2019-20 Academic Catalog

Human Development and Family Science

Department Head: Dr. Michael Newman
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Tommy Phillips
Graduate Coordinator for EI Program: Dr. Julie Parker
201B Lloyd Ricks Watson Building
Box 9745
Mississippi State, MS  39762
Telephone: 662-325-0655
E-mail: tom.phillips@msstate.edu
E-mail: JParker@humansci.msstate.edu

The School of Human Sciences offers both the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) and a Master of Science in Early Intervention (EI).  Students in the M.S. program in HDFS may select either the thesis or non-thesis option.  The M.S. in EI is non-thesis only. Non-thesis students take a comprehensive oral exam in lieu of the thesis.  Doctoral students must complete a research dissertation.  Contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information regarding admission requirements and curriculum. Human Development and Family Science is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of individual and family development in a variety of contexts across the lifespan, from conception to later life. 

Master of Science in Human Development & Family Science

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the Master of Science in Human Development & Family Science degree must meet the following requirements.

  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree in HDFS or a related field
  • Submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score competitive with other applicants
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, with at least two letters from individuals familiar with applicant’s academic work
  • Submit a sole-authored writing sample (see instructions below)
  • Submit a personal statement (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant's purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans, career goals, and detailed research interests

For international, non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL or IELTS score indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work is required.   See English-Language Requirements in the Admission section of this publication for more information.

An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 is preferred. Students admitted provisionally must fulfill Graduate School provisional admission requirements found in this publication. Qualified applicants for the HDFS grade program are expected to have interests and goals that are consistent with the department's faculty expertise and interests, as well as course offerings. Admission decisions are based on a holistic consideration of the applicant's credentials.

Instructions for Writing Sample:  Applicants to the master's program are asked to submit a sole-authored writing sample in English so that the admissions committee may assess the candidate's ability as a writer, potential success in the master's program, and ability to do research and present it in written form. The minimum length of the sample is five pages, but the same should not exceed 25 pages.  The sample should be presented in APA style (title page, headers, references, etc.).  Examples of possible writing samples include, but are not limited to, papers from past courses, journal articles, or some written work product, such as a manual or technical report.  

Master of Science in Early Intervention

The Master of Science in Early Intervention is framed by developmental, ecological, and family systems theories and evidence-based practices that emphasize the interactive nature of child development. The program will produce personnel with highly specialized skills and knowledge about critical assessment, intervention, and instructional programming, addressing the unique needs of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities or at-risk conditions and their families. The program will draw upon a range of approaches that acknowledge the central role of the family in a child's life with services provided in natural environments, i.e., home and community-based settings.

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the Master of Science in Early Intervention degree must meet the following requirements.

  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree in HDFS or a related field
  • Submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score competitive with other applicants or hold a MS teacher's license
  • Preferably have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, with at least two coming from individuals familiar with applicant’s academic work; letters should address the applicant's potential for successfully completing graduate work
  • A personal statement (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant's purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans and career goals
  • Submit TOEFL scores that meet MSU requirements of international, non-native speakers of English and are indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work
  • Submit a sole-authored writing sample (see instructions below)

Instructions for Writing Sample:  Applicants to the Master's program in Early Intervention are asked to submit a sole-authored writing sample in English so that the admissions committee may assess the candidate's ability as a writer, potential success in the master's program, and ability to do research and present it in written form. The minimum length of the sample is three pages, but the sample should not exceed 10 pages.  The writing sample should be presented in APA style (title page, headers, references, etc.) and should address a topic related to early intervention, early childhood, or child development. Examples of possible writing samples include, but are not limited to, papers from past courses, journal articles, or some written work product, such as a manual or technical report.  

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development & Family Science

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must meet the following requirements.

  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree in HDFS or a related field
  • Have completed the following courses or their equivalents
  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission
  • Have earned a Master's degree in HDFS or a related field
  • Have completed the following courses or their equivalents: AIS 8803 Research Methods; HS 8823 Advanced Theories of Human Development and Family Relations; 3 hours of graduate-level statistics; and HS 8813 Seminar in HDFS (contingent acceptance may be granted for students to complete requires courses within one calendar year)
  • Have earned a grade point average of 3.00 on all previous graduate coursework
  • Submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score competitive with other applicants
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, with at least two of the letters coming from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic work
  • Submit a sole-authored writing sample (see instructions below)
  • Submit a personal statement (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant’s purpose for undertaking graduate study, professional plans, career goals, and detailed research interests
  • Complete an interview with members of the HDFS graduate faculty

For international, non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work is required.  See English Language Test Score Requirements in the Admission section of this publication for more information.

Qualified applicants for the HDFS graduate program are expected to have interests and goals that are consistent with the department's faculty expertise and interests as well as course offerings.  Once all application materials have been submitted, applicants should contact the HDFS graduate coordinator at 662-325-0655 or tom.phillips@msstate.edu to schedule an interview with members of the HDFS graduate faculty.  To accommodate international applicants, interviews can be conducted using distance technology.  Admission decisions are based on a holistic consideration of the applicant's credentials.

