Graduation-Family Studies

Looking Ahead to Graduate School


If you are like many Family Studies students, you might be attracted to Family Studies as an undergraduate major because you are considering a future in the helping professions. If you are interested in working as a licensed therapist, counselor or social worker, you will need to obtain a graduate degree and/or licensure in one of those areas; an undergraduate degree in Family Studies does not provide a license to do social work nor therapy/counseling, although it is a great choice for preparing for a post-graduate degree/s. And now is an excellent time to start considering and preparing for all of your options! Two excellent choices, programs in which some of our own Family Studies graduates have enrolled and excelled, include St. Thomas’ Master of Social Work (MSW) and one of St. Thomas’ Graduate Programs in Professional Counseling. Here is some information from each of the programs’ websites, which we encourage you to explore more thoroughly and directly by clicking on the easy links below.


The University of St. Thomas Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

The joint MSW program with St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas focuses on clinical social work practice with individuals, families and small groups. Through the development of core competencies in clinical practice, graduates are prepared to think critically and diagnostically, to develop and implement clinical interventions, to evaluate relevant client outcomes, and to integrate macro perspectives in clinical work. Graduates are also prepared to deal with problems including mental illness, developmental disabilities, poverty, discrimination and oppression.

The MSW provides two options:

  • Advanced Standing (AS) admission is for applicants with an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the CSWE. Advanced Standing students complete 42 credits and 600 hours of field practicum for their degree.
  • Regular Standing (RS) admission is for applicants without an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Regular Standing students complete 60 credits and 1,000 hours of field practicum for their degree.

NOTE: Students who are Family Studies majors would be eligible to apply for Regular Standing (RS) admission. Students who double major in Family Studies and Social Work at UST would be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing (AS).


The University of St. Thomas graduate programs in Counseling Psychology

The Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) focuses on training students in counseling psychology by teaching clinical skills within the framework of ethical practice, pairing progressive courses with field work to prepare counselors to provide personal, emotion and career counseling services.  The Master of Arts degree, developed in the mid-1970, and the Doctor of Psychology degree, initiated in 1990, use the practitioner-scholar method to equip professionals to serve the public and private mental health fields.  The Doctor of Psychology program was accredited by the American Psychological Association in 2000 and continues to successfully prepare students to be skilled, well-rounded leaders in the high-demand field of psychology. Through this process, you also will gain a personal and professional network that will support and encourage you all along the way.

The GSPP offers a number of degree options that might be of interest to Family Studies Majors after graduation:

  • Counseling Psychology Doctorate 
  • Counseling Psychology Masters 
  • Family Therapy, Post-MA Certificate (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy, LMFT) 
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) 
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

Additional Graduate School Options Students who major and minor in Family Studies might also want to pursue graduate degrees in the following areas:

  • Family Law 
  • Parenting Education 
  • Family/Couple Research 
  • Special Education 
  • Community and/or Public Health 
  • Global Health 
  • and many others …

Be sure to discuss, with a Family Studies faculty member and/or the director, your goals and which graduate degrees might be required to achieve your dreams. We are here to help