For more information on the Colorado State University Graduate School application and admissions guidelines, please visit the Graduate School website.
After submitting the first component of your online application and paying your application fee, you will be asked to submit your supporting materials to finalize the application. Please note the supporting materials submitted through the online application above will be provided to our Department.
- Your curriculum vitae or resume.
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to assess the applicant’s potential for graduate studies.
- To submit official transcripts, contact your previous institutions to request they submit official transcripts to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).
- To submit test scores, contact the testing agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).
- Recommended academic writing sample (e.g., undergraduate thesis, manuscript, outstanding research paper, etc.)
- For any documents that cannot be uploaded, submit paper copies directly to the Office of Admissions at:
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062
Assistantships and Fellowships
This application will be used to assign assistantships/fellowships. No additional application is required.
Finalists for admission into the MFT program will be asked to interview with departmental faculty during February. Applicants must cover their own transportation expenses. The department can provide lodging if desired
Frequently Asked Questions Applying to the Program
What is Human Development and Family Studies? How is it different from Psychology or Social Work?
Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is the scientific study of lifespan development and familial and social relationships. Psychology focuses primarily on the study of individuals and Social Work involves the application of addressing social issues within communities. HDFS is interdisciplinary in that it integrates knowledge from psychology, social work, and other related fields like sociology, cultural anthropology, prevention science, and education to better understand human development and relational dynamics throughout the life course. Our program has a uniquely applied focus – we leverage evidence from scientific studies to improve the development of individuals, families, and communities.
When are applications due?
Applications are due on January 2 each year for fall semester admission. Applications are only accepted once a year.
I’ve missed the deadline. Is there any chance you can review my application for admission this fall?
We only admit graduate students in the fall semester of each year, so only applications that have been received by the January 2 deadline will be reviewed for fall admission.
Do you accept part-time students into the program?
No. The program is a cohort model whereby all students begin in fall semester and are registered as full-time students.
Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?
The general GRE is required of all M.S and Ph.D. applicants. Scores are valid if they are less than 5 years old. We do not require or accept subject-specific GRE scores.
Where should my GRE scores be sent?
Official GRE scores should be sent to Colorado State University Office of Admissions (institutional code 4705).
If I applied to your program in the past, do I have to resubmit my GRE scores/transcripts?
If you applied in 2018 or later, then your GRE scores and transcripts may still be on file at CSU. Prior to 2018, a different system was used for online applications and your GRE scores and transcripts may not have been transferred to the new system. In either case, applicants should ensure that their submitted applications are complete by checking the status of their application in SLATE (the CSU Graduate School application system). If you need additional verification or help with ensuring your application is complete, you may call the CSU Graduate Admissions Office at 970-491-6909 or email email@example.com. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation?
A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation are required from previous instructors (e.g., professors) or supervisors who are able to comment on your abilities and potential for graduate study. You may provide contact information for up to five (5) recommenders. Your recommenders will be notified and prompted to supply a recommendation letter through the application system. Academic references should be prepared to discuss your academic knowledge and skills, aptitude for graduate study, ability for independent research, and classroom performance related to characteristics such as integrity, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. If you are applying to the M.S. with MFT specialization, you may also want to get a letter from someone who supervised your clinical work to speak to your readiness for clinical work in the program. Letters should not come from friends or family members. Writing any portion of the recommendations yourself, either in whole or in part, may result in rejection or dismissal.
What pre-requisites/courses are required to apply for the program?
For all graduate programs, applicants are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in HDFS or related field (e.g., psychology) and complete at least one research methods/statistics course with a grade of A or B, prior to the graduate program start date. Additional coursework in research methods/statistics is highly recommended. Prospective students may apply even if they need any additional coursework and should include in their application how they plan to complete these courses prior to admission. If an applicant is accepted to the program who does not have all of the required courses completed, acceptance will be contingent on the successful completion of needed coursework.
Can I still apply if I have not completed the pre-requisite courses?
Yes, you can still apply. We review prerequisites as part of the application process but they will not impact admissions decisions. Students who are granted admission to the program who have not met the criteria for prerequisites will receive a conditional acceptance contingent on the successful completion of the pre-requisite courses.
Where can I take courses to fulfill the research methods/statistics requirements?
Many of our students take the required courses as part of their undergraduate degree. Other students can take these courses at CSU, a community college, or other 4-year college or university. The format of the courses may be on campus or on-line. Please check course registration deadlines if you plan to take these pre-requisites prior to admission in the fall semester.
My degree is not in Human Development and Family Studies or a related field. Can I still apply?
Yes, but you will need to show that you have relevant experience and knowledge in HDFS or a related field, and have completed the requisite coursework required for admission to the graduate program. For those interested in applying to the M.S. with a specialization in MFT, you should also show that you have relevant clinical experience. It may be helpful to highlight these experiences in your resume or curriculum vitae, statement of purpose, and/or writing sample, as well as to request that your references discuss your relevant research and clinical qualifications, background, and experiences in their letters of recommendation.
