Child Development & Family Relations
       MS in Child Development and Family Relations
The program prepares students for mid-level and administrative positions in child and family organizations and human services agencies. Graduates generally fill professional roles such as the administration of programs serving children, families, and older adults; in teaching young children or teaching at the community college level; and specialized clinical roles in child life, early intervention, developmental evaluation, and other mental health programs.

Students are encouraged to select an area of specialization that will prepare them for in-depth study in a related discipline such as special education, child life, sociology, gerontology, adult education or community college teaching. Programs are tailored to the individual needs and interests of students, including opportunities to complete course work leading to eligibility for the family life education certification of the National Council on Family Relations, or other related certifications. Students specializing in child life, who have not completed the undergraduate internship and practicums, will be required to meet these prerequisites in addition to the degree requirements.
  • Core Courses (15 s.h.)
  • Professional Area (9 s.h.)
  • Recommended Electives
CDFR 6401 Family Theories and Issues
CDFR 6402 Theories of Child Development
CDFR 6420 Program Planning & Evaluation for Child and Family Services
CDFR 7007 Statistics in Child and Family Studies

CDFR 7400 Research Methods in Child and Family Studies

CDFR 6404 Human Development within the Family Part I
CDFR 6406 Human Development within the Family Part II

CDFR 7900 Advanced Special Topics in CDFR
CDFR 7000 Thesis (repeatable for 6 s.h.)

CDFR Elective
CDFR 6022 Perspectives on Death and Dying
CDFR 6303 Critical Issues in Family & Cultural Diversity
CDFR 6300 Critical Issues in Sexuality, Gender Roles, & Family
CDFR 6413 Exceptional Families
CDFR 7309 Contemporary Issues in Early Intervention & Children’s Health
CDFR 7409 Illness and Disability Across the Lifespan
Assistive Technology SPED/OCCT 6701, 6702, 6703
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder SPED 6800, 6801, 6802, 6803
Community College Instruction ADED 6240, 6450, 6453
Deaf-Blindness SPED 6810, 6811, 6812
Teaching English as a Second Language TESL 6100, 6200, 6300
Adviser Approved Strand (student selects 9 s.h. approved by adviser)
Child Life Specialization: Students take CDFR 7309 and CDFR 6985.
College Teaching Specialization:
Students take CDFR 5005 or ADED 5240, ADED 6450, and ADED 6453,
*Students may choose the thesis (CDFR 7000) or research topic option (CDFR 7900).
***Students must confer with an advisor prior to completing the core to schedule comprehensive exams.
**Minimum requirements for degree are 36 semester hours.

This program is taught in a traditional face-to-face classroom environment.
Click here to apply to East Carolina University. Admission to East Carolina University does not guarantee admissions into your desired program of study.
Admission Requirements:
Applications must be submitted on or before February 1st. The Graduate School has minimum requirements for all applicants to graduate programs.
1) Completed application form, application fee ($US60),
2) Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended,
3) Three (3) letters of recommendation
4) Statement of Intent
5) GRE scores (ECU’s GRE code is 5180) or MAT scores (code 1354)

Completion of an undergraduate degree in child development, birth through kindergarten, family studies, family and consumer sciences, the behavioral or social sciences or closely related area from an accredited institution.
Other Requirements:
Applicant should have successfully completed at the undergraduate level at least one course in child development and one course in family studies. Applicants may be required to take additional courses as part of the degree requirements in order to make up deficiencies or meet certification requirements. Research and clinical experience are available through the departments’ child development laboratory and family therapy clinic.
Please feel free to contact us at: or 252-328-6908.
College of Human Ecology
Rivers Building | Greenville, NC 27858-4353 USA
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