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    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

Master of Science in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences


This major provides professional career enhancement for advanced graduate work and research, secondary and college teaching, and programming and administration in family social services and child development settings in community and government agencies, including youth work, gerontological programming, child life programs in hospitals, infant and child care programs, family support services, and family life and parenting education.

A program of courses is developed cooperatively by the student and an adviser. In addition to taking the required courses, the student may focus on an individualized area of interest through the selection of courses within and outside the school.

Students-at-large intending to take courses required by this program should meet with the program coordinator.

Within the major, there is also the opportunity to specialize in marriage and family therapy.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Admission


Upon admission into the program, students are required, within 30 days, to notify the area coordinator in writing of their intention to register for classes in the term for which they were admitted. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of admission.

An applicant is required to have a minimum of 9 semester hours of undergraduate courses in human development and family sciences, or the equivalent including a course in family relations and one in child or lifespan development. Three of the 9 hours must be an upper-division family theories or child development theories course. A student may be required to remove deficiencies in the area of family and child studies by successfully completing designated courses. These deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the major. Graduate students’ undergraduate deficiencies have to be met with a grade of B or better. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program.

The maximum combined total of student-at-large hours plus transfer credit used in the degree program may not exceed 12 semester hours. For course work taken while a student-at-large, no more than 6 semester hours taken in the school and 6 hours outside of the school may be used in the degree program. Exceptions to these limits may be approved in special cases by the coordinator of the applied family and child studies faculty, provided that the Graduate School limit of transfer credit is not exceeded.

Since admission/enrollment in the major is limited, declared majors in the applied human development and family sciences program have priority for course enrollment. In such cases, students-at-large may not be allowed to enroll in some courses, or may be dropped from courses in the school within the graduate student drop period.

Thesis Option Requirements


Students choosing the thesis option must take a total of 6 semester hours of FCNS 699A, and must be continually enrolled for at least one (1) credit hour for every semester once they begin their thesis study. Students choosing the thesis option complete the requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled for thesis hours during the semester(s) during which they defend and submit their thesis to the Graduate School.

Non-Thesis Option Requirements: Comprehensive Examination


Students choosing a non-thesis option will fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing a proctored essay examination. Students must be enrolled in the term in which the comprehensive examination is taken.

Requirements


This program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours.

  • Additional courses with approval of the adviser (6)

Course work from the following (3-12)


Special Requirements


Special Requirements for HDFS 631


Prerequisites for enrollment in the child development internship in community programs (HDFS 631) are (1) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied human development and family sciences; (2) previous full-time employment for at least one year in a licensed early childhood program or other professional setting related to young children and their families or the equivalent of the following: supervised on-campus internship (HDFS 590), both guidance and planning courses (HDFS 330 and HDFS 331/HDFS 331A), a parent-child interaction course (HDFS 537), and an early childhood professional programs course (HDFS 534); (3) HDFS 637; (4) provide written proof of a fingerprint-based criminal background check in compliance with DCFS’ policies; (5) proof of Illinois Network of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies’ Gateway Registry; and (6) consent of school.

Special Requirements for HDFS 632


Prerequisites for enrollment in the family services internship in community programs (HDFS 632) are (1) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied human development and family sciences; (2) previous full-time employment for at least one year in a social services program or family therapy setting or the equivalent of all of the following: (a) 50 hours of approved volunteer work, (b) a group process class (HDFS 382 or CAHC 540), and (c) a professional issues class (HDFS 581 or HDFS 692); (3) provide written proof of a fingerprint-based criminal background check in compliance with DCFS’ policies; and (4) consent of school.

Special Requirements for HDFS 638


Prerequisites for enrollment in the parent education internship (HDFS 638) are (1) undergraduate course work in child or adolescent development, including principles of guidance (HDFS 330 or equivalent) and course content in ethics (HDFS 534, HDFS 581, HDFS 692, or equivalent); (2) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied human development and family sciences, including HDFS 538 and one other content course related to the focus of the practicum; (3) completion of or co-enrollment in HDFS 637 or HDFS 684; and (4) consent of school.

Specialization in Leadership in Aging Studies (33)


The specialization in leadership in aging studies is intended for those interested in pursuing leadership positions in aging, including, but not limited to, long-term care, social services, service management, and research and evaluation. The program is designed to meet competencies outlined by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education as well as the needs of those intending to sit for the Illinois Nursing Home Administrator’s License. The foundation for the program is the systemic study of the development of individuals and families within an ecological and global framework. Note: The Illinois Nursing Home Administrators License also has specific experience requirements. See state of Illinois codes for further details. 

Application Process


Students are admitted for the fall and spring semester each academic year. Preferred deadlines for application are March 1st (for summer/fall admission) or September 1st (for spring admission). The following documents are to be submitted: 

  • Completed application for admission to the NIU Graduate School (select Master of Science Applied Human Development and Family Sciences) 
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions to the NIU Graduate School 
  • GRE scores to the NIU Graduate School 
  • A personal/goals statement to the NIU Graduate School 
  • Two letters of recommendation to the NIU Graduate School 
  • A declaration form for the specialization in leadership in aging studies. The PDF form can be found on the Human Development and Family Sciences website. 

