Child, Youth and Family Studies (MS)


Child, Youth and Family Studies, MS

On Campus 36 - 51 cr

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. degree.


The Department is a founding participant of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) and offers several graduate programs online through the consortium of universities that make up the Great Plains IDEA.

Students have access to the Family Resource Center (FRC) and the Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory (CDL). Through the FRC, students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program offer psychotherapy to couples, families and individuals on site and remotely through telemental health to rural communities throughout Nebraska. The FRC is also a research laboratory, giving students valuable research experience with couples, families, individuals, and intervention. Through the CDL, students in child development and early childhood education engage in experiential learning and gain teaching experience working with children and families. The CDL is also a research laboratory, giving students valuable research experience with children and their families and curriculum. The CDL's programs are among the 9% in the nation accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and have been in operation since 1925.

Academic Pathways


  1. Child Development/Early Childhood Education
  2. Ethnic Studies
  3. Family and Consumer Sciences Education (Online)
  4. Family and Community Services (Online)
  5. Family Financial Planning (Online)
  6. Human and Family Services Administration (Online)
  7. International Family Studies (Online)
  8. Marriage and Family Therapy
  9. Youth Development (Online)

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

UNL Undergrads applying for the Accelerated program: See Accelerated Master's Programs for instructions, and in the application form be sure to select only from the "UNL Undergraduates: Accelerated Master's Programs" section.

All other applicants:

  • Entrance exam(s): None.
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
  • Personal Statement: Professional goals.
  • Resume or vitae
  • Three recommendation letters.  Ensure that at least one reference letter is academic (e.g., instructor, advisor) and any non-academic letters are professional (e.g., relevant employer).

Admission Application Deadlines

  • M.S. with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy: December 1 for Fall.
  • Other M.S. specializations: Most have rolling admissions; contact department for information.
  • Priority deadline for funding: Contact department for information.

Additionally, the College of Education and Human Sciences requires all students admitted into a campus program to complete a background check before the start of their first semester.

Graduate Chair

Rochelle Dalla

Support Staff

Kaelie Kellner

Tuition & Fees
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See program summaries for details like application deadlines and requirements.

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.