Child, Youth and Family Studies

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • MS in Child, Youth and Family Studies (36-51 cr, Option I or III) with optional specialization:
    • Child Development/Early Childhood Education
    • Ethnic Studies
    • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
    • Family and Community Services
    • Family Financial Planning
    • Human and Family Services Administration
    • International Family Studies
    • Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Youth Development
  • PhD in Human Sciences (90 cr) with a specialization:
    • Child, Youth and Family Studies
    • Global Family Health and Wellbeing

Note: Applicants to this PhD program choose a specialization as listed above; optionally a secondary specialization in Ethnic Studies may be added later when establishing a plan of study.

Earn a Graduate Certificate

Certificates have their own deadlines and checklists; select one for details.

Online and Distance Opportunities

Offered online:
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

Other programs:
Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Child, Youth and Family Studies

Ask a question

Other Ways to Connect

On the Web
Child, Youth and Family Studies

Department Chair
Dr. Richard Bischoff

Graduate Chair
Dr. Natalie Williams

Graduate Secretary
Ms. Lisa King

Campus Address
135 Mabel Lee Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0236

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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

2. Required by Child, Youth and Family Studies

  • Entrance exam(s):
    - PhD:  GRE required.
    - MS with specialization in Child Development/Early Childhood Education; Human and Family Services Administration; or Marriage and Family Therapy:  GRE required.
    - MS with specialization in Family & Consumer Sciences Education:  PPST required.
    - MS with specialization in Family Financial Planning; Family and Community Services; International Family Studies; or Youth Development:  None.
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Sample of writing or research (Ph.D. only)
  • Professional goals statement
  • Resume or vitae

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

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.

Application Deadlines for Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Ph.D. All Specializations: December 1 for Fall.
  • M.S. with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy: December 1 for Fall.
  • M.S. with specialization in Child Development/Early Childhood Education: April 15 for Fall. October 15 for Spring. January 15 for Summer.
  • Other M.S.: Some master's specializations have rolling admissions; contact department for information.
  • Priority Deadline for Funding: Contact the department for more information.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. Our academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years.


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 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.

Faculty and research

Where available, names link to bios or homepages and contact card icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

Richard Bischoff

Mental Health Services for Underserved Populations; Collaborative Health Care

Evan (Jeong Kyun) Choi

Children and Poverty; Family Process; Parenting; Father-Involvement; Health Literacy; Child Development

Rochelle Dalla

Marginalized Populations; Prostituted Women; Rural and Immigrant Populations

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

Holly Hatton-Bowers

Early Childhood

Cody Hollist

Latino Adolescent Mental Health Issues; Latino Family Dynamics

Soo-Young Hong

Early Childhood Education; Academic and Social Competence; Attitude Development

Victoria Molfese

Childrens Learning; Brain Behavior Indicators of Cognitive Development; Emergent Literacy

Gilbert Parra

The Complex Interrelations between Family Factors and Processes and the Emotional Health of Youth

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

Rachel Schachter

Early childhood teachers' experiences; Meaningful changes in practice and improved outcomes for children.

Paul Springer

Collaborative Healthcare

Julie Tippens

Refugee Psychosocial Wellbeing, Forced Migration, Psychosocial Resilience, Qualitative Methods, Mixed Methods, Sub-Saharan Africa

Julia Torquati

Child Development; Early Childhood Education; Environmental Education

Natalie Williams

Promoting Physical and Psychosocial Wellbeing in Vulnerable Child Populations and Their Families

Yan Ruth Xia

Immigrant Youth Behavioral and Mental Health; Adolescent Substance Abuse

Maria de Guzman

Children's Social Behaviors in Diverse Cultures

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Child, Youth and Family Studies.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Kurt Mueller.