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What Can I Do With a Degree in MFHD?

A master's or doctorate in the family sciences prepares students for careers in leadership positions in administration, education, and research. A background in family systems, family science methods, theory, and practice enables students to master the skills needed for a successful career in a variety of employment sectors, including:


  • Federal, state and local government agencies: Departments of Health, Education, Welfare, Nutrition, and Cooperative Extension
  • Social service agencies: such as mental health agencies, child protection agencies, women's clinics, health, promotion agencies, and domestic violence centers.
  • Family policy: think tanks, lobbyist for national organizations, advocacy work
  • Business: human resources, training, or family and employee mediation
  • Entrepreneur: family life educator, consultant to established businesses as a trainer, writer, or problem solver


  • Social service agencies, extension service, religious organizations, military, consulting and self employment
  • Teaching opportunities are available in high schools, community or 2-year colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities.


  • Universities, state, federal, or local public agencies, businesses, research institutions, advocacy organizations or in the non-profit sector (Universities and 4-year colleges frequently require researchers to teach)

Master's Degree
A doctorate is necessary to teach at a college or university but some community colleges allow individual's with a master's degree to teach. Research opportunities are available for individuals with either a master's or a PhD.
A professional with a master's degree is prepared for employment as a family life educator; extension agent; and positions of leadership in child, adolescent, and adult services, family social services, public policy, child care and early childhood education and gerontology.

A doctoral program prepares students for careers through extensive training in research methodology and statistics; theory and conceptual frameworks; content related to family systems; and the skills to communicate this knowledge through writing, presenting, and teaching.
A PhD in the family sciences can lead to careers in research, to college or university teaching, to leadership positions in public or private institutions, or to a variety of government positions.