Admission to the master's program does not automatically mean that a student will enter the doctoral program; a student completing the master’s degree must reapply through the Office of the Graduate School for admission to the doctoral program. 

Instructions for Writing Sample:  Applicants to the doctoral program are required to submit a sole-authored writing sample in English so that the admissions committee may assess the candidate's ability as a writer, potential success in the doctoral program, and ability to do research and present it in written form.  The minimum length of the writing sample is five pages, but the sample should not exceed 25 pages.  The sample should be presented in APA style (title page, headers, references, etc.).  Examples of possible writing samples include, but are not limited to, papers from past courses, journal articles, or some written work product, such as a manual or technical report.  

Master of Science in Human Development & Family Science - Thesis

Core Required Courses
HDFS 8813Seminar in Human Development and Family Science3
HDFS 8823Advanced Theories of Human Development and Family Relations3
EPY 6214Educational and Psychological Statistics4
AELC 8803Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education3
AELC 8000Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education6
12 hours of approved electives12
Total Hours31

A thesis committee, consisting of the student’s major professor and two other graduate faculty members, must be established.  A thesis defense before the committee is required.

Note: A majority of electives must be HDFS courses. At least one-half of the course work in the degree program, exclusive of thesis credits, must be at the 8000 level. Students may transfer up to 9 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs.

Master of Science in Human Development & Family Science - Non-Thesis

Core Required Courses
HDFS 8813Seminar in Human Development and Family Science3
HDFS 8823Advanced Theories of Human Development and Family Relations3
EPY 6214Educational and Psychological Statistics4
AELC 8503Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education3
AELC 8803Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education3
or AELC 8703 Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
15 hours of approved electives15
Total Hours31

The student’s major professor and two other graduate faculty members will comprise the graduate committee.  A final comprehensive oral examination is required.

Note: A majority of electives must be HDFS courses. At least one-half of the course work in the degree program, exclusive of thesis credits, must be at the 8000 level. Students may transfer up to 9 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs.

Master of Science in Early Intervention - Non-Thesis

College Required Courses
HDFS 8823Advanced Theories of Human Development and Family Relations3
AELC 8803Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education3
Major Required Courses
HDFS 8113Trends in Infant and Child Development3
HDFS 8123The Effects of Poverty on Children and Families3
HDFS 8503Medical Aspects of Developmental Disabilities in Young Children3
HDFS 8513Inclusion and Family-Centered Early Intervention3
HDFS 8533Instructional Strategies and Practice for Early Intervention3
EDX 6813Introduction to Assessment Issues in Special Education3
HDFS 8543Practicum I3
HDFS 8553Practicum II3
Total Hours30

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development & Family Science

Core Required Courses
HDFS 8833Foundations of Human Development and Family Studies3
HDFS 6843Family Interaction3
HDFS 8853Current Issues in Human Development and Family Studies3
HDFS 9000Research and Dissertation in Human Development and Family Science20
Teaching and Outreach (select one of the following):3
The Effects of Poverty on Children and Families
Methods of Planned Change in Agricultural and Extension Education
Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Volunteer Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Research and Evaluation (select two of the following):6
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education
Qualitative Data Collection in Education
Statistics and Analysis
EPY 8214Intermediate Educational and Psychological Statistics4
AND one of the following (3 hours):3
Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research
Analysis and Interpretation of Data in Agricultural and Extension Education Research
Qualitative Analysis
Approved Electives15
Total Hours60

The student must pass a written comprehensive exam prior to being admitted to candidacy.  A dissertation committee, consisting of the student’s major professor and three other graduate faculty members, must be established.  A dissertation defense before the committee is required.

Note: A majority of the electives must b HDFS courses. At least one-half of the coursework in the degree program, exclusive of dissertation credits, must be at the 8000 level. Approved 7000 Directed Individual Study courses cannot count toward 8000/9000-level requirements.  No more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit may be earned in Directed Individual Study courses.  Students may transfer up to 9 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs.

The School of Human Sciences graduate courses may be used for a minor or for selected certificates in Human Sciences in cooperation with other degree programs.  Areas of emphasis are available in the following program areas in Human Sciences: apparel, textiles and merchandising, and human development and family studies.  The School also participates in the graduate Gender Studies Certificate by offering HDFS 6313, HDFS 6403, and HS 6513 and the Gerontology Certificate by offering HDFS 6403, HDFS 6813, and HDFS 6863

For additional information about graduate offerings in the School of Human Sciences, contact Dr. Tommy Phillips.

HDFS 6313 Family Resource Management: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Decision-making in the family and operation of the household as affected by family values, philosophies, resources, and socio-economic conditions

HDFS 6333 Families, Legislation and Public Policy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior/senior writing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An examination of the impact of legislation and public policy on the well being of the family with emphasis on policy and family change

HDFS 6403 Introduction to Gerontology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An introduction to the dynamics of the aging process and strategies for maximizing life satisfaction during aging

HDFS 6424 Teaching Methods in Agricultural and Human Sciences: 4 hours.

