Closeup of three, gray, felt pinwheel lamps in the Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab.

AcademicsGraduate Programs

Human Ecology, MS, Doctoral Minor

The Master of Science in Human Ecology is an applied program aimed at preparing professionals who want to solve real societal problems and take on leadership roles within organizations that promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

The Master of Science in Human Ecology offers multi-disciplinary course work that focuses on current theories and strategies for creating, managing and evaluating settings that promote human and community development. Students are exposed to current research and practice that integrates: (a) the promotion of human and family development with (b) perspectives on building effective organizations and sustainable communities. Students create their own “masters specialization” through elective courses and the completion of a real-world capstone project. Specializations are designed so that students can name their expertise to prospective employees.

This program is intended as a terminal, professional degree. Students interested in a PhD, MFA or other graduate degrees in the School of Human Ecology may apply separately to these programs.

The Masters program is geared toward students who are both new to the field and those who have had some direct practice, applied research, educational or advocacy experience. This 33 credit MS degree can be completed in 3 semesters of full time study or 4 or more semesters if students are part time. The program prepares students for careers working in a wide range of settings including:

  • Community-based organizations (family support, youth work, community organizing, social justice, intervention and prevention programs, consumer and financial coaching)
  • Intermediary and “backbone” organizations (technical assistance providers, philanthropic foundations, applied research and evaluation organizations, capacity building providers, community-based economic development)
  • Government agencies (child and family services, public health, legislative support)
  • University outreach (Cooperative Extension, community partnerships and coalitions, public service, multicultural offices, academic support and education)

Graduate Students