College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

How to apply for the MA/PhD program in Family Social Science

How to apply

Start your application at the Graduate School Admissions site. To complete your application process for the Department of Family Social Science, follow the program requirements outlined below. 

International students

The Graduate College Admissions site has information, including English Language Proficiency, Transcripts, and Credentials requirements, to help you complete your application.

Application deadline

  • MA/PhD applications are due December 1.

Apply online

All supplementary information must also be submitted online.


If you have any additional questions, please e-mail

Program requirements

The following information is requested specifically by the Department of Family Social Science.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.

    1. Transcripts/Academic records

    Upload in Academic History section of online application.

    You must upload unofficial transcripts or academic records for each higher learning institution where you have earned credit, including partial or incomplete transcripts. Transcripts are evaluated for:

    • GPA: 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is preferred for admission.
    • Significant social and behavioral coursework strongly preferred: i.e., family and consumer sciences, human development, psychology, economics, sociology.
    • Coursework in research methods as well as statistics, including one course in advanced undergraduate statistics.

    Learn more about transcripts and academic records.

    2. Resume/CV

    Upload in Materials section of online application.

    3. English language assessment tests (TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS)

    Report in Test Scores section of online application.

    Our department utilizes the operational standards set by the Graduate School for English language proficiency requirements. Visit the Graduate School Admissions' website for more information on minimum standards. The Department is currently accepting any of the University of Minnesota approved COVID-19 English Proficiency Testing Options.

    4. Letters of recommendation

    See Recommendations section on the online application site.

    A minimum of three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or supervisors, are required. Letters should address your potential for research and for successfully completing the degree program.

    The online application includes a section for you to enter the contact information for your recommenders. Please notify the individuals you select as recommenders that they will receive an email from the application system with instructions on how to submit their letters.

    5. Personal statement

    Upload in Materials section of online application.

    Write a statement (12-point font, maximum length three single-spaced pages) describing your responses to the following (please use the question titles (bolded text) as subheads):

    MA/PhD applicants

    1. Contributions and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      Please describe your past contributions as well as your vision and future goals for how your scholarship will contribute to advancing family social science’s commitment to inclusive excellence. Address your leadership, commitment, and experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion, and with addressing structural challenges to the extent you have experienced them or have knowledge of them.
    2. Career goals
      What is your career goal and how will a degree in family social science help you reach that goal? For example, professor, research scientist, non-profit work, clinical work.
    3. Research areas
      What areas of research and methods do you hope to pursue as a graduate student and beyond? For example, what specific problems or issues, research questions, types of families/relationships, types of research methods/approaches do you hope to pursue?
    4. Research, teaching, and outreach goals, experiences, and skills
      Describe any experiences and skills that have prepared you for the master's program in family social science. Briefly describe additional goals related to teaching and outreach. For example, you might have experience with research processes (i.e., collecting and analyzing data, submitting and publishing manuscripts, professional presentations), working with families or communities, or family focused prevention or intervention work.
    5. Faculty with whom you want to work
      Please list two to three faculty members with whom you hope to work and briefly describe how your research goals and interests fit with the expertise of these faculty. Faculty areas of scholarship can be found on the Department Faculty page.
    6. PhD aspirations
      What career and teaching, research, outreach, and engagement goals motivate you to be considered for the FSoS PhD program after you complete your Master's degree?

    5. Diversity statement (all applicants)

    The required information is described in the online application.

    7. Application fee waiver request

    Applicants who would like to request an application fee waiver must submit a written request by November 15. Funds are limited and no guarantee can be made that fee waiver requests will be granted. Requests should be sent to and include the following information:

    • Your name
    • Name of the program/degree to which you are applying
    • Indicate if you are a McNair Scholar
    • If you were not a McNair Scholar, please describe how the application fee provides a barrier to your application submission