(Prerequisite: CALS major and junior standing). Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Planning instruction; selecting teaching techniques; developing teaching plans; teaching agricultural/human sciences topics; using instructional technologies; and evaluating learner progress. Same as AELC 4424

HDFS 6803 Parenting: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 and junior/senior writing, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Study of the child as a part of the family in a dynamic human ecological system

HDFS 6813 Adult Development: The Middle Years: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Theory and perspectives on adulthood in contemporary society, adjustment to internal and environmental changes, role structures, supportive networks and public policy issues

HDFS 6823 Development and Administration of Child Service Programs: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 3813 or concurrent enrollment). Three hours lecture. Planning, administering, and evaluating the organizational structure of a variety of child service programs

HDFS 6833 The Hospitalized Child: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: HDFS 3803 and HDFS 3813 or concurrent enrollment, junior standing or permission of the instructor). Three hours lecture. A pre-practicum development approach to the special needs of the hospitalized infant, child and adolescent

HDFS 6843 Family Interaction: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Interaction within functional families; focus on the family as a system, on diversity and roles, and on effective interactions

HDFS 6853 The Family: A Human Ecological Perspective: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The impact of internal and external factors on the development of individual and family relationships throughout the life cycle

HDFS 6863 Consumer Aspects of Aging: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Analysis of the decisions, issues and research related to the consumer aspects of aging from a global and national perspective

HDFS 6873 Positive Youth Development: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 and junior/senior writing class or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Examines theoretical and empirical foundations of the growing field of Positive Youth Development; examines school and community-based programs that foster PYD

HDFS 6883 Risk, Resilience and Preventive Interventions: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: HDFS 1813 and junior/senior writing; or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Theory and research relevant to understanding risk and resilience in human development and family studies application of risk/resilience framework to individual and family preventive interventions

HDFS 6990 Special Topics in Human Development and Family Science: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

HDFS 7000 Directed Individual Study in Human Development and Family Science: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

HDFS 8000 Research and Thesis in Human Development and Family Science: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

HDFS 8113 Trends in Infant and Child Development: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Overview of current research in infant and child development; implications for program development and advocacy

HDFS 8123 The Effects of Poverty on Children and Families: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Exploration of the impact of poverty on children and families, identification of risk/protective factors, and development of family and child interventions to reduce risk

HDFS 8313 Contemporary Youth Issues: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Current topics in the areas of youth studies and adolescent development

HDFS 8413 Issues in Family Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Extensive examination of current theoretical and research scholarship in critical topics of interest in the study of families

HDFS 8423 Development of Intimate Relationships: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A multidisciplinary investigation of how intimate relationships in contemporary U.S. society form, develop, maintain, and dissolve

HDFS 8503 Medical Aspects of Developmental Disabilities in Young Children: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The course provides the early intervention professional with information on health care issues, diagnostic testing, and medical conditions relevant to infants and young children with disabilities

HDFS 8513 Inclusion and Family-Centered Early Intervention: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The course will focus on the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with very young children (birth to 5 years), and their families in inclusive and natural environments. Students will explore issues related to the impact that disability has on development

HDFS 8533 Instructional Strategies and Practice for Early Intervention: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. This course is designed to create a framework for the effective application of instructional strategies in early intervention. Instructional design and strategies will be illustrated through hands-on activities. Course content is linked to developmental learning theories and evidence-based teaching practices

HDFS 8543 Practicum I: 3 hours.

Prerequisite(s): Must be enrolled as a graduate student in the MS in Early Intervention program and have a 3.00 GPA to be eligible for this course. Three hours practicum. University-supervised student teaching experience in an IDEA-Part C home visiting/intervention program

HDFS 8553 Practicum II: 3 hours.

Prerequisite(s): Must be enrolled as a graduate student in the MS in Early Intervention and have a 3.00 GPA to be eligible for this course. Three hours practicum. Student teaching experience in inclusive preschool programs for children with disabilities under the direction of a cooperating teacher

HDFS 8813 Seminar in Human Development and Family Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An introduction to the graduate program, faculty research, and policies and procedures. Skills in writing a literature review, grant writing, and giving professional presentations will be learned

HDFS 8823 Advanced Theories of Human Development and Family Relations: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Advanced study of theories of human development and family studies across the lifespan

HDFS 8833 Foundations of Human Development and Family Studies: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor). Three hours lecture. Examination of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of Human Development and Family Studies

HDFS 8853 Current Issues in Human Development and Family Studies: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An in-depth examination of particular HDFS topics of current interest to faculty and students. Critical evaluation of current research

HDFS 8990 Special Topics in Human Development and Family Science: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

HDFS 9000 Research and Dissertation in Human Development and Family Science: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

HS 6323 Consumer Issues and Policy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:HS 3303 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An assessment of policies and programs relating to information, product safety, and channels of appeal for the individual

HS 6683 Current Housing Problems of Families: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Analysis of current housing problems confronting families, their historical development, government policies and remedial measures

HS 6710 Study Tour: 1-3 hours.

Experiential learning through travel in the United States or abroad focusing on specialized areas of study in human sciences