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Doctorate in Human Development and Family Science

The Ph.D. in Human Sciences in Human Development and Family Science, is a research doctoral program with a focus on reducing risk and increasing resilience with individuals and families across cultures and generations. This program is designed to promote breadth, depth and integration of knowledge in diverse areas, including family science, gerontology, life-span human development, early childhood education and marriage and family therapy. 


The PhD program offers two routes: a 60-hour program for Master of Science graduates and a 90-hour program for Bachelor of Science graduates. Students can concentrate on human development or family science. The program offers flexibility for students and their advisory committees to create educational experiences to help students reach their academic goals. Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) coursework includes:

  • 15 credit hours (minimum) in human development and family science content
  • 15 hours inhuman development and family science methods classes
  • 12 credit hours in research and statistics
  • 3 credit hours in human sciences
  • 15 credit hours of dissertation research 

 We prepare students for academic careers

Course information


Research and Faculty

Our nationally known faculty are engaged in a cross section of collaborative research focused on risk and resilience. The department is home to the Center for Family Resilience, a community resource that translates faculty research about families. Faculty are successful in earning external grants and contracts that often fund graduate research assistantships.


Meet our faculty

Article: "Family Resilience: Moving into the third wave"

Co-Parenting for Resilience

Institute for Developmental Disabilities

College research initiatives



Applications are accepted twice a year with the following deadlines:

Fall Priority: December 1  
Fall Final: December 15 

Spring: October 15

To apply to the PhD in Human Sciences, specialization in human development and family science, submit the following:
Teacher and student

  • Graduate College application
  • Due to COVID-19, the Department of Human Development and Family Science is waiving the GRE test score requirement as part of the application process for spring and fall 2022 admission.
  • Official academic transcripts (3.0 minimum GPA required)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Resume or CV

Graduate student resources 


Cost & Assistance

Students may be eligible for tuition waivers or graduate assistantships from the department. Currently enrolled students are also eligible for scholarships offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences.  


Assistantships and support


Financing graduate school 


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