Human Development and Family Studies

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy program focuses less on issues of an applied nature and more on the development of theory and research knowledge. This program of study is multidisciplinary, calling for a synthesis of knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences and for an examination of the influence of social context and policy on individual and family behavior and development. Course work focuses on the contributions of family, peer, school, and other cultural contexts to the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children, adolescents, and adults; the changing nature of the family constellation; local and national policies affecting families; and issues related to the elderly. Doctoral students have considerable flexibility in tailoring their areas of specialization to special interests and career goals that also reflect the interests and areas of expertise of the faculty.

The Ph.D. Degree program requires a minimum of 89 s.h. beyond the Baccalaureate degree (i.e., for students entering our program in the MS/Ph.D. track) or a minimum of 48 hours beyond the MS. Required and elective course work and research are listed below. Entering doctoral students who have completed a master's degree program in another institution in an HDFS department that included a thesis requirement are given credit for their entire degree requirements, and no pre-requisite course work is required. Students who completed a master's degree in a department other than HDFS must fulfill (or have comparable substitutions for) all of the requirements indicated by an asterisk (*).

Click here for the Phd program brochure (pdf)

Core Content 14 s.h.

*HDF 653 Contemporary Research in Family Studies

*HDF 655 Family Theory

*HDF 651 Contemporary Research in Human Development

*HDF 652 Theories of Human Development

*HDF 640 Professional Seminar I

*HDF 661 Professional Seminar II

Professional Development and Teaching Practicum 6 s.h.

HDF 750 Professional Seminar III

HDF 700 College Teaching Practicum I in HDFS

HDF 765 College Teaching Practicum II in HDFS

(All doctoral students will complete a two-semester teaching practicum supervised by a faculty member. Practicum I calls for the student to assist a faculty member in a designated course with limited teaching responsibilities; this course allows 2 s.h. per enrollment and can be repeated. Practicum II (3 s.h.) calls for the student and faculty member to serve as co-instructors of a course at the 200-, 300-, or 400-level.)

Area of Specialization 27 s.h.

These elective courses are to be selected by the student, approved by the advisory committee, and include the 9 s.h. of specialization courses taken in the M.S. program. Thus, students must complete a minimum of 18 additional credit hours to be taken during doctoral study. At least 9 of these credit hours must be fulfilled through content courses.

Statistics and Methodology 24 s.h.

*ERM 680 Intermediate Statistical Methods in Education

*HDF 658 Research Methods in HDFS

*ERM 681 Design and Analysis of Educational Experiments

STA 671 Multivariate Analysis

HDF 712 Advanced Research Design in Human Development and Family Studies (3)

One additional content course in statistical analysis (3)

One additional content course in research methodology (3)

One additional content course in either statistical analysis or research methodology (3)

Research 18 s.h.

*HDF 699 Thesis

HDF 799 Dissertation

TOTAL (minimum) 89 s.h.