Online Family & Consumer Sciences Education Master's Degree Programs

The Online Family & Consumer Sciences Education Master’s Degree program has a 15-year legacy of producing high-quality, award-winning graduates. The curriculum is relevant, the faculty are practitioners who have worked in the field, and employers trust that this program produces educators and extension officers who are prepared to work with children, families, and communities.

Why study Family & Consumer Sciences Education through Great Plains IDEA?

Whether you are already in the classroom and looking to expand your knowledge or working in a related field and hoping to become an FCS teacher, our online curriculum is flexible and convenient so you can work toward your education and career goals while balancing family and work.

Through this degree, you will be prepared to teach families and individuals in a number of areas that will improve their quality of life.

  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Food science
  • Personal and family finance
  • Housing and interior design
  • Human development
  • Textiles and apparel
  • Consumer issues

Say Yes to FCS and learn to teach the science and art of living and working well.

Listen to Kyle Roberson, a graduate of the FCS master's degree program and now an instructor at Texas Tech University, as he explains how the skills attained in this program prepare students to be leaders in their field.

Family & Consumer Sciences Education Program Format

The online master’s degree is flexible and provides two paths to earning your degree. The path you choose will depend on your previous education, licensure level, and career goals. Courses are offered in spring, summer, and fall.

There is no GRE requirement for application to this program.

Option A: Master’s Degree for Initial Teacher Certification

Option A is a 36-41 credit hour program for students with a bachelor’s degree in an area related to FCS Education and who want to become teachers of FCS Education, formerly known as home economics. Students in this program often have bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as elementary education, special education, interior design, fashion design, textiles, nutrition, or early childhood.

The program is focused on teacher preparation and includes:

  • Ten core courses – each is three credits, and all are taught online
  • Two practica – each is one credit, and both can be completed near the student’s location
  • A student teaching experience varying from 6-9 credits depending on certification requirements

View the Course List for Option A

Akiko Mallow is a students in the FCS Education program."As a career switcher, returning student with over the 10-year gap, and non-native English-speaking learner, I was worried that I couldn't complete the Initial Teacher Certification program within a couple of years. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in each subject and support students to succeed compassionately in any possible way. The master's courses are well-designed and rewarding as I can see my learning progress instantly. Thanks to Great Plains IDEA, I am starting my new career being a high school FCS teacher this fall!"
Akiko Mallow, family & consumer sciences education master's student, and recipient of the 2023 Student Excellence Award

Option B: Master’s Degree for Already Certified Teachers and Professionals

Option B is a 36-credit hour program for professionals already in FCS Education-related fields, including certified teachers and Extension educators. The curriculum in Option B includes a variety of elective options to help you create a master’s degree that aligns with your professional goals.

The program is focused on professional development and advancement and includes:

  • Eight core courses – each is three credits, and all are taught online
  • Three elective courses – each is three credits, and all are taught online
  • A research project or thesis may be required to engage students in a unique, culminating project guided by an instructor

View the Course List for Option BIf you want to obtain initial certification for teaching and you have a bachelor’s degree in a related area, you should choose Option A. Use the link below to learn more about related areas of study. If you do not have a degree in one of the related areas, we encourage you to speak with a Campus Coordinator about your options as you may need to take additional courses. State requirements for teacher certification vary, so be sure to mention to your Campus Coordinator and/or advisor where you plan to teach as supplemental coursework may be required for certification eligibility.  If you already have certification and are looking to pursue an advanced degree, or you want to advance your professional career within FCS, then Option B is right for you. A bachelor’s degree is required; however, the degree does not need to be in a related area as required for Option A. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, reach out to a Campus Coordinator to learn more about your options.

Learn more about related areas of study.

Download a PDF of the flowchart.

Practicum and Internship Experiences

Each university has slightly different requirements for practicum and internship experiences, which is why the program's required number of credits ranges from 36-41. Your academic advisor at your home university will guide you through each step of your educational journey.

FAQs for FCS Education

Joey Vanek is an FCS Education student who received the GP IDEA Student Excellence Award"Before starting my master’s, I was worried I wasn’t going to have enough time and quickly become overwhelmed. With Great Plains IDEA, I have the flexibility to earn a degree, work full-time, and have a personal life. I have been able to work on assignments when it fits into my schedule and not be tied down to synchronous class times. This freedom has led to a higher quality of work and life."
Joey Vanek, student in the family and consumer sciences education master's degree program, and past Student IDEA Board member.

Program Information at Participating Universities

In the FCS Education program, six universities work together to bring an innovative, top-notch academic experience, providing you with a unique experience not able to be offered at a single university. Degree titles vary by university.  Consult each university for the title as it will appear on the diploma.

