Human Development and Family Sciences

The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) offers two graduate degrees: Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.A. degree is a coursework-based degree (Plan B) or a research-based degree (Plan A) depending on student’s goals. Master-level students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. should follow the research-based degree Plan of Study. The M.A. degree prepares students to work in non-profit organizations, foundations, state, local, or federal government, hospitals, and private corporations. The Ph.D. prepares students for research and teaching careers in human development, family sciences, and related fields such as psychology, education, sociology, anthropology, and social work or in leadership positions with non-profit organizations, private foundations, and local, state, or federal government agencies. The M.A. and Ph.D. degrees offer students the opportunity to focus on one of the following areas: Couple Relationships, Gerontology, Parenthood and Parent-Child Relationships, Health and Well Being, Prevention and Early Intervention.

Master of Arts Requirements

Satisfactory completion of at least 30 credits maintaining a “B” average throughout the course of study.

Master of Arts Required Courses: HDFS 5001, 5003, 5215, 5310, 5005; EPSY 5605; one human development course HDFS 5101, 5102, or 5103; or one course in adulthood or aging HDFS 5240, 5242, or 5248. In addition, all M.A. students must organize a practicum experience in collaboration with a research project or service agency and their Major Advisor or an appropriate other faculty member; enroll in HDFS 5030 or 5088, and complete additional HDFS courses in their areas of specialization. Courses for areas of specialization can be fulfilled with HDFS courses or any related discipline area approved by the advisory committee. All students must pass a final oral examination for both Plan A and Plan B.

Doctor of Philosophy Required Core Courses: Students are required to satisfactorily complete 19 total credits of HDFS 5001, 5215, 5310, 5311, 5340; one course in child or adolescent development HDFS 5101, 5102, or 5103; one course in adulthood or aging HDFS 5240, 5242, or 5248.

Methodology Courses: 12-15 credits selected from HDFS 5003, 5004, 5005; EPSY 5605, 5607, or appropriate advanced research courses with focus on quantitative or qualitative methods (with approval of advisory committee).

Area of Specialization or Thematic Courses: 21-24 credits can be fulfilled with HDFS courses or any related discipline area approved by advisory committee. This requirement can include practicum Experiences and/or Apprenticeships listed below; and 15 Graduate Dissertation credits (GRAD 6950).

Practicum Experiences/Apprenticeships: Credits determined by advisory committee; approximately three to six credits. This requirement includes some combination of teaching, applied research/policy, service/outreach, and basic research apprenticeships as appropriate for the student’s plan of study HDFS 5010, 5030, 5088, 5099.

Comprehensive Examination. Ph.D. Students are required to complete a Comprehensive Examination, which consists of a comprehensive, critical review of the literature in a substantive area of the student’s scholarly area of interest.

The Ph.D. does not have a related area or foreign language requirement.

The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.