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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have some questions about the program, costs and funding, and the application procedure. If you don’t find answers to your questions here, call or email us with your questions.

The Programs

What will I study in a graduate program in Family Studies and Gerontology?

To complete the MA FSGN program, you’ll take seven courses and write a thesis. (The Graduate Academic Calendar describes these requirements as 3.5 units of coursework and a 1.5 unit thesis. One unit of coursework is the equivalent of one full-year course; 0.5 units of coursework represent a course that runs for one term only. Registration for the 1.5 thesis runs for a full year.) To complete the MFSGN program, you'll take ten courses (5.0 units), including a final seminar course in which you'll complete a project.

Most of your courses will be offered by the Family Studies and Gerontology (FSGN) department, but you’ll have the option to take one elective offered by another department. If you’d like to take an elective from another department, you will have to make a request to the FSGN Graduate Studies Committee.

These are the required courses for this program:

·         GEPY 6608 OR GEDU 6107: Intermediate Statistics and Research Design OR Qualitative

·         Research Methods

·         GFSG 6606 Research Methods

·         GFSG 6609 OR GFSG 6612:  Fundamentals of Social Gerontology OR Family Relations

·         Across the Life Course

·         GFSG 6613: Critical Theories in Family Studies and Gerontology

·         GFSG 6633: Social Policies on Family and Aging

See the full list of FSGN graduate courses »

How long does the program take to complete?

Completion times vary. Depending on the course availability, and whether you want to study full-time or part-time, you can finish the MA FSGN or the MFSGN in as little as two years.

Part-time students have up to five years to complete the program requirements.

Do you offer flexible and distance learning options?

Yes! Many of our students work full- or part-time, have families, and other personal and professional commitments. We offer a variety of learning options, including full- or part-time enrollment, evening classes and online and distance education.

How do I find information about the research backgrounds of potential supervisors? 

If you enroll in the MA FSGN program, you will work closely with a faculty member to research and write a thesis. Visit the faculty profile page to learn about the academic interests of faculty members. This page describes our faculty’s research interests, publications, and academic and professional backgrounds.

Is this graduate program professionally accredited?

When you graduate, you may be eligible to apply for certification as a family life educator through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) or Family Service Canada (FSC).

If you’d like to meet these certification requirements, ask the graduate program coordinator for advice on choosing your courses before you begin your studies.  

What kinds of careers can I pursue with a Master's degree in Family Studies and Gerontology?

Graduates of our programs program are pursuing careers in aging, community or family services, family life education, community development, social work, and more.

Read about our graduates and their careers »

What is the expected workload?

You should come prepared to do a greater amount of reading and independent study, compared to undergraduate students.  Classes normally meet once a week in a three-hour seminar format where students analyze and discuss assigned readings.  You will be expected to go beyond the assigned readings to broaden your knowledge.

Money Matters

Do you offer any scholarships, awards or financial aid?

The Mount offers several graduate scholarships, and MA FSGN and MFSGN students are eligible for many internal and external scholarships.  Visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Scholarships and Funding page for more information on scholarships, bursaries, assistantships, and other funding opportunities.

Applicants will automatically be considered for entrance scholarships. We also encourage all applicants to apply for external awards, including Canada Graduate Scholarships.

Read Dr. Humble’s advice on applying for scholarships. »  

What are the program costs?

Consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for a full and up-to-date listing of tuition and fees. For an estimate of these costs, visit the Office of Graduate Studies’ Program Costs page.

Applying to the Program

How do I apply?

First, complete the Graduate Online Application form. This page contains instructions on how to complete the form, and how to pay the application fee.

Next, download the Graduate Supplementary Application package. This package will contain information on obtaining two letters of reference and submitting a statement of intent that explains your reasons for applying to the graduate program, your expectations of the program and your career goals, and your particular area of research interest.

Do both my references have to be academic references?

Applicants with work experience in the field who have been away from the classroom for some time may use one academic reference and one professional reference.

How should I instruct my referees?

You should provide you referees with the reference form contained in the Graduate Supplementary Application package.  You should request that your referees provide us with specific examples of your abilities, knowledge, professional experience and motivation for a career in public relations.  We encourage referees to attach a more detailed letter of reference to the reference form. 

Get more advice on instructing your referees »

Do I need the GMAT?

No, a GMAT score is not required.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline changes from year to year, but the deadline for September admissions is usually around mid-February, and the deadline for January admissions is usually November 1st.  Please consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for the year you are applying. You can also find deadline information on the Graduate Online Application page.

What if I missed the application deadline?

While all candidates who apply by the deadline are guaranteed consideration, we continue to review late applications until the program is full.

Who makes the admission decision?

The Admissions Office will ensure that your file is complete.  Complete files are then forwarded to the departmental graduate studies committee, which makes the final decision.

I still have questions. How can I contact you?

Call or email us—we’d love to hear from you.

Department of Family Studies and Gerontology
Tel:  902. 457.6321
Fax: 902.457.6134 

Dr. Deborah Norris,  
Graduate Program Coordinator

Mailing address:
Mount Saint Vincent University
Family Studies and Gerontology                           
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, Nova Scotia  Canada
B3M 2J6

Graduate Student Recruitment Officer

Becca Babcock

Tel.: 902.457.5502

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