The Department of Behavioral Sciences at PNW offers the Master of Science degree. In all cases your official and final transcript will refer to your field of study as Child Development and Family Studies (specialization in Human Development and Family Studies). Your awarded degree reflects the name of our entire program, not just your area of special interest. What will reflect your specific scholarly interests, however, will be your individualized course selections and final paper.
HDFS MS Program Learning Outcomes:
- Students will identify the relationships between the diverse families over the life course and other major social institutions (such social services, education, government, and healthcare).
- Students will apply the model of scholarly research in the field, by developing evidence based arguments, relating research to practice, and evaluating programs and services.
- Student will build their own research project stemming from existing research in the field.
- Student will be able to analyze the topic of ethics in professional settings and discuss the application of ethics in research.
- Students will be able to produce qualitative and quantitative research using primary or secondary sources.
- Students will be able to design and develop in writing a paper equivalent to a scholarly journal article based on their research.
MS degree students take 36 hours of coursework. In addition to the written efforts (the directed research project), all MS students will present their research orally before their committee members. Students taking classes full time (3 courses/semester) can finish the degree in two years of study.
Common Core (27 credit hours)
- CDFS 60200 Advanced Family Studies (taught fall odd years)
- CDFS 61500 Research Methods in Child and Family Study (taught every fall)
- CDFS 61800 Program Development and Evaluation (taught spring odd years)
- CDFS 59000 Current Research Topics in CDFS (taught spring odd years)
- PSY 60500 Multivariate Statistics (taught every spring)
- CDFS 59000 Administration of Social Service Not-for-Profit Agencies (spring even yrs)
- CDFS 68000 Professional Issues for Child and Family Specialists (fall even years)
- CDFS 59000 6-hours of Directed Research (3 for proposal, 3 for final research)
Electives (9 credit hours of Electives Courses)
Elective courses to be chosen in consultation with faculty advisor and may include more than one specialty area: Early Childhood Development, Child &Family Studies, and/or Gerontology. Courses may be from disciplines including sociology, psychology, education, and communications. No more than 6 hours of credit from 40000-level courses may be included. A grade of “B” or better is required.
HDFS MS students design and conduct research under the guidance of program faculty. The masters research project can be on the topic of each student’s choosing and may use quantitative or qualitative methods and primary or secondary data. The final result is a paper in the style of a publishable scholarly journal article. Students should start investigating topics of interest through their courses to identify a gap in the research.
After taking at least five of the core courses and after taking CDFS605 and CDFS615 (your stats and methods courses) students should use their first directed research hours to work on their proposal under the guidance of their chosen project chair/ main advisor. During that semester, students will work with their chair to identify two other committee members. The chair and one of the other two people on the advising committee need to be regular HDFS MS program faculty; the third can be an outside member with graduate faculty status.
Students will work with their chair on the proposal and the advisor will decide when the student is ready to present the proposal to the rest of the committee for feedback and revisions before getting IRB approval or doing the actual research. Ideally this happens before the end of the semester the student takes their first directed research hours. Proposals need to be sent to all members of the committee a minimum of three weeks prior to the proposal defense date. Students will present their work in the form of a 15-20 minute PowerPoint oral presentation overview of the project before committee members discuss changes and ways to improve the project. This process ensures that guidance and input before the student moves forward with their research. See proposal rubrics for expectations to pass the defense.
The second directed research hours should be used to conduct research and write up findings. Students will work under the guidance of their chair/advisor to write a publishable journal article style paper. The project chair will determine when the student is ready to defend their final paper based on the project rubric. Students need to share the paper with the entire committee a minimum of three weeks prior to their final defense date and the defense needs to take place before the last week of classes that semester. See information on final defense for additional details and the proposal and final project rubrics for guidelines and expectations for the paper and defense meetings.