The doctoral degree program focuses on the intersection of human development, family processes, and socio-cultural context. A defining focus of the program is an emphasis on understanding development and family relationships as they exist within everyday contexts and the application of strength-based approaches to the study of diverse children and families.
Ph.D. students gain experience in research and college-level instruction that provides professional training and skill development in a collaborative and rigorous learning environment.
Graduate course work focuses on building foundational knowledge in human development, family studies, race, class, and culture, research methods, and theories of HDFS. Students can tailor their program with specialized elective coursework that includes graduate seminars on topics such as:
African American Families
Child Development in Cultural Context
Children, Poverty, and Public Policy
Cognitive Development in Young Children
Contemporary Research in Early Childhood Education
Families and Health
Risk & Resilience in Children and Families
Social Justice Research with Diverse Families
Work & Family
The Student Experience
Graduate students and faculty are invested in a collaborative and rigorous learning community.
Graduate students use cutting edge, strengths-based research methods and analyses to study the intersection of human development, family processes, and socio-cultural context.
Through an individualized mentoring approach, graduate students train with experienced and supportive faculty to conduct research related to students’ area of specialization and career goals.
Students gain experience in college-level instruction through individualized teaching practicums with HDFS faculty known for exemplary teaching.
The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies requires 78-84 credit hours for students entering with a bachelor’s degree or 45-51 credit hours for students entering with a master’s degree. Entering doctoral students who have completed a master’s degree at another institution or department must fulfill (or have comparable substitutions for) all of the requirements of the HDFS M.S. degree program. These requirements must be fulfilled in addition to completing the 45-51 credits required for the Ph.D.