Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Graduate Study
Family Community Services - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Family Community Services, is a collaborative, multi-institutional program offered totally online. This degree is designed to provide a research-based perspective to understand individual, family, interpersonal and community dynamics across the lifespan. Students will acquire knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, sustainability, and leadership and management of family and community services programs.

The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the Internet/World Wide Web by faculty from multiple land-grant universities: Michigan State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oklahoma State University, and South Dakota State University.

Students will earn this degree from their home institution while also enrolling for courses at other participating institutions.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be admitted, students must apply via their home institution and plan their course of study under the guidance of their academic advisor. Michigan State University students follow established University admission procedures.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Family Community Services

The program is available only online and only under Plan B (without thesis). Each student’s course of study must be developed and approved in consultation with the academic advisor. The student must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 30 credits is course work required by The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) consortium, distributed as follows:

  1. Core courses (30 credit hours):
    Administration and Management of Human Services Programs
    Crises Across the Lifespan
    Family Dynamics
    Family Resource Management
    Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services
    Interpersonal Relationships
    Lifespan Development
    Parenting Education
    Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation
    Resilience in Families
  2. Additional course work (6 credit hours).
    This enrollment will vary at each institution.  At Michigan State University, students will fulfill this requirement by enrolling in course work approved by the student’s academic advisor.
  3. Pass a final oral examination or evaluation. This will include a formal presentation by the student on a topic determined by the student and the academic advisor.

Michigan State University students should contact the Department of Human Development and Family Studies or consult the Michigan State University Schedule of Courses for current course schedule and other information.