Application deadlines vary depending on program. See the FAQs below for specific dates. To be considered complete, all materials (including transcripts, resume, personal statement, and recommendation letters) must be posted to the electronic application file, which can take up to three weeks.

For the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and the M.Ed ONLY, we strongly recommend that applicants complete their application packet by January 15, 2024 to allow time for documents to be posted into the online file.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program: February 1st

M.Ed. (Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development) program: February 1st

M.S. (thesis) and M.S./Ph.D. program: December 15th

Ph.D. Program: December 15th

Currently, all of our graduate programs offer fall admission. The Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development (BKISED) M.Ed. also offers summer admission.

All programs are fall admission only. Prospective graduate students submit their application materials to the Graduate School (not the Human Development and Family Studies Department). The Graduate School requires a 3.0 undergraduate GPA for full admission into UNCG graduate programs. A completed application includes:

  1. The online application
  2. $65 application fee
  3. Three references (preferably at least two from academic faculty professors)
  4. One copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Note: If one transcript shows transfer credit from another institution, you do not need to provide a transcript from the original institution).
  5. A 1-3 page professional statement*
  6. An academic writing sample** (for our M.S. or Ph.D. program only).  You will apply online and request your references from your chosen recommenders through the online system.

*The professional statement is a chance for the applicant to address:

  1. Their reasons for pursuing graduate study in Human Development and Family Studies
  2. Previous experience and training in Human Development and Family Studies or related fields
  3. Their professional goals
  4. Fit with the Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program.  Students applying for admission to the M.S. program or the Ph.D. program should also indicate their primary areas of research interest and the faculty members with whom they are most interested in working.

**M.S. and Ph.D. program applicants must also include an academic writing sample (e.g., senior year paper, literature review paper, honor’s thesis, master’s thesis, or a manuscript published/accepted for publication/submitted for publication). PhD applicants are encouraged to include a resume or CV as well.

The Human Development and Family Studies Department encourages students to submit the online application form even if they do not yet have all the other application materials. This can speed up the application process.

GRE scores are no longer part of the admission process for our graduate programs.

International Applicants: Learn more about International Application Requirements from the Graduate School.

The Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, Michael Kerley, can also arrange for you to speak with a current faculty member, the Graduate Program Director (Dr. Heather Helms) or a current graduate student about the program or about your interests, either over the phone/virtual meeting or during Campus Interview Day in the spring. Please call Michael at 336.334.5307 or email [email protected] for more information.

The Graduate Admissions Committee, faculty advisors, and the Graduate Program Director begin to review M.S. and Ph.D. applications once they are complete and continue to review all applications submitted by the December deadline through the end of January.  In January, a select group of applicants will be invited to Campus Interview Day, typically held in February

Admissions decisions are made after Campus Interview Day and are informed by applicants’ interviews and feedback from recruiting faculty.  If the student is admitted, a preliminary advisor is assigned at that time.  The student is then sent an email from the Human Development and Family Studies Department notifying them of the department’s recommendation for admission to the Graduate School.  Students admitted by the department should expect to receive an official emailed admission letter from the Graduate School within 5 business days of the departmental letter. 

The entire admissions process takes several months from the time the complete application is submitted.  Since an application does not begin to be reviewed until it is complete, students wishing to expedite the processing of their application should make sure to submit all required materials, including the professional statement and writing sample, well in advance of the application deadline.  The two items the Graduate Admissions Committee is most commonly waiting on are recommendation letters and international transcript evaluations, so submit these as much in advance as possible.

Ph.D. students in the Human Development and Family Studies Department are supported by full tuition coverage and graduate assistantship awards within the time limits of earning the degree—three years for Ph.D. student who enter with an M.S. (with thesis) in Human Development and Family Studies from another university, four years for Ph.D. students who enter with an M.S. (with thesis) in a related field, and five years for Ph.D. students who enter directly from their undergraduate degree program (and will earn their M.S. with thesis in Human Development and Family Studies at UNCG as part of our Ph.D. direct entry program). These awards are intended to support doctoral students in meeting the expenses of graduate study without having to find employment outside of the University. Most Ph.D. students are funded by 20 hour per week departmental Research Assistantships, but other types are graduate assistantships are available. Tuition waivers are offered to cover in-state and out-of-state tuition expenses. Tuition waivers do not cover fees; therefore, students are responsible for paying fees.

Funding for M.S. students in the Human Development and Family Studies Department is subject to the availability of funds. 

Fellowships and Scholarships: In addition to departmental research assistantships, UNCG has competitive non-service fellowships and scholarships that are awarded by the Graduate School to exceptionally qualified students who match the requirements of the award. Included among these awards are the Alumni/Hayes/Excellence Fellowships, the Inclusiveness Fellowship, and several additional named fellowships. Applicants do not apply for these directly but are nominated by the department during the application review and acceptance process.

Most of our graduate programs are designed for full time students, and therefore, most classes are offered during the day on weekdays. Our online Birth-Kindergarten Graduate program classes typically take place once per week from 5:00-7:00pm.

Applicants are encouraged to visit UNCG’s course search to see when Human Development and Family Studies classes have been offered in the past few semesters and in the upcoming semester. Class offerings do vary from semester to semester—we do not guarantee that the same classes will be offered every semester, or that classes will be offered at the same time every semester. A list of Tentative Graduate Course Offerings for several years can be found on our Graduate Forms and Manual webpage.

Our M.S. and Ph.D. programs are designed for traditional delivery with students meeting face-to-face with a professor on UNCG’s campus. Our three graduate programs in Birth-Kindergarten are all online. This includes the Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development M.Ed. graduate program, our graduate certificate in Leadership in Infant and Toddler Learning (LITL), and our graduate certificate in Birth-Kindergarten Licensure.

See here for further information about states in which UNCG is authorized to offer online education.

Although students vary in how long they actually take, course offerings and programs are designed so that full-time students can complete their degrees in the following time spans:

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program: 1.5 years
  • M.Ed.: 2 years plus any prerequisite courses
  • M.S. thesis: 2 years
  • Ph.D. (without an earned M.S. with thesis from another university): 5 years
  • Ph.D. (with an M.S. with thesis from another university): 3 years after, plus any prerequisite courses

If your GPA falls below the 3.0 level then you have the option of taking a graduate level course as a visiting student and then applying for the program. We recommend that students take SES 605 in the summer (starting May 15th through June 18th) and then apply for the program by July 1st. Students are not guaranteed admission to the program (a full application review along with the interview and short writing sample will still be required) but they will be considered as eligible applicants if they earn a B or better in SES 605. Please note that TEACH scholarships will not be available to visiting students but this course may be reimbursed if students are accepted for all admission. The Child Care Services Association should be contacted about potential reimbursement for this tuition cost.

You may email the faculty member directly to introduce yourself and inquire, check our directory, contact the Graduate Program Administrative Assistant (Michael Kerley, [email protected]), and follow our UNCG Department of Human Development and Family Studies Facebook page and Twitter feed.