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Graduate Option in Consumer Affairs & Family Studies


The Master of Science (MS) in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) with an option in Consumer Affairs and Family Studies (CAFS) is suitable for aspiring professionals looking for leadership positions in corporate, government, and non-profit settings.

The 33-unit graduate degree program includes 18-units of core curriculum, 12-units of option-specific curriculum, and a 3-unit culminating experience which can be completed in the form of a comprehensive exam, research thesis, or creative project. 


There are many opportunities for leadership, networking, and potential lifelong professional relationships about in the program.

Our graduates have found success in the following careers:

  • Consumer and Family Resource Counselor
  • Consumer Service Professional
  • Family Advocates
  • Family Services Coordinator and Director
  • Financial and Credit, Housing, or Bankruptcy Counselor
  • Inter-generational Care Specialist
  • Marketing Researchers
  • Parent and Family Life Educator

Updated April 28, 2021


Degree Requirements

1. Core courses (18 units):

  1. FCS 681 Research Methods (3)
  2. FCS 682 Research Applications (3)
  3. FCS 685 Decision Making in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
  4. FCS 686 Current Issues in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
  5. FCS 429 Family and Consumer Public Policy (3)
  6. HHD 513: Leadership/Professional Competencies for Health and Human Development Disciplines (3)

2. Consumer Affairs and Family Studies Option courses (12 units):

  1. FCS 623 Family Financial Issues (3)
  2. FCS 542 Theories of Family Development (3)
  3. FCS 640 Family Strengths (3)
  4. Choose 3 units of Elective:
  • FCS 690D Family Management (3)
  • FCS 690J Family Relations (3)

 3. Culminating Experience (3 units):

  1. FCS 697C Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
  2. FCS 698C Thesis/Project (3)

In consultation with the student’s major graduate advisor, a student may be approved to either complete a master’s thesis/project or take the comprehensive examination.

a. Thesis or Project

  1. The proposal must be approved by the student’s committee.
  2. The student will register for FCS 698C. (Apparel Design and Merchandising option students are advised to take the FCS 696C elective in the semester prior to enrolling in FCS 698C)
  3. The student must successfully defend the thesis or project at an oral exam.

b. Comprehensive Examination

  1. The student will register for FCS 697C—Directed Comprehensive Studies (3 units).
  2. Passing coursework for the master’s degree does not guarantee passing the comprehensive examination.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 33

FCS Program Learning Outcomes

In an effort to support the well-being of individuals, families and communities through their professional area of interest in FCS, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Code of Ethics in scholarship as FCS professionals.
  2. Demonstrate ongoing synthesis and application of relevant literature, current trends, and emerging issues within their professional area of interest within FCS.
  3. Design a research study/creative project investigating topics within their professional area of interest including diverse populations.

Apply sound evidence -based practices and applications within their professional area of interest in FCS.

How to Apply

For information regarding the application process, please visit Graduate Admission in FCS.

Graduate Advisement

For course enrollment in the second or subsequent semester, please contact your academic advisor (committee chair) in your area of study. If you are new to the graduate program or need assistance to identify your academic advisor, please contact the graduate coordinator,  " target="_blank">Dr. Yoko Mimura.