Apply -- Online MFCS Programs

There is a 2-step process to apply for any of the Family and Consumer Science master’s program or certificate programs.  You will first need to apply to the Graduate College and then to our department.  These 2 process can be completed simultaneously.

To fulfill the department requirements, use the following process:

Application process

1. Submit an online application

Goal statement: The goal statement mentioned in the application is different from the one required for this program. Do not complete the goal statement in the online application, instead complete the goal statement in step 3.

Master’s degree application:

  1. Go to the application page.
  2. Click Graduate from the drop down menu on the left.
  3. Click Apply Now under the drop down menu.
  4. Complete the Online Application Account.
  5. on the third page, first select
    1. Major: Family and Consumer Sciences.
    2. Degree: MFCS
    3. Distance Program
    4. First Choice: (select the specific specialization)
      1. Dietetics
      2. Family Financial Planning
      3. Gerontology
      4. Youth Development
      5. Comprehensive
  6. Don’t complete the Goal Statement in the online application. Refer to step #3 below.

Certificate application:

  1. Go to the application page.
  2. Click Online Application on the left.
  3. Click Get Started under New User.
  4. In the third step, select one of the following and click CERT next to Degree.
  • Family Financial Planning Certificate
  • Financial and Housing Counseling Certificate
  • Gerontology Certificate
  • Youth Development Specialist Certificate
  • Youth Program Management and Evaluation Certificate

2. Request transcripts

Request that your transcripts be mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Enrollment Services Center
Iowa State University
Ames, IA  50011


3. Submit resume and goal statement

Submit your resume and goal statement to

Do not complete the goal statement in the online application, instead complete the goal statement in step 3.

4. Provide letters of recommendation


Use professionals that you have worked with or past instructors as your recommenders.

Please note that character references from family members or personal friends should not be used in place of professional or educational references.

Request and provide three letters of recommendation

Individuals writing a recommendation for you can do so either by:

  • Completing the online form provided to your recommender when you submit your recommender’s email address during the online application.
  • Mailing a reference letter directly to the college. 

Contact information for mailed letters:

GP-IDEA Campus Coordinator
E262 Lagomarcino
901 Stange Rd
Ames, IA 50011-1041


5. Follow up after applying

You must complete the following steps after you apply:

  1. Follow up with your recommenders to make sure they have submitted their letters.
  2. Email to confirm your application packet steps are complete.

Admission decision: Students can expect to receive a decision regarding their admission in four to six weeks.

 What you need to know

Transfer credits

Graduate credits earned as a graduate student at another institution or through a distance education program offered by another institution may be transferred at the discretion of the POS committee, with the approval of the program and the ISU Graduate College.

More »


All degrees and certificates

All degrees and certificates require:

  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

Masters in Family Consumer Sciences - Comprehensive

The Masters in Family Consumer Sciences - Comprehensive requires a GRE In addition to the basic requirements above.

The GRE is a general aptitude test with three parts: verbal, quantitative, and analytical. No minimum GRE score is set. Information on test dates and sites is available on the ETS website.

Deadlines for application

Applications for our GP-IDEA programs (except Dietetics) are accepted year-round, but to have the best chance of enrolling before the enrollment limits are reached, apply before the recommended deadlines:

  • Fall admission: February 15
  • Spring admission: September 15
  • Summer admission: February 15

Applications for the MFCS-Dietetics program are not accepted year round and MUST be completed by the date listed above.  If any piece of your application is not received by the dates set above, your application will not be reviewed until the following semester.  It is recommended that you email at least 1 week ahead of the deadline to make sure we have your complete file.

Students can expect to receive a decision regarding their admission in four to six weeks.

To apply for graduate programs other than the Family and Consumer Science programs, contact the department directly:

Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Distance Doctor of Philosophy

Food Safety and Defense Graduate Certificate

Hospitality Management Distance Doctor of Philosophy

Literacy Coaching Certificate

Master of Education in Community College Leadership

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Technology