HDFS Graduate Admissions

Notice for Fall 2024 applicants: The Graduate School is switching to a new application portal. The application system should be open in mid-October. Check back here and the Graduate School’s website for the most specific application instructions when the new system goes live. Thank you for your patience.

Human Development and Family Science MS and PhD Programs

  • Faculty Point of Contact: Dr. Mallory Lucier-Greer (mluciergreer@auburn.edu)
  • Application Deadline: January 5th is the deadline for complete applications to be considered in the first round of applications. Later applications may be considered on a “space available” basis.
  • The HDFS MS and PhD programs do not require an on-site interview as part of the application process. Rather, the Admissions Committee will request a virtual interview with selected applicants.


Marriage and Family Therapy MS Program
  • Faculty Point of Contact: Scott Ketring (ketrisa@auburn.edu)
  • Application Deadline: December 15th is the firm deadline for complete applications to the MFT degree program.
  • Applicants to the MFT program may be asked to submit a videorecording following initial review by the Admissions Committee. Guidelines for producing the video will be provided to selected applicants following the December 15th application deadline. The MFT program does not require an on-site interview as part of the application process.


Child Life MS Program
  • Faculty Point of Contact: Amanda Butler, MS, CCLS (aln0002@auburn.edu)
  • Application Deadline: January 5th is the deadline for complete applications to be considered in the first round of applications. Later applications may be considered on a “space available” basis.
  • The Child Life MS program does not require an on-site interview as part of the application process. Rather, the Admissions Committee may request a virtual interview with selected applicants.


Requirements for Admission – All Programs
  • A background in the behavioral and/or social sciences and at least one undergraduate statistics class or research methods class.
  • Strong GPA.
  • Three letters of recommendation that document academic competence and work ethic.
  • Background and professional goals that are consistent with program strengths.


Elements of a Complete Application
  1. The Application Form: The Graduate School at Auburn University uses a web-based application system. *The new system will be available to accept applications starting mid-October!
  2. The Processing Fee: The non-refundable application fee is $60 for U.S. citizens and $70 for international students. The fee can be paid by credit card when you submit your electronic application or by check or money order. Your web-based application becomes available for departmental consideration only upon payment of your application fee.
  3. Transcripts: Upload transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate credits from each school previously attended through the web-based application system (Note: unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the application; official transcripts are required only for registration following acceptance). Auburn University transcripts will be obtained by the Graduate School.
  4. Standardized Test Scores:
    • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional (see information about optional application materials below).
    • TOEFL (if English is a second language): Request that the Educational Testing Service send your official TOEFL scores to the Auburn University Graduate School.
  5. Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters are required. The strongest letters come from faculty, employers, or internship supervisors who have worked directly with you and can report on your academic strengths, work ethic, or capacity for teamwork. Submit letters of recommendation through the web-based application system.
  6. Letter of Intent: Your letter of intent will help the admissions committee assess the fit between your background and goals and the opportunities available in the HDFS, MFT, or Child Life graduate program. Your letter should address the points listed below in 3-5 double-spaced pages.
    • Discuss your career plans and how the program you are applying to will help prepare you for that career path.
    • Discuss how your education and other experiences (e.g., research, clinical, employment, volunteer/outreach) have prepared you for graduate study in HDFS, MFT, or Child Life.
    • Discuss your research experiences and interests and explain how they relate to research opportunities available in the graduate program. Please specify how your research interests overlap with the work of at least one faculty member.
    Upload your letter of intent through the web-based application system.
  7. Resume: Upload your resume or curriculum vitae through the web-based application system.
  8. Optional Application Materials:
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: If you are submitting GRE scores, request that the Educational Testing Service send your official GRE scores to the Auburn University Graduate School (institution code: 1005).
    • Publications and Professional Presentations: Students who have participated in a professional publication or presentation given in a professional forum are encouraged to send a copy with their application materials. Upload publications or presentations through the web-based application system.als.

Suggestions for making the application process smoother:

  1. Learn about the program that you are applying to by first reviewing the program website:
  2. Contact the faculty point of contact (listed above) if you have other questions about the program.
  3. Review the faculty page to learn about research and opportunities in the department. Several faculty members also have included a mentoring statement on their webpage to give applicants insight into their approach to mentorship.
  4. Identify potential mentors for your program of study (especially important for HDFS MS and PhD applicants).
    • Emailing faculty prior to submission may be helpful to understand their work and their capacity to take on new students.
    • The following faculty are not planning to take on new graduate students in Fall 2024: Baumann, Bubb, Butler, El-Eheikh, Kerpelman, Kostelecky, McGill, Moyer, and Payne-Purvis.
  5. Get an insider perspective by emailing graduate students who are in the program you are applying to and ask about their experience with the program.
  6. Solicit feedback from professors or mentors about your letter of intent prior to submission.

Guide to Graduate Programs