Youth, Family, and Community Sciences - Online and Distance Education

Youth, Family, and Community Sciences

Master's Degrees | Youth, Family, and Community Sciences

Youth, Family, and Community Sciences

Entrance Exam: Not Required

This an online non-thesis master's degree requires a total of 30 graduate credit hours. It culminates in a capstone experience during the student’s final semester. This option is ideal for students who desire a master’s degree as their final degree.

Students may also choose the master of science (M.S.) degree option, which requires 36 graduate credit hours. The M.S. culminates in a final oral examination and thesis approved by the student’s graduate committee. The M.S. option is ideal for students with an interest in pursuing a doctoral program or with a strong interest in research and program evaluation.

Our Youth, Family, and Community Sciences online programs' graduate faculty members are experts in their academic disciplines and in online learning.  We strive to create positive and applied learning environments so that our students leave fully prepared to excel in their professional careers. We are unique in that:

  • We are student-focused. We recognize that our students bring talent and knowledge into the classroom, and we encourage their development by building on their strengths through active, applied learning.
  • We have an all-online program, which allows our students the flexibility they need to be successful.
  • Our program is designed for both traditional and non-traditional students.  All synchronous courses are taught during the evenings and our Instructional Designer is on hand to assist all students, especially those new to distance education technologies.
  • We provide our students with opportunities to either focus on one foundational area (e.g., Youth Development, Family Development) or gain a broad perspective of working with individuals across the lifespan (e.g., birth to death).

Students interested in graduate work who are not ready for a full master’s degree may find the following graduate certificates of interest:

Admissions Requirements

  • GRE requirement policy: We will no longer require the GRE for consideration into our masters program effective October 2018.
  • Students must submit a 500-800 word academic writing sample that answers the following prompt: What is the role of family science in a diverse society?
  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (Academic and Professional)
  • Official Transcripts (must be from a 4-year accredited university or college)

Note: Transfer credits are generally not allowed. Exceptions made at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Programs (DGP).

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a related area or must have credit for 3 to 6 hours of prerequisites.

Many students begin taking classes as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student before official admission to the program. Consult the program director before taking more than two classes as an NDS student.


This master's degree requires 30 credits. At 2020-21 tuition rates, the cost of the required graduate courses is $462 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,311 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the program is $13,860 for North Carolina residents and $39,330 for non-residents. The Master of Science option, which requires 36 credit hours, is charged at the same rates. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

A student has six years to complete the master's program starting with the first course that is to be counted. Students may be part-time or full-time. Courses are offered via these formats:

  • Web-based classes
  • Seminar classes with a live internet feed connecting classrooms
  • On-campus seminars delivered via video teleconference

Youth, Family, and Community Science online courses are available to Graduate and Post-baccalaureate Studies students only (GR, PBS). Unless noted, all Youth, Family, and Community Science online courses are 3 credit hours.

Career Prospects

Parenting and Family Life Education are rapidly growing fields of research and practice. Demand for professionals to teach and create supportive systems for families is arising from government leaders, community agencies, court systems, through prisons, social service organizations, religious organizations, schools, and communities.