World-Improving Research and Creativity

We encourage students to develop skills in identifying families’ strengths and to develop an appreciation of diversity in age, race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, learning styles and abilities.

About Our Program

Students will investigate the ways in which individuals interact within the family system and with the larger sociocultural environment, as well as the process of biosocial, psychosocial and cognitive development across the lifespan.

To better appreciate the complexity of families, the program strives to foster in students an awareness of the development of family systems, roles and reciprocal interactions. We encourage students to look at families as more than just interpersonal interactions and to address family resources that can contribute to stress or resilience during times of crisis or change.

Our goal is to provide graduates who are prepared for roles in professions requiring:

  • Knowledge of biological, cognitive and socio-emotional characteristics of humans across the lifespan
  • Knowledge of family systems and family interactions
  • Knowledge of effective communication for working with individuals and families
  • Assessment and improvement of resources needed by individuals, families and their communities
  • The ability to provide education about individual development and family life
  • The ability to combine elements of education, prevention and early intervention
  • The ability to work in an intergenerational context and with diverse families.

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Admission Deadlines

The College of Education & Human Development has application deadlines for Spring (November 15). Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by February 1. Applications for Fall will continue to be reviewed up to July 15.

Program structure

The graduate program aims to generate graduates who are well versed in relevant theories, research methods and the conduct and dissemination of quality research so that they are able to understand the current body of literature in HDFS and are prepared to expand this knowledge base through research of their own.

We value out-of-the-classroom training and provide our students with ample time to conduct research in the field relevant to their area of interest. Graduate students are also encouraged to take part in research with their advisor or any one of our world-class faculty members.

As part of the doctoral degree requirements, students are required to complete a comprehensive dissertation project involving empirical research and successfully defend their dissertation orally.

Looking for a Graduate Assistantship?

The College of Education & Human Development has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships for full-time students admitted to masters or doctoral programs.

Graduate Assistantship

Program Faculty

Human Development and Family Studies
Walter Brediger
Walter Brediger, III
Administrative Assistant III
(775) 682-5517
WRB 3045
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Melissa Burnham
Melissa Burnham, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Family Science and Early Childhood Education she, her, hers
(775) 784-7012
WRB 4107
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Lydia DeFlorio
Lydia DeFlorio, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science
(775) 682-5503
WRB 3077
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Jenna Dewar
Jenna Dewar, M.S., C.F.L.E.
Senior Lecturer she/her/hers
(775) 682-6838
WRB 3014
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Sam Ehrenreich
Sam Ehrenreich, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Science
(775) 682-5506
WRB 3007
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
William Evans
William Evans, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Family Science, State Extension Specialist he, him, his
(775) 784-7013
WRB 3037
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Hyun-Joo Jeon
Hyun-Joo Jeon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science
(775) 784-7005
WRB 3031
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Jennifer McClendon
Jennifer McClendon, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
(775) 682-8707
WRB 4066
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell, Ph.D., CFLE-P
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science She/her/hers
(775) 784-1161
WRB 3070
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Jennifer Mortensen
Jennifer Mortensen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science
(775) 682-5507
WRB 3035
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Pamela Payne
Pamela Payne, Ph.D., CFLE
Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Science
(775) 682-6637
WRB 3018
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Bridget Walsh
Bridget Walsh, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Family Science
(775) 784-7007
WRB 3020
1415
Human Development and Family Studies
Sherry Waugh
Sherry Waugh, M.S.
CFRC Director
(775) 682-6840
SFB 0141
1415