The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers one Ph.D. doctoral concentration in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS). This degree prepares students to rigorously analyze and constructively address contemporary social issues faced by diverse children, youth, families, and communities.
Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) focuses on positive development and resilience of children, youth, and family in everyday life contexts. Students receive a background in both human development and family studies, and may choose to specialize in one area or use the overlap of both perspectives.
Regarding children and youth, our faculty emphasize social and emotional development, in family, community, and other settings. Regarding family, our faculty emphasize parent-child and other family relationships, gender/sexuality, and race/ethnicity, and resilient family processes in family and community contexts (e.g., neighborhoods, workplaces, the legal system, and social service settings).
The HDFS applied option allows students to obtain additional skills in outreach, program development, and program evaluation. Our faculty are methodologically diverse including expertise in both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
This degree is designed for student who aspire to careers as researchers, educators, policy developers, or professionals who develop, evaluate, and implement programs for children, families, and communities. Many of the graduates from our HDFS program pursue careers in higher education and some pursue research or policy careers outside of academia.