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.
Request More Information
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.
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.