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Master's Degree in Family Social Science

The master's degree programs in family social science consist of several components:

Core Requirements | Area of Concentration | Supporting Program | Plan A or Plan B

Thesis (Plan A)

  • Master's Plan A prepares students for an advanced degree
  • 20 credits coursework
  • 10 credits thesis

Project (Plan B)

  • Master's Plan B is designed for students planning to do applied research
  • 26 credits coursework
  • 4 credits project

Interested in a coursework-based master's degree? Learn more about an M.Ed. in family education.


View current departmental course offerings.


Admission to the Department of Family Social Science (FSoS) is based on a review of multiple sources of information with no single factor determining an applicant's success or failure.

Admission Criteria

  • Evidence of strong academic preparation and the ability and desire to perform graduate level scholarship, including research.
  • Fit of applicant's professional goals with FSoS faculty scholarship and with the overall FSoS mission: enhancing the well-being of diverse families in a changing world.
  • Unique contributions applicant would make to FSoS values, including social relevance, collaboration, inclusiveness, excellence, innovation, and diversity.

Application Procedures

Complete applications are due March 1st.
Faculty are not obligated to review incomplete applications.

Learn more about application procedures and instructions.

After Applying

The number of graduate applicants admitted into the program varies from year to year, depending on applicant qualifications, and the availability of faculty advisers.

This year we are a seeking a cohort of eight to ten M.A. students.

Students must inform the Department of Family Social Science of their final decision to attend or not attend by April 15th.


The program of study for the M.A. degree is planned by the student and the faculty adviser, approved by the director of graduate studies, and then filed with the Graduate School after 15 credits of coursework have been completed.

A maximum of 40% of the total credits taken for the degree program may be transferred into the program at the University of Minnesota from outside the program, with the approval of the adviser and the director of graduate studies. 


Visit OneStop Student Services: Finances for information on tuition, fees, and financial aid.

Visit Assistantships, Fellowships, & Other Funding for more information on funding opportunities through FSoS, CEHD and UMN.

More information regarding assistantships and benefits can be found on the Office of Human Resources website.

If you have any additional questions, please e-mail