a typed personal statement that answers the questions listed below. Completed statements should be labeled with your name, academic program, and your contact information and submitted via mail, email or fax. Each question should be answered in a minimum of 300 words (1 page).

Why are you choosing to pursue a graduate program at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?
What strengths do you feel make you a strong candidate for the program?
Describe a past or present personal/professional experience that you believe positively influenced your potential to succeed in a graduate program.

4. Submit a current, professional resume. Applicants must be a practitioner in their field through work or volunteerism and should demonstrate this involvement on their resume.

Technology Requirements
Students enrolling in a graduate program must have access to a computer that meets Concordia University's technology requirements. Contact Concordia's Help Desk at or 651-641-8866 with any questions regarding these requirements.

Concordia University Technology Requirements (PDF)

Start Dates

Spring 2015 Term

Start Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Delivery: Online
Class Day: Wednesday
Chat Time: 7 - 7:45 p.m. CST