Division of Child and Family Studies

Tarleton State University's online Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Child Development and Family Studies (CHFS), expands your career opportunities in educational and community settings. This graduate program in Child Development and Family Studies emphasizes content areas such as theories related to families and children, research methodology, and current issues impacting child development and family dynamics.

Master of Science in Child Development and Family Studies

Required Courses
CHFS 5313Advanced Human Development3
CHFS 5320Social and Emotional Development3
CHFS 5321Family Theories and Research3
CHFS 5330Interpersonal Relationships3
CHFS 5339Language and Cognitive Development in Childhood3
CHFS 5347Child and Family Advocacy3
CHFS 5360Research Methods in Human Sciences3
EDUC 5398Techniques of Research3
or PSYC 5300 Behavioral Statistics
Total Hours24
Additional Required Courses for Concentrations
CHFS 5390Capstone Project3
3 hour approved general elective 5000- level 3
Total Hours6
CHFS 5088Thesis6
Total Hours6


CHFS 5086. Special Problems. 1-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-6 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Open to graduate students who are capable of developing a problem independently. Problems chosen by the student and approved in advance by the instructor and department head. Prerequisite: Graduate major in College of Education. Prerequisite: Graduate major in College of Education.

CHFS 5088. Thesis. 1-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-6 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Scheduled when the student is ready to begin the thesis. No credit until the thesis is completed. Prerequisites: Completion of all course work required by the degree and consent of the major professor.

CHFS 5313. Advanced Human Development. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An examination of theories that relate to human development and contemporary research findings in areas of the field of human development. Developmental domains and children's relationships within family and society will be emphasized.

CHFS 5320. Social and Emotional Development. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Contemporary theory and research related to social and emotional development from infancy through young adulthood. Discussion of the impact of social and emotional development on behavior and interpersonal relationships.

CHFS 5321. Family Theories and Research. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Study of family theories and research which employ the contextual framework of the family as a system and which explain family of origin, family functioning, family structure, and family process. Application of theory and research will include an understanding of the various levels of family functioning as a model for developing family support and intervention plans.

CHFS 5330. Interpersonal Relationships. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A functional approach to the understanding of the interpersonal dynamics and choices in primary and secondary relationships such as those with friends, dating partners, and potential mates. The study will include a brief historical and cross-cultural perspective with emphasis on the roots of modern American customs and the rituals of dating and mate selection.

CHFS 5339. Language and Cognitive Development in Childhood. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Exploration of theories of language, literacy, and cognitive development in young children with implications for the acquisition of language, early literacy, and problem-solving concepts for all children. Explores ways that early childhood professionals and parents can enhance language, literacy, and cognitive skills and introduce appropriate, research-based approaches to early reading, writing, math, and science in diverse settings.

CHFS 5340. Advanced Child Life. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A review of the historical and theoretical perspectives on the development of the child life field and information on fundamental skills required to help children and families cope with the stress of the health care experience. This course is required for the Child Life Specialist Certification.

CHFS 5347. Child and Family Advocacy. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course focuses on the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to understand the impact of social policies and institutional practices on the well being of children and families.

CHFS 5350. Advanced Methods of Family Life Education. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An understanding of the philosophies and principles of family life education, including knowledge of the family life certification process and content areas. This course will include a survey and critique of various existing family life education programs as well as the development, implementation, and evaluation of new evidence-based programs.

CHFS 5360. Research Methods in Human Sciences. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Course will provide an in-depth review of study design and data analysis methods. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be covered, and the publication and peer-review process will be discussed.

CHFS 5390. Capstone Project. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course requires students to design and complete an independent project that addresses a practical, real world challenge by integrating the skills and knowledge students have gained throughout their program of study. Students will communicate the results of their project via a written report and an online presentation. The completed project will demonstrate critical thinking, research-based best practices, review of scholarly literature, and formal reporting consistent with APA style. Students will complete the master's required comprehensive exams during this course.