Course Requirements

Complete the following 7 requirements for a minimum of 48 semester hours.

I. Core Courses (12 S.H.)
Compete 4 courses for 12 semester hours:
Number Name Semester Hours
FCST 820 Critical Change and Advocacy 3
FCST 821 Seminar in Family Policy 3
FCST 842 Critique of Family Processes 3
FCST 844 Power & Intersectionality of Social Locations 3
II. Electives (12 S.H.)
Compete 4 courses for 12 semester hours:
1. Complete 3 semester hours at the 500 level or above, with advisement.
2. Complete 9 semester hours at the 700 level or above, with advisement.  (FCST 850 field work may be taken with approval to meet three credits of this requirement)
III. Research (9 S.H.)
1.  Complete 2 courses for 6 semester hours
EDFD 820 Qualitative Methods for Educational Research 3
EDFD 821 Quantitative Methods for Educational Research 3-4
2.  Complete 1 course from the following for 3 semester hours:
EDFD 822 Advanced Methods of Quantitative Inquiry in Education 3
EDFD 823 Advanced Qualitative Research in Education 3
IV. Required Dissertation Courses (15 S.H.)
1.  Complete FCST 898 for 3 semester hours.
2.  Complete for a total of 12 semester hours.
FCST 900 Dissertation Advisement 3-12
3.  After 12 hours of FCST 900, complete 1 hour from the following each semester, as required: 
FCST 901 Dissertation Extension 1
V. Qualifying Portfolio/Exam/Assessment
Successfully complete the qualifying portfolio, examination or assessment requirement.
VI. Admission to Candidacy

Following completion of pre-dissertation research courses and qualifying exam, you may be admitted to candidacy.

VII. Dissertation Requirement

Complete a dissertation in accordance with Graduate School and doctoral program requirements.

MA to PhD Accelerated Option:

Applicants with bachelors or unrelated masters interested in our doctoral program are encouraged to apply to our Masters of Arts in Family & Child Studies program. Students admitted to the MSU MA program in Family & Child Studies and who have a GPA of 3.3 or higher after taking 18 credits may apply, through an expedited process, to the MSU Graduate School to be admitted to the PhD program in Family Studies.  If admitted, they can take two 3-credit doctoral-level (700+ level elective) courses that will count toward both the MA and the PhD program for a total of 75 credits for the combined programs (33 MA and 42 PhD).  More information about our MA program can be found here: