Graduate Degree Program Summary

Browse all graduate areas of study:
Promotional image for Child, Youth and Family Studies

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).

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

Child, Youth and Family Studies

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 (M.S./Ph.D.)
  • Sample of writing or research (Ph.D. only)
  • Professional goals statement
  • Resume or vitae

Application Deadline

Ph.D. All Specializations
   Fall: January 10
M.S. Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy
   Fall: January 10
M.S. in Child Development and Early Childhood Education
   Fall: April 15   Spring: October 15   Summer: January 15
Other M.S.
   Some master's specializations have rolling admissions; contact department for information.
For Funding
   Graduate assistantship and fellowship applications for master's and Ph.D. applicants are due February 1. Contact the department for more information.

Related Programs

Students interested in Child, Youth and Family Studies also may want information about:
Explore all areas of study:


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

Mental Health Services for Underserved Populations; Collaborative Health Care
Marginalized Populations; Prostituted Women; Rural and Immigrant Populations
Children's Social Behaviors in Diverse Cultures
Academic and behavioral interventions and assessments, response to intervention, and researcher-practitioner collaborations
Latino Adolescent Mental Health Issues; Latino Family Dynamics
Early Childhood Education; Academic and Social Competence; Attitude Development
Financial Literacy and Planning; Working-Poor Definition and Profile
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.
Early childhood education and community coalition building
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.
Childrens Learning; Brain Behavior Indicators of Cognitive Development; Emergent Literacy
The impact of technology to improve student learning, with special emphasis on multimedia instruction and on-line assessment
International Early Childhood Education; Social and Moral Development in Cultural Context
Intervention Programs for Vulnerable Children; Language and Literacy Development
Family Therapy; Impact of Chronic Stressors; LGBT Families
Early Childhood Development
Children's Play; Well-Being of Rural Families; Home and Childcare Connections
Self-regulation and motivational influences on behavior and cognition as these are manifest in educational and public health settings
Collaborative Healthcare
Child Development; Early Childhood Education; Environmental Education
Structural equation modeling, latent growth curve analysis, measurement of anxiety and depression, and educational policy
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.