Human Development and Family Studies, Ph.D.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

In addition to a review of the admission materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit:

  • A 1-3 page professional statement to explain their:
    • Reasons for pursuing graduate study in HDFS,
    • Previous experience and training in HDFS or related fields,
    • Professional goals,
    • Primary areas of research interest, and
    • Faculty members with whom they are most interested in working.
  • An academic writing sample (e.g. senior year paper, literature review paper, honor’s thesis, master’s thesis, or a manuscript published or accepted/submitted for publication).

Based on the review of submitted materials, select applicants are invited to visit campus for an interview day, after which final admissions decisions are made. The HDFS Graduate Committee considers the compatibility of the student’s interest areas with those of the faculty and with curriculum emphasis, as well as the student’s availability for full-time graduate study.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 78-84 credit hours (direct entry with a bachelor's degree); 45-51 credit hours (entry with prior master's degree with a thesis)

Students Entering with a Bachelor's Degree

Core Required Courses (12 credits)
HDF 651Contemporary Research in Human Development3
HDF 652Theories of Human Development and Family Studies3
HDF 653Contemporary Research in Family Studies3
HDF 656Race, Class, and Culture3
Foundational Methods and Statistics (9 credits)
HHS 625Research Methods in the Health and Human Sciences3
ERM 781Design and Analysis of Educational Experiments 3
ERM 782Multivariate Analysis3
Professional Preparation and Development (6 credits)
HDF 640Professional Seminar1
HDF 661Professional Seminar II2
HDF 745College Teaching in Human Development and Family Studies3
Thesis (6 credits)
HDF 699Thesis6
Area of Specialization (12 credits) 1
Development Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following:3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Social and Emotional Development
Cognitive Development in Young Children
Infant Development
Seminar in Adolescence
Psychobiology of Human Development and Family Processes
Family Studies Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following: 3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Seminar in Parent-Child Relations
Families in Middle and Later Life
Divorce, Remarriage, Cohabitation
Close Relationships in Adulthood
Sociocultural Context Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following:3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Development
Structured Electives
Select one course (3 credits) of structured electives from 600- or 700-level HDF content courses 23
Statistics and Methodology (12 credits)
HDF 756Advanced Research Design in Human Development and Family Studies3
Select one course (3 credits) in quantitative statistics or methodology3
Select one course (3 credits) in qualitative statistics or methodology3
Select one additional course (3 credits) in statistics or methodology3
Professional Development/Teaching Practicum (9 credits) 3
HDF 745College Teaching in Human Development and Family Studies3
HDF 750Professional Seminar III3
HDF 765College Teaching Practicum in Human Development and Family Studies II3
Dissertation (12-18 credits)
HDF 799Dissertation 12-18
Total Credit Hours78-84
1

Specific offerings of HDF 703 will be eligible for inclusion in target areas specified by the department.

2

Students may select structured electives from 600-level HDF content courses with prior approval.

3

All doctoral students will complete a two-semester teaching practicum supervised by a graduate faculty mentor. The practicum requires the student to serve as an assistant, then as a co-instructor of a course (or courses) at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level.

Students Entering with a Master's Degree (with Thesis)

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 direct entry Ph.D. program. Assessment of prerequisite courses occurs at the time of admission to the program. These requirements must be fulfilled in addition to completing the course work and dissertation requirements shown below.

Area of Specialization (12 credits) 1
Development Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following:3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Social and Emotional Development
Cognitive Development in Young Children
Infant Development
Seminar in Adolescence
Psychobiology of Human Development and Family Processes
Family Studies Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following:3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Seminar in Parent-Child Relations
Families in Middle and Later Life
Divorce, Remarriage, Cohabitation
Close Relationships in Adulthood
Sociocultural Context Area
Select one course (3 credits) from the following:3
Contemporary Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Development
Structured Electives
Select one course (3) credits of structured electives from 600- or 700-level HDF content courses 23
Professional Development/Teaching Practicum (9 credits) 3
HDF 745College Teaching in Human Development and Family Studies3
HDF 750Professional Seminar III3
HDF 765College Teaching Practicum in Human Development and Family Studies II3
Statistics and Methodology (12 credits)
HDF 756Advanced Research Design in Human Development and Family Studies3
Select one course (3 credits) in quantitative statistics or methodology3
Select one course (3 credits) in qualitative statistics or methodology3
Select one course (3 credits) in statistics or methodology3
Dissertation (12-18 credits)
HDF 799Dissertation 12-18
Total Credit Hours45-51
1

Specific offerings of HDF 703 will be eligible for inclusion in target areas specified by the department.

2

Students may select structured electives from 600-level HDF content courses with prior approval.

3

All doctoral students will complete a two-semester teaching practicum supervised by a graduate faculty mentor. The practicum requires the student to serve as an assistant, then as a co-instructor, of a course (or courses) at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level.

Required Milestones*

  • Residency (Immersion)
  • Plan of Study
  • Research Competency
  • Comprehensive Exam (Written & Oral)
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Admission to Candidacy
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Filing the Final Approved Dissertation
*

General information about milestones for doctoral programs is available in Section III of the Graduate Policies page in the University Catalog. For information about how milestones are accomplished for a specific program, please refer to the doctoral program's handbook.