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Family and Community Sciences Concentration in AEHS

Creating Leaders Who Support Youth and Families

In our academic program, we educate students in family and human sciences, find solutions to problems, and extend knowledge to create healthy communities for youth and families. Our graduates teach in formal and non-formal settings, work with non-profits and community and government agencies, and are employed within various positions of the family and community sciences sectors. In our department, you will learn from a diverse group of faculty and experts across many fields who are all focused on improving the lives of youth, families, and communities.

No matter which Master’s program you choose, you will demonstrate expertise through a final project or thesis that exhibits the knowledge and skills you’ve gained across the program. You will be confident in your:

  • Breadth of knowledge in fields of family and human sciences
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Real-world experience through gained internship practicums

Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Human Sciences with a concentration in Family and Community Sciences

In the M.S. program, students gain practical experience in conducting research. The M.S. option is ideal for students with an interest in pursuing a doctoral program or with a strong interest in research and program evaluation.

  • 36 semester hours
  • 24 hours of core courses
  • 6 hours of thesis research
  • 6 hours of electives
  • Complete and defend a thesis

The master’s thesis should be an original research paper that is suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal. The thesis topic should focus upon some aspect of their field that is (1) of interest to the student, (2) researchable in the published literature, (3)  manageable within the student’s graduate program time frame, and (4) agreed upon by the student’s adviser and all Graduate Committee members. Basically, the thesis should contribute new data,  insights, and/or information to the academy related to AEHS disciplines, and not merely take existing data, insights, and/or information and reorganize them into a new format. Additional information about the thesis formats and guidance can be found in Appendix B of the AHS Graduate Handbook.

Students will form a graduate advisory committee that will help them develop a plan of study and will guide the thesis.

Master of Agricultural Education and Human Sciences with a concentration in Family and Community Sciences

The Master of Agricultural Education and Human Sciences is designed for students who desire a master’s degree as their final degree. It culminates in a capstone experience during the student’s final semester. 

  • 30 semester hours
  • 21 hours of core courses
  • 9 hours of electives
  • Complete a culminating project

All AEHS – Family and Community Science Concentration students are required to take AEHS 510, “The Supervised Professional Experience.” This course provides FCS students with experiential learning opportunities in the field of family life and/or youth development through practical and professional experience with a family life or youth development organization/agency (other than one for which the student currently works). The organization’s/agency’s goals should align with the student’s professional goals and must be approved by the student’s advisor and course instructor.


  • AEHS 552: Program Development and Evaluation in Youth and Family Settings (for students admitted prior to Spring 2024) OR AEHS 512 Program Planning AND AEHS 577 Evaluation in AEHS (for students admitted Spring 2024 and beyond)
  • AEHS 585: Professional Ethics and Family Policy
  • AEHS 578: Research Methods 

Credit Hours: 3 credits

Course Overview: Students should expect to complete 120 hours of work throughout the semester, which includes coursework (assignments and course meetings) and at least 100 hours of work with an organization/agency. For MR students, AEHS 510 is taken during the final semester and functions as the “capstone” project for the MR degree program. For MS students, AEHS 510 will most likely be taken the semester prior to their thesis writing.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Apply FCS-related theoretical knowledge to a family life or youth development professional work environment.
  2. Exhibit professional skills in a family life or youth development work setting to which they aspire.
  3. Identify where further professional competence is needed and plan/take steps to gain that competence under educational supervision.
  4. Interpret and explain current real-life contexts of community-based family life or youth development organizations/agencies.
  5. Explore and evaluate types of family life and youth development work settings and career goals.

The student and instructor will negotiate teaching/learning strategies that support the specific course objectives developed for the student. The instructor will use effective critical thinking strategies including (but not limited to): synchronous face-to-face and distance discussions, small group work, personal reflection, case study discussions, communication (including email and Zoom) and field work.

Course Requirements:

  1. Students are responsible for presenting to their advisor and the course instructor ideas for their Internship. While the final selection of the organization/agency is up to the student, it must be approved by the student’s advisor. Once the site is selected, the student should work with the organization to identify a site supervisor, who will supervise the student during their work with the organization. Students will submit their internship site to the course instructor in the first week of the course, so the internship site should be selected and finalized before the first week of classes.
  2. Students will work with their site supervisor to create a learning contract, which should include things that the student wants to learn or do in the internship experience, professional development opportunities they would like to experience, and responsibilities they will undertake/carry out at the field placement. This contract will be submitted to the AEHS 510 instructor during the course to help the instructor continue to support the students’ professional development and to guide and personalize the learning process.
  3. Each student is expected to contribute 120 hours of work throughout the course of the semester. This includes coursework for class (Zoom sessions, writing journal entries, discussion posts) and internship hours. In general, students should be prepared to spend a minimum of 100 hours on their internship assignments and responsibilities as agreed upon by their site supervisor. 
  4. Students will complete weekly assignments, including journal entries and synchronous or asynchronous discussions, to synthesize and analyze what they have learned and apply theories and concepts from the YFCS program to their internship experiences.
  5. At the end of the course, the instructor will send the site supervisor a form to provide feedback on the student’s work during the 15 weeks of the semester.  The supervisor will be asked to attest that the student contributed a minimum of  100 hours of work throughout the 15 weeks of the semester.
  6. Each student will create a presentation about their internship experience at the end of the semester. All faculty will be invited to participate in student presentations.

Guidelines for Selecting an Internship Site:

The goal of the internship experience is to provide applied learning opportunities in a real-life setting for the student; therefore, the student should work with their advisor, AEHS 510 instructor, and potential site supervisors to ensure that they find a field placement that will allow them to test their skills, apply theories and content from the program to real-life situations, and grow in their professional development. There are a few guidelines for selecting an internship site, including:

  • Students should work with their advisor to coordinate their field placement. Students should schedule time before the start of their internship, in the semester before they take AEHS 510, to discuss internship placements and field sites. 
  • Students should not use their current place of employment as an internship site. The goal of this experience is for students to broaden their horizons, networks, and experiences before graduating from the program.
  • The internship opportunity can be paid or unpaid.