Online Family and Community Services Master's Degree

Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2021-2022: $590

Average time to complete: 30 months

36 Hours

The online master’s degree in Family and Community Services equips professionals to help families and communities thrive in today’s world. This degree will not only help you manage programs and deliver quality services, but also understand family and community dynamics and the development across the lifespan from children to adults. Taken entirely online, you can balance family and work while pursuing your career goals and earning your master’s degree.

Why study Family and Community Services through Great Plains IDEA?

Our online curriculum prepares you to understand individual, family, interpersonal, and community dynamics across the lifespan. 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 also learn to empower families during times of transition or stress (e.g., military families, families in poverty, etc.) while recognizing the role of diversity (e.g., racial/ethnic, military, religious) in family and community dynamics.

Listen as family and community services professor Ashlie Lester explains who the ideal student for this program is.

While this degree does not lead to licensure, students may take the certification exam to become a certified family life educator. Talk to your advisor about appropriate course offerings.

Your home university is where you pay tuition, manage your program, receive academic advising, and meet graduation requirements. While you will take courses online at each of the participating universities, your home university will award the diploma at the completion of the program.

Review the official degree names for each member institution in our Family and Community Services Student Handbook.

Family and Community Services Program Format

The Family and Community Services online master’s degree is a 36 credit-hour program offered completely online, providing flexibility for busy adults who don’t have access or time to attend on-campus classes. Students typically finish in two to three years, taking one or two courses each semester. The ten core courses include:

  • Crises Across the Lifespan
  • Family Dynamics
  • Family Resource Management
  • Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Lifespan Development
  • Parenting Education
  • Program Administration and Management
  • Program Design, Evaluation, and Implementation
  • Resilience in Families

View the Course Descriptions

Students work closely with their academic advisor to round out their master’s degree by completing six credit hours of thesis or elective credits that allow them to specialize in an area of interest. Visit the course planner to see a suggested course sequence for specific classes. 

Designed for working professionals, the Family and Community Services degree provides flexibility and convenience, as well as affordability through a common price per credit hour through all universities.

Career Opportunities in Family and Community Services

A master’s degree in Family and Community Services can benefit a diverse range of professionals and help graduates advance into leadership positions like executive director, supervisor, program manager, or program developer.

Graduates of this program work across public, private, and nonprofit industries in areas such as:

  • County extension offices
  • Military community services
  • Pre/Post-deployment assistance
  • Family advocacy programs
  • Child development centers
  • Social service agencies
  • Community service programs
  • Consumer credit counseling services
  • Emergency shelters
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Crisis centers
  • United Way

Collaborate with Expert Faculty

Great Plains IDEA’s Family and Community Services faculty come from different home universities, providing a range of perspectives and experiences. They are dedicated to your success and collaborate together to bring you a unique, dynamic curriculum. Get to know more about the Family and Community Services faculty members at the bottom of this webpage.

Degree Accreditation

All Great Plains IDEA member universities are accredited by regional agencies, aligning with requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education. This ensures that students pursuing their degrees through Great Plains IDEA are met with a high standard of academic excellence.

The following member universities offer the master’s degree in Family and Community Services and hold regional accreditation:

Learn more about the accreditation of our member universities.

Make a Difference in Your Community with a Family and Community Services Degree

Great Plains IDEA’s online Family and Community Services master’s degree will help you develop the skills to effectively deliver needed services that strengthen families and enrich communities.

Ready to get started? Learn how to apply now!

A master's degree for individuals who want to cultivate strengths in individuals, families, and communities.

View the Course List for this Master's Degree

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Ashley Schultz
Meagan Rau
Karla Sisco
Aimee Maher
Janice Clawson
Lisa King
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Headshot photo of Kathryn Holt smilingThe Great Plains IDEA program was a perfect fit for my schedule as it allowed me to work, travel, and learn on the go. The nature of the program fosters a flexible learning environment, and as a student, you have access to all the tools you need with any online portal. With multiple universities contributing to the course roster, there are numerous offerings that provide students with plenty of options to build their skillset.

– – Kathryn Holt, Dietetics Student,
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