The Master of Science (MS) degree in child and family studies offers a concentration that focuses on research and application and a concentration for teacher licensure (PreK–3). In general, the MS provides a broad foundation for understanding how children develop and how families function in today’s society. All master’s degree candidates enroll in CFS foundation courses, which include theoretical and empirical surveys of the human development, child development, and family science literatures as well as a survey of methods of discovery used in child and family research. Master’s students are expected to engage in productive research culminating in a thesis or project. As part of the application process, students elect to concentrate in either child and family studies or early childhood education. The latter concentration is ordinarily restricted to students currently enrolled in the undergraduate fifth-year licensure program.
Students who choose to concentrate in child and family studies can expect to earn a degree that will prepare them for doctoral study or careers in community agencies serving children and families. The concentration requires a minimum of 37 credits of coursework—13 credits in foundation coursework and 24 credits in specialization.
Ordinarily, this concentration is available only to students who complete the coursework listed under the PreK–3 licensure undergraduate concentration with the teaching (CFS 470) practicum experience at the University of Tennessee.
The CFS Master of Science degree with a concentration in PreK–3 teacher education is designed for students seeking an MS degree along with initial teacher licensure in early childhood education (PreK–3). Students interested in this concentration must apply for admission to graduate study in CFS through the procedures outlined in the application section.