Admission


Upon admission into the program, students are required, within 30 days, to notify the area coordinator in writing of their intention to register for classes in the term for which they were admitted. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of admission.

An applicant is required to have a minimum of 6 semester hours of undergraduate courses in family relations and lifespan development or an equivalent course. A student may be required to remove deficiencies in the area of family relations and lifespan development by successfully completing designated courses. These deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the specialization. Graduate students’ undergraduate deficiencies have to be met with a grade of B or better. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program.

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required prior to formal admission to the AHDFS program. All applicants must first be admitted to the Graduate School at NIU. Applicants must provide evidence of academic competence by a combination of GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, or the equivalent. Students applying for and admitted to the specialization in leadership in aging studies must also meet the requirements for admission and retention in the master of science in applied human development and family sciences.   

Special Requirements for Field Work in Gerontology 


Prior to supervised field work, a criminal background check is required and other items may be requested by the external site. The leadership in aging studies program may not be able to place students in supervised field work if they have a criminal record or positive drug screen results. 

Thesis Option Requirements


Students choosing the thesis option must take a total of 6 semester hours of HDFS 699A, and must be continually enrolled for at least one (1) semester hour for every semester once they begin their thesis study. Students choosing the thesis option complete the requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled for thesis hours during the semester(s) during which they defend and submit their thesis to the Graduate School. 

Non-Thesis Option Requirements: Comprehensive Examination


Students choosing a non-thesis option will fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing a proctored essay examination. Students choosing the thesis option fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled in the semester in which the comprehensive examination is taken.  

Students must complete the following required courses:


Required (33)


Additional course work may be taken from the following:


Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy


The specialization in marriage and family therapy, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, emphasizes the practical application of systemic family therapy principles to the diagnosis and treatment of problems in human relationships. Through extensive course work, clinical experience with client couples, families, and individuals, and supervision by approved supervisors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, students in the specialization learn to integrate theory and research while developing the clinical skills of marriage and family therapists. The specialization prepares students to function in mental health, family service, hospital business, and human service settings, and upon graduation students have completed all requirements for associate membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Application Process


The specialization in marriage and family therapy admits a limited number of students once a year with application review in the spring semester to begin the program in the following fall.

Application materials for the Graduate School and this program are available on-line at http://www.grad.niu.edu/grad/apply/index.shtml and must be submitted on-line by January 15. Admission requirements and procedures for the specialization in marriage and family therapy are fully described in documents posted on the FCNS website http://www.chhs.niu.edu/fcs/marriage/index.shtml.

There are two concurrent parts to the application process: 1) the Graduate School application, 2) the Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy supplemental forms. Graduate School application materials and guidelines are available online at http://www.grad.niu.edu/grad/apply/index.shtml. All application materials must be received by January 15. The SMFT supplemental forms and directions are provided at http://www.chhs.niu.edu/fcs/smft/default.asp. The SMFT supplemental forms must be received by the program no later than January 15, by postal mail, hand delivery, or parcel delivery service (no fax or e-mail will be accepted). Late applications will be considered only if enrollment slots are available.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, applicants must be available for a personal interview with the clinical faculty of the specialization.

Admission


An applicant is required to have a minimum of 9 semester hours of undergraduate courses in human development and family sciences, or the equivalent, including a course in family relations and one in child or lifespan development. Three of the 9 hours must be an upper division family theories or child development theories course. A student may be required to remove deficiencies in the area of human development and family sciences, by successfully completing designated courses. These deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the major. Graduate students’ undergraduate deficiencies have to be met with a grade of B or better. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program. The maximum combined total of student-at-large hours plus transfer credit used in the degree program may not exceed 12 semester hours. For course work taken while a student-at-large, no more than 6 semester hours taken in the school and 6 hours outside the school may be used in the degree program. Exceptions to these limits may be approved in special cases by the coordinator of the human development and family sciences, faculty, provided that the Graduate school limit of transfer credit is not exceeded.

Special Requirements for Practicum


A fingerprint-based criminal background check, as defined by the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, is required prior to starting practicum. The Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy faculty may be unable to allow a student to begin practicum if he or she has a criminal record. Therefore, the student may not be able to complete the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Thesis Option Requirements


Students choosing the thesis option must take a total of 6 semester hours of FCNS 699A, and must be continually enrolled for at least one (1) credit hour for every semester once they begin their thesis study. Students choosing the thesis option complete the requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled for thesis hours during the semester(s) during which they defend and submit their thesis to the Graduate School.

Non-Thesis Option Requirements: Comprehensive Examination


Students choosing a non-thesis option will fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing a proctored essay examination. Students must be enrolled in the term in which the comprehensive examination is taken.

Requirements


Students must complete a minimum of 54 semester hours in the program for graduation. This includes 500 supervised clinical contact hours completed within the field of marriage and family therapy. This may be done through required course work and work experience or internship.