Child, Youth and Family Studies

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S. in Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Ph.D. in Human Sciences


M.S. Specializations - what's a specialization?
  • Child Development and Early Childhood Education
  • Family Financial Planning (online only)
  • Family and Community Services (online only)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education (online only)
  • Human and Family Services Administration (online only)
  • International Family Studies (online only)
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Youth Development (online only)
Ph.D. Specializations - what's a specialization?
  • Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Gerontology
The Child, Youth, and Family Studies program also offers Graduate Certificates in Financial and Housing Counseling (online only), Medical Family Therapy, Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention, and Youth Development Specialist (online only).

*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.

Distance Education Opportunities

M.S. with these specializations only:
  • Family Financial Planning
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Human and Family Services Administration
  • International Family Studies
  • Youth Development
Promotional image for Child, Youth and Family Studies

Contacts for Child, Youth and Family Studies

Department Chair

Dr. Richard Bischoff

Graduate Chair

Dr. Julia Torquati

Graduate Secretary

Ms. Lisa King

Campus Address

135 Mabel Lee Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0236

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Child, Youth and Family Studies in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s):
    - Ph.D and M.S.:  GRE required for all Ph.D. applicants and M.S. applicants for the Specializations of Marriage and Family Therapy; Child Development and Early Childhood Education; and Human and Family Services Administration; and for study in the area of Family Science
    - PPST Required for Family & Consumer Sciences Education:  
    - No entrance exam required for Specializations in Family Financial Planning; Family and Community Services; International Family Studies; and Youth Development:  
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Department intent form
  • Sample of writing or research (Ph.D. only)
  • Professional goals statement
  • Resume or vitae

Application Deadlines for Child, Youth and Family Studies
Ph.D. All SpecializationsFall: January 10
M.S. Specialization in Marriage and Family TherapyFall: January 10
M.S. in Child Development and Early Childhood EducationFall: April 15 Spring: October 15 Summer: January 15
Other M.S.Some master's specializations have rolling admissions; contact department for information.
For FundingGraduate assistantship and fellowship applications for master's and Ph.D. applicants are due February 1. Contact the department for more information.


The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The Department is a founding participant of the Great Plains 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 DCL'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.

Faculty and research

Richard Bischoff
Mental Health Services for Underserved Populations; Collaborative Health Care
Brandy Clarke
The effects of contextual variables on family involvement in children's education in urban and rural settings
Rochelle Dalla
Marginalized Populations; Prostituted Women; Rural and Immigrant Populations
Maria de Guzman
Children's Social Behaviors in Diverse Cultures
Dipti Dev
Children's long-term healthful eating behaviors and prevention of childhood obesity; Developing low cost and easily implemented strategies using behavioral economics principles to encourage healthier meal choices in preschoolers
Tonia Durden
How educators and families can support the socio-cultural and identity development and awareness of young children
Todd Glover
Academic and behavioral interventions and assessments, response to intervention, and researcher-practitioner collaborations
Cody Hollist
Latino Adolescent Mental Health Issues; Latino Family Dynamics
Soo-Young Hong
Early Childhood Education; Academic and Social Competence; Attitude Development
Lisa Knoche
The development, implementation and evaluation of intervention and prevention programming for at-risk children and families, specifically focused on approaches to supporting school readiness for young children during the early childhood period.
Marjorie Kostelnik
Early childhood education and community coalition building
Gina Kunz
Assessment and treatment of academic and behavioral difficulties of children and youth with various challenges, particularly children and youth with attention deficits and students with learning disabilities.
Victoria Molfese
Childrens Learning; Brain Behavior Indicators of Cognitive Development; Emergent Literacy
Gwen Nugent
The impact of technology to improve student learning, with special emphasis on multimedia instruction and on-line assessment
Carolyn Pope Edwards
International Early Childhood Education; Social and Moral Development in Cultural Context
Helen Raikes
Intervention Programs for Vulnerable Children; Language and Literacy Development
Allison Reisbig
Family Therapy; Impact of Chronic Stressors; LGBT Families
Michelle Rupiper
Early Childhood Development
Susan Sarver
Children's Play; Well-Being of Rural Families; Home and Childcare Connections
Duane Shell
Self-regulation and motivational influences on behavior and cognition as these are manifest in educational and public health settings
Paul Springer
Collaborative Healthcare
Julia Torquati
Child Development; Early Childhood Education; Environmental Education
Greg Welch
Structural equation modeling, latent growth curve analysis, measurement of anxiety and depression, and educational policy
Natalie Williams
Yan Ruth Xia
Immigrant Youth Behavioral and Mental Health; Adolescent Substance Abuse

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Maggie Jobes.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.