Online M.Ed. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education

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Online M.Ed. in FACS Education

Become certified to teach family and consumer sciences (FACS or FCS) in your state and earn a master's degree at the same time. If you have a bachelor's degree in nutrition, human development, another area of family and consumer sciences, or a related area, you can be admitted to the online M.Ed. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education.

This online program provides students with an arsenal of knowledge to educate and support individuals and families. This online master's degree will prepare you to:

  • Analyze the historical and philosophical underpinnings of FACS (FCS) Education, formerly known as home economics
  • Plan standards-based curriculum
  • Develop strategies to engage students in the learning process
  • Examine the relationship of diverse groups and the educational process
  • Apply research to practice
  • Promote professional development and advancement within FACS (FCS) Education fields

Continue reading through this page to learn more about the online M.Ed. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education.

Program Description

This online master's degree program is designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in a family and consumer sciences (FACS or FCS) content specialization or a related area, and are seeking initial teaching certification/licensure or who are seeking professional development and advancement in family and consumer sciences.

To qualify for this online master's degree, students must be admitted to the program, take the necessary course work, and meet the master's degree requirements at NDSU. The program is a 36 - 41 credit hour program.

In this collaborative online program through the Innovative Digital Education Alliance (IDEA) you will choose from the following two degree paths. 

Two Degree Paths
  • Option A: For individuals with a bachelor's degree in a FACS (FCS)-related area looking to work towards obtaining a teaching license.  
  • Option B: For professionals already in FACS (FCS) Education related fields, including certified teachers and Extension Educators.

Sample Plan of Study

Below are sample plans of study. This will give you an idea of the type of courses you will take. Once you are admitted, be sure to visit with your advisor to create your actual plan of study. 

Option A

Designed for a person with a bachelor's degree in a FACS (FCS)-related area looking to work towards obtaining a teaching license.  

The program offers the pedagogy (professional development) courses needed for certification/licensure. Teacher certification/licensure standards vary by state, and students must meet all the requirements in the state in which they wish to become certified.

Course titles may vary from what is listed on the GP IDEA website. These are the course titles and numbers used for registration at NDSU.

Required Core Courses:
Elective Courses (optional):

Total Credits: 36-41 

Note: Earning an academic/professional degree does not necessarily lead to state credential or licensure. People seeking licensure may need to meet additional requirements such as tests and additional content coursework that are not included in this program. Potential and current students should consult with the appropriate academic program coordinator for advice about licensure, certification, or credentialing after communicating with the appropriate state official.

        Option B

        Designed for professionals already in FACS (FCS) Education related fields, including certified teachers and Extension Educators. It includes a variety of elective options to help you reach your professional goals.

        Course titles may vary from what is listed on the GP IDEA website. These are the course titles and numbers used for registration at NDSU.

        Required Core Courses:
        Choose One:
        Elective Courses:

        Total Credits: 36-41

              "Coming from a culinary background, I was unsure of how to make a career for myself until I discovered the FACS master's program through GP IDEA. Now that I am a full-time family and consumer science teacher at a local high school, I am still able to balance my school workload with my new professional career. They work hand in hand by combining lesson plans and learning theories. I love being able to apply my school work into my own classroom; it has developed into an amazing learning experience."

              - Kristina Schule, FACS Education student

              Careers and Outlook


              The online master's degree in family and consumer sciences education (FACS) was developed in response to the need to increase the supply of FACS teachers, a need that has been documented by historical data showing dramatic declines in the number of FACS teacher preparation programs and the number of individuals completing these programs. According to the most recent National Directory of the Family and Consumer Sciences Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education (2003-04), there were only 168 pre-service family and consumer sciences teacher education programs in the U.S., representing a decline of 40% during the last twenty years. Several states have only one institution that offers FACS teacher preparation and some have none.

              In response to a 1990s survey by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), most state administrators reported an inadequate supply of qualified FACS teachers. The majority believed their state faced a severe shortage. The survey results showed that undergraduate enrollments in FACS teacher preparation programs would supply only about 25% of the demand for new FACS teachers. A more recent study published in 2006 confirmed that most states continue to experience a serious shortage of FACS teachers and revealed that shortages are particularly severe in rural areas. All of the states participating in the Great Plains IDEA online FACS Master's degree program reported that the supply of FACS teachers was inadequate.


              Since the FACS education major has preparation across all areas of family and consumer sciences, a wide variety of career opportunities are available.  Those who opt to go into teaching may find employment in both traditional and nontraditional teaching situations. Settings include teaching in middle and high schools and secondary vocational centers. Other options can include being a consultant in teaching FACS at the elementary school level, or working with adult programs to offer adult enrichment and continuing education.

              Non-teaching career opportunities might include working with local Extension Service, utility companies, health and human service agencies and retail establishments. Capacity in which graduates serve in these fields varies. While some are employed as family and consumer scientists to contribute specific knowledge, others are providing educational services and dissemination of information to consumers.

              Careful selection of elective courses, adding a second major, or a minor (especially in another teaching field) can enhance career opportunities.

