Family and Consumer Sciences Program Application

How to apply to online family and consumer sciences programs

Suggested application deadlines

Family Financial Planning, Gerontology, and Youth Development specializations

Spring Entry – October 1*
Summer or Fall Entry – March 1*

*Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round, but these dates ensure students are admitted prior to when course registration begins.

Students can expect to receive an admissions decision in two to three weeks after all application materials are received.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Iowa State requires a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies.
  • At minimum, a cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (B grade) is required for unrestricted graduate admission. Students who fall below the 3.0 required GPA are still encouraged to apply and will still be considered for admission.
  • Undergraduate and graduate GPA will be calculated separately and from all undergraduate and/or graduate coursework completed.

Application Requirements

All graduate degree and certificate applications will require:

  • Application for admissions through Iowa State’s Office of Admissions
  • Transcript(s) from both undergraduate and graduate coursework sent to:
    • Iowa State University
      Office of Admissions
      100 Enrollment Services Center
      2433 Union Drive
      Ames, IA  50011-2042
  • Two letters of recommendation (complete within the application portal)
  • Statement of purpose (complete or upload within application portal)
  • Resume (upload within application portal)

*The GRE is NOT required for admission into the online MFCS programs.

How to Apply

Students apply for admission with the Office of Admissions, Graduate College, and Family and Consumer Sciences program through one application.

Follow the steps below to complete your application:

  1. Go to the APPLICATION page and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the sections on the Online Application Account page to create account and begin your application.
  3. On the PROGRAM INFORMATION page asking for major choice, select the following:
    1. Major: Family and Consumer Sciences (IDEA – distance)
    2. Degree: M FCS for masters or CERT for certificate
    3. Distance will autofill as the program type.
    4. Teaching and research assistantships are not available in the online MFCS programs.
    5. First Choice: Select appropriate specialization, please only select one.
  4. On the same page, provide answers to the four questions listed as your “statement of purpose”. You may want to type your responses in a separate document and then copy and paste in this space. If you prefer, you can instead complete your statement of purpose in a word document and upload in Step 6 below.
    1. *TIP*: The faculty who review your application are very interested in the responses you provide in your statement of purpose. Review your responses carefully and ensure all questions are fully answered before submitting.
  5. On the LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION page, you will provide the names and contact information for your two recommenders. The easiest way for them to complete their recommendations is by selecting to use the online process and providing their email addresses. They will then receive an email prompting them to complete an online recommendation for you by answering these questions.
    1. *TIP*: Pick professional recommenders who can speak to your experience and ability to be successful in a graduate program. Recommenders could be previous or current employers, colleagues, professors or instructors, coaches or teachers, etc. Personal/character recommendations are discouraged.
    2. *TIP*: Iowa State’s online application system allows you to track when your online recommendations are submitted, as well as change recommenders, edit e-mail addresses of recommenders, and send reminders to your recommenders.
  6. On the UPLOAD DOCUMENTS page, please upload the following (preferably as PDF files):
    1. Resume
    2. Statement of purpose (only if not answered within application)
    3. Unofficial transcripts (if available)
  7. The IDEA Campus Coordinators ( will be your contact throughout the admissions process. They will update you if anything else is needed and may request more information if necessary.