Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Family and Community Services

Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Family and Community ServicesMaster of Science (M.S.)

This 100% online master's degree program is offered through the University of Nebraska Lincoln in collaboration with seven universities as part of the The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) Program, and equips you to help children, youth, adults, families and communities in a variety of ways. Through the Family and Community Services program you will learn how to manage and evaluate programs; expand your knowledge about how lifespan development, stress and crisis and interpersonal dynamics impact individuals, families and communities; and pick from a variety of specialized topics such as families in poverty, grant development and family policy.   

Degree Program Outcomes

Students in this program will demonstrate:

  • A research-based perspective to understand individual, family, interpersonal and community dynamics across the lifespan
  • Knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, evaluation and sustainability of family and community service programs
  • Essential knowledge and skills for leadership and management of family and community service programs
  • Knowledge of impact of diversity in the delivery of family and community services in a global society context
  • A commitment to practicing professional and ethical responsibility.

Core Faculty Members

Faculty advising students in this program area include:

What can you do with a Family and Community Services master's degree?

Graduates of this program often work in public, private, and nonprofit organizations in areas such as county extension offices, military community services, family advocacy programs, child development centers, social service agencies, crisis centers, etc.   

Great Plains IDEA Overview

Through this program, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is your home university, but you will have the unique opportunity to take courses from experts around the nation. Your home university is where you pay tuition, manage your program, receive academic advising and meet graduation requirements. While you take courses online at each of the participating universities, your home university will award the diploma at the completion of the program.

This fully online program is available at a fixed tuition price across Great Plains IDEA universities and offers maximum flexibility and the ability to study at your own pace.

Through this degree you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen your local community by designing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining quality programs. Students will learn to empower families during times of transition or stress while recognizing the role of diversity in family and community dynamics.

Program At A Glance

Total Credit Hours Completion Time Next Application Due:
36 hours 30 months Rolling Deadline


  • Army Community Services
  • Pre/Post Deployment Assistance
  • Family Advocacy Program
  • Child Development Centers
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Crisis Center

Application to this program

Required materials:

1. Graduate Studies Application
2. Unofficial Transcripts
3. Resume
4. Statement of Professional Goals
In your Statement of Professional Goals, address the following: 
-What personal and/or professional experiences have led you to want to pursue a degree in Family and Community Services?
-What are your professional goals and how will this degree help you achieve those? 
-This is an on-line program.  Please describe your academic strengths and weaknesses related to successfully managing on-line coursework.  If you do not have prior academic experience in on-line courses, please indicate so.  
5. Three Letters of Reference
Ensure that at least one reference letter is academic (e.g., instructor, advisor) and any non-academic letters are professional (e.g., relevant employer)
Other Application Materials


Degree Requirements

Family and Community Services Online Curriculum

Required Core Classes:

30 hours of core courses required

Course Number Title
CYAF 853 Crises Across the Lifespan
CYAF 854 Family Dynamics
CYAF 827 Lifespan Development
CYAF 856 Foundations and Principles in Family and Community Services
CYAF 859 Interpersonal Relationships 
CYAF 827 Lifespan Development
CYAF 838 Parenting Education
CYAF 869 Administration and Program Management-FAM
CYAF 873 Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation-FAM
CYAF 849

Resilience in Families

CYAF 896 Advanced Ind Study - FAM

Elective Courses:

6 hours of elective courses required

Course Number Title
CYAF 893 Special topics: Nongovernmental Organizations and Families
CYAF 893 Special Topics: Families in Poverty
CYAF 893 Special Topics: Grant Development & Management
CYAF 893 Special Topics: Family Policy