Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The PhD curriculum is designed to provide advanced training in HDFS. Whether our graduates end up in academic or applied settings, we prepare them for work that includes independent research, outreach, and teaching.
As in the MS program, all students must take a proseminar in HDFS and two courses in human development and family theory. Students choose additional HDFS graduate courses to fill out their major area of concentration. There is also a methodology core requirement of one course in advanced statistics and one course in advanced research methods. These advanced methodology courses are beyond those required for the MS program. In addition, all students must complete 10 credits in a minor concentration area.
Full-time students with a Master's Degree can expect at least three years of work. Students take their preliminary exam after completing their required course work (usually at the end of their second year). This exam includes questions on theory, research methodology, and the student's substantive areas. Upon completion of the prelim, the student must prepare a dissertation proposal. All students are required to complete a dissertation and defend it in a final oral examination.
Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program are expected to have completed a research-based Master's thesis. Those without a research-based thesis can be admitted to the Ph.D. program, but must complete a pre-doctoral research project prior to taking the doctoral prelim exam.
Within the PhD program, students may choose to focus on preparation for an applied career by tailoring their program to emphasize such areas as applied research, prevention science, family policy, program development and evaluation, community development, or public policy.