“This was an amazing program. The professors were so knowledgeable and easy to communicate with. I loved collaborating with fellow classmates. Even though it was all online, it never felt like my professors or classmates were around the country. I learned more in my 3 years in the program than in my whole undergrad!”
Student survey response, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Family & Consumer Sciences Education Program Outcomes

This program provides students with an arsenal of knowledge to educate and support individuals and families. This online master’s degree will prepare you to:

  • Analyze the historical and philosophical underpinnings of FCS Education, formerly known as home economics
  • Plan standards-based curriculum
  • Develop strategies to engage students in the learning process
  • Examine the relationship of diverse groups and the educational process
  • Apply research to practice
  • Promote professional development and advancement within FCS Education fields

Listen to ConnectFCSed, a podcast produced and hosted by GP IDEA alumni Barbara Scully. The podcast is focused on recruiting, supporting, and maintaining FCS educators in the modern-day home economics classroom.

Hear from Mari Borr, an instructor at North Dakota State University, as she explains the high demand for FCS Education teachers and professionals throughout the country.

What Can I Do With a Family & Consumer Sciences Master’s Degree?

There is a nationwide shortage of family and consumer sciences teachers, sometimes known as home economics or FACS. However, middle and high schools aren’t the only places where family and consumer sciences educators are needed.

Graduates of this program take diverse professional paths. Some organizations and job titles include:

  • Middle or high school teacher
  • Cooperative Extension Educator
  • 4-H Assistant
  • Human resources professionals
  • State or federal prison systems educator
  • Trainer or curriculum specialist for corporate companies
  • Director of educational services for nonprofits
  • District-level curriculum specialist or administrator

The National Partnership to Recruit, Prepare, and Support Human Sciences/FCS Educators is providing resources to individuals who want to teach family and consumer sciences at the middle and high school levels, or who want to prepare for other workforce opportunities. We've listed just a few of those resources below. Visit their website to learn more.

Kristina Schule Student Excellence Award Recipient 2020.png"Coming from a culinary background, I was unsure of how to make a career for myself until I discovered the FCS Master’s program through GP IDEA. Now that I am a full-time Family and Consumer Science teacher at a local high school, I am still able to balance my school workload with my new professional career. They work hand in hand by combining lesson plans and learning theories. I love being able to apply my school work into my own classroom; it has developed into an amazing learning experience." Kristina Schule, FCS Education graduate

Professional Certification and Licensure

Standards for teacher certification vary by state. You are responsible for identifying and meeting requirements in the state where you want to be certified. This may include additional coursework, such as teacher prep courses or state-mandated tests.

Student-Focused Faculty with Experience in the Field

Great Plains IDEA Family & Consumer Sciences Education faculty have practical knowledge and experience. They come from different home universities, blending a range of perspectives and experiences.

Kate Goudy headshot"I am forever grateful for my experience with GP IDEA. The flexibility of the program allowed me to obtain my master’s degree while continuing to work full-time and raise two kids. I also appreciated the unique opportunity to learn from professors from different universities. Instead of only hearing a perspective from one university in one state, I was able to gain perspectives from faculty and students from several different institutions. I think that is crucial in achieving a well-rounded education."

Faculty in the Family & Consumer Sciences master’s degree program have put together an orientation website with information and resources to ensure your success. This is just one example of the many ways the faculty in this program put students first and work together to ensure every learner is prepared to excel in their virtual classrooms.

Visit the FCS Education Orientation Website

Listen to instructor Nicole Graves from South Dakota State University explain how both master's degrees are designed to empower FCS professionals to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities.

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, which is essential in sitting for certification exams and pursuing future employment.

All universities participating in the online Family & Consumer Sciences Education Master’s Degrees hold regional accreditation.

Learn more about the accreditation of our member universities.

Join this High-Demand Field with an online master’s degree in Family & Consumer Sciences Education

Great Plains IDEA online Family & Consumer Sciences master’s degrees provide an array of opportunities. Whether you are looking to become a classroom teacher or expanding your knowledge to provide adult education in critical life skills, our online master’s degrees ensure you’ll find success in this high-demand field.

Ready to get started?  Learn how to get started!


Option A is for students with a bachelor's degree in a related area who seek initial teacher certification or licensure in FCS Education.

Course List for Option A

Option B is for FCS Education professionals seeking career advancement or continuing education.

Course List for Option B

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. Bree Devlin
Stacy Duffield
Rae Ann Montgomery
Sarah (Heewon) Kim
Ashlee Murden
Mel Sedlacek
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 Ana Treptow smilingIn addition to professional development and advancement, this program challenges and promotes my personal growth as I gain skills and understanding applicable to my own life and relationships.  I look forward to using the lessons from each class in every segment of my life.

– – Ana Treptow, Family and Community Services Master's Graduate,
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