Program: M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences

Consumer Affairs and Family Studies Option

Program Description

The graduate program in Family and Consumer Sciences leads to a Master of Science degree with an option in either Apparel Design and Merchandising or Consumer Affairs and Family Studies. The program is designed to educate students to synthesize and apply pertinent information, theories, literature and arguments toward designing evidence-based solutions within their professional areas of interest in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS).

The 33-unit graduate degree program includes 18 units of core curriculum about research, leadership and salient aspects of the overarching field of FCS. Students in either option complete 12 units of option-specific curriculum focusing on professional and research competencies in respective fields, through courses that span across theory, practice and application. A 3-unit culminating experience can be completed in the form of a comprehensive exam, research thesis or creative project.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

For admission as a classified graduate student, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an officially accredited university or college in Family and Consumer Sciences, the option to which the student is applying, or a related field.
  2. Have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater for courses taken in the bachelor’s degree. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who can demonstrate evidence of academic acumen may submit their application for consideration.
  3. Formal approval by the department, based on the complete application and supporting documents.
  4. Submit the following documents with a formal application to the program through CSUN’s Office of Admissions:
    1. Resume
    2. Personal statement of interest
    3. Transcripts from undergraduate program

B. Requirements for the M.S. Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences

1. Core Courses (18 units)

FCS 429 Family and Consumer Public Policy
FCS 681 Research Methods (3)
FCS 682 Research Applications (3)
FCS 685 Decision Making in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
FCS 686 Current Issues in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
HHD 513 Leadership/Professional Competencies for Health and Human Development Disciplines (3)

2. Consumer Affairs and Family Studies Option Courses (12 units)

FCS 542 Theories of Family Development (3)
FCS 623 Family Financial Issues (3)
FCS 640 Family Strengths (3)

Elective (3 units)
Choose one of the following:

FCS 690D Family Management (3)
FCS 690J Family Relations (3)

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

In consultation with the student’s graduate advisor, a student may be approved to either complete a master’s thesis/project or take the comprehensive examination.

FCS 697C Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
FCS 698C Thesis/Project (3)

a. Thesis or Project
  1. The proposal must be approved by the student’s committee.
  2. The student will register for FCS 698C.
  3. The student must successfully defend the thesis or project at an oral exam.
b. Comprehensive Examination
  1. The student will register for FCS 697C—Directed Comprehensive Studies (3 units).
  2. Passing coursework for the master’s degree does not guarantee passing the comprehensive examination.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 33


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Chair: Yi Cai
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 141
(818) 677-3051

Graduate Coordinator: Yoko Mimura
(818) 677-7859

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences will be able to:

  1. Apply the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Code of Ethics in scholarship as FCS professionals.
  2. Demonstrate ongoing synthesis and application of relevant literature, current trends and emerging issues within their professional area of interest within FCS.
  3. Design a research study/creative project investigating topics within their professional area of interest, including diverse populations.
  4. Apply sound evidence-based practices and applications within their professional area of interest in FCS.