              Frequently Asked Questions

              How does licensing work for the M.Ed. in FACS Education program if I am not from ND?
              There are two ways to obtain a license for the online M.Ed. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education program. We have found that it is usually easiest to get a North Dakota (ND) teaching license and take it to the state in which you wish to teach. There may be a couple of courses that your teaching state will require in addition to having the ND teaching license, but they usually will allow you to teach for a couple of years and take the additional courses during that time. It is very important to make sure that your state will honor a license from ND should you choose this route. The second way is to be in very close contact with the state teacher licensing board in the state in which you wish to teach and to take the content area courses (in addition to the Great Plains Master’s courses) which your state requires. In ND, you would be licensed for grades 7-12. 

              My undergraduate GPA is lower than a 3.0.  Am I still eligible to apply to this program?
              What you will need to do is first apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student. You will need to take three graduate courses (3 credits each) in the FACS GP IDEA program and achieve at least a B in each of the courses. At that time, you can apply to our program as a degree-seeking student and the nine credits will transfer into the program. You can only transfer in nine credits, so you will want to make sure to apply as degree seeking as soon as possible after taking those courses (or while taking the last of the courses).

              I am seeking a FACS teaching license. Will I need to take any additional courses besides those listed in the GP IDEA master’s program?
              You will most likely need to take some undergraduate “content” courses along with the courses in the FACS master’s program. These are not required for the degree, but they are required for licensure. As each state has different requirements, you will need to contact the Department of Public Instruction or Education Standards and Practices Board in the state where you would like to become licensed. If you are planning to become licensed in ND, has a list of the required courses. The exact courses you will need also depends upon the courses you took during your previous college work.

              Who is my advisor and how will we communicate?
              Your advisor will be Dr. Mari Borr She is an associate professor in School of Education at NDSU, and also taught middle school and high school family and consumer sciences for fourteen years in North Dakota. It is important to contact her immediately when you have questions. Also, she will contact you twice a year (October and March) to set up advising meetings to plan your courses for the upcoming semester. Although it is not necessary to meet in person, meeting via phone or Zoom will be important for making sure you are on track with your plan of study and to ensure a timely graduation.

              Graduate Faculty

              A list of graduate faculty for this online program as well as their current research interests is available on the NDSU catalog page. In addition to faculty information, you can find more information about the program in the catalog.

              Tuition and Fees

              The tuition and fee structure for this program is set by the GP IDEA consortium. Classes you take are charged at the same tuition rate regardless of which university is your home university. Books and supplies are not included in the tuition and fees. Please note that courses offered through IDEA are not eligible for NDSU tuition waivers.

              Admission Requirements

              To apply for this degree program, click the link below to start the application process. You will be required to fill out a request for information form which sets up your login information to complete the application form. The application fee is $35.

              The deadline to apply is one month before the beginning of the semester you choose to begin. 

              Fall Semester = Begins the third week in August.
              Spring Semester = Begins the second week in January.
              Summer Semester = Begins the second week in May.

              For current admission requirements, visit the M.Ed. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education catalog page.

              Option A

              In addition to meeting the admission requirements stated in option B, applicants must meet three additional requirements for the Teacher Licensure option:

              1. Instead of the NBPTS-focused essay, compose a 400-500 word original essay that answers the following questions:
                • What are your reasons for applying to the Teacher Licensure program?
                • Describe how your 20 hours working with youth supports your decision to apply to the Teacher Licensure option.
              2. Hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent thereof in a content area related to Family and Consumer Sciences.
              3. Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills exam, meeting ND cut scores in reading, writing and math. See for additional information and to register for the exam.

              Applicants should review the Teacher Education Student Handbook and will apply through NDSU, not Great Plains IDEA. 

              Option B
              1. Compose a statement of your experiences and goals using the Five Core Propositions of the NBPTS as the framework. The essay should demonstrate graduate-level writing quality and follow these guidelines: 
                • 3-4 double-spaced pages 
                • Explicitly connect your experiences and career goals to the Five Core Propositions 
                • Explain how NDSU's Teacher Education program will help you to achieve your career goals
              2. Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
              3. Three letters of recommendation concerning academic ability at the undergraduate level and the candidate's proficiency in the following areas: 
                • Degree of mastery of the fundamental knowledge in an academic field. 
                • Knowledge of and ability to use the basic research techniques in a field. 
                • Ability to express knowledge and personal opinions in speech and writing. 
                • Self-reliance and independence in a major professional area. 
                • Motivation toward a successfully productive career. 
                • Emotional stability and maturity. 
                • Possession of imagination and originality in a profession or field. 
                • Growth during the total period in which the people making the recommendation have observed you while in school and/or working in your profession.
              4. An applicant's GPA for post-secondary coursework must meet one of the following conditions:​​​​ 
                • Cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) 
                • GPA for the final 30 semester credits of graded undergraduate coursework is 3.25 or higher 
                • GPA for 10 semester credits of graduate coursework must be 3.0 or higher
              5. Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency.

              Contact Information

              NDSU College of AFSNR  |  Family and Consumer Sciences Education Program
              Phone: (701) 231-7968

              NDSU GP IDEA Coordinator

              NDSU Graduate School
              Phone: (701) 231-5945

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