Is it necessary to have research experience to be accepted into the program?
Although not required, competitive applications to our Ph.D. program often demonstrate a strong record of relevant research experiences (e.g., working as a research assistant or lab manager in a faculty lab, conducting independent research such as completing a research-based honors or Master’s thesis, completing a research internship, etc.). Colorado State University is a tier-one research institution, and HDFS faculty and graduate students are actively involved in nationally and internationally recognized programs of research. Graduate students in all of our HDFS programs are trained as critical consumers of research, as these skills are essential for informing clinical and scientific practices. Applicants should show strong interest in scientific and research training and discuss how this training aligns with their educational and career goals.
How do I check that my application is complete?
You can make sure that your application has been received in full by logging into your SLATE account (the CSU Graduate Admissions portal) and checking the status of your application. Please note that you are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible, even if it is not complete. You may update your application until the graduate application deadline. The SLATE system will let you know if your application is complete and all relevant documents have been submitted successfully. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed! If you have further questions about checking on the status of your application, you may call the CSU Graduate Admissions office at 970-491-6909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How competitive is the graduate admissions process?
The number and pool of applicants varies from year to year. However, commensurate with a tier-one research institution, admission to the graduate programs in HDFS is competitive. Applications will be evaluated based on prior academic performance and aptitude for graduate study, relevant research experiences (and clinical experiences for applicants to the M.S. with specialization in MFT program), and fit with the program with respect to educational, research and career interests/goals. Strong applications are able to highlight how the applicant fulfills these criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions Financial Aid and Cost of the Program
Do you have scholarships?
Yes. Departmental scholarships are primarily reserved for doctoral students, but prospective students may be eligible for other university or national scholarship and financial aid opportunities: https://financialaid.colostate.edu/scholarships/.
Do you have assistantships? How do I get one?
There are generally two types of graduate assistantships available: graduate research assistants (GRAs) and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). The type of assistantship and availability of these positions are based on current research grant funding and departmental need for teaching assistants, which are subject to change each semester. As such, although the department has a strong track record of funding many of our students on assistantships and/or hourly wage positions, priority for GRA and GRA funding is given to our Ph.D. students. Assistantships and hourly positions are offered based on the graduate application – there is no separate application process. Assistantships are awarded based on merit, academic and work performance, good standing in the program, and fit with the project (for GRAs).
How much is tuition?
Please see the following link for the cost of attendance information https://financialaid.colostate.edu/cost-of-attendance/. The M.S. in MFT program is a 2-year program including summer. Summer tuition is generally about 6 credits (1 internship, 1 thesis, 3 summer courses) but can be more depending on the student and the thesis advisor. Some financial aid does not cover summer tuition.
Frequently Asked Questions M.S. with Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy
The requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy specialization say I need clinical experience. What is clinical experience?
Clinical experience means working in some capacity with clinical and/or vulnerable populations. This can be working or volunteering at a safe house, residential treatment center, supervised visit agency, homeless shelter, child welfare agency, suicide hotline, hospice, parenting classes, after school program with at-risk children/youth, etc. It is not simply working with people such as babysitting or being a camp counselor (unless the camp is working with a vulnerable population). The best clinical experiences are those with intensive training. Clinical experiences can be described in your personal statement, resume or CV, and your letters of recommendation.
Do I need to demonstrate experiences with diversity and inclusion in my application?
To be competitive in the application process it is important to talk about your experiences in the area of diversity and inclusion. This may include courses you have taken with an emphasis on Diversity and Social Justice and experiences you have had (i.e. Peace Corp, Teach for America, City Year, volunteering or internships at places that serve marginalized people, study abroad). In the Marriage and Family Therapy program you will be working with a diverse population and learning about diversity and social justice. Diversity and inclusion experiences can be described in your personal statement, resume or CV, and your letters of recommendation.
Why does the application require that I identify my research interests and a faculty member with whom to work?
Students in our 3 graduate programs are required to work with their faculty advisor (mentor) to complete a research-based thesis project. Prospective students are asked to describe what research topics interest them and to identify faculty advisor(s) who may be suitable mentor(s) on the project. Applicants should demonstrate that their proposed research interests align with the interests and expertise of their proposed faculty advisor(s). Students can find HDFS faculty bios and research interest areas on the CSU HDFS website.
Frequently Asked Questions Ph.D. Program in Applied Developmental Science (ADS)
How do I identify research faculty who may serve as advisors/mentors in the Ph.D. program?
Prospective students can find HDFS faculty bios and research interest areas on the CSU HDFS website or search by departmental thematic research areas or laboratories. Our faculty are committed to ensuring excellent training and professional growth for our MS and PhD students. Our programs are also recognized nationally; for example, the Adult Development and Aging area is ranked 3rd in the nation for HDFS programs. If you are interested in working with specific faculty members, please contact them directly to find out more information about their research program and funding opportunities.