Human Development and Family Studies (Ph.D.)
The department offers work for the Master of Science (thesis or non-thesis options) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with the major in Human Development and Family Studies. Minors are also available for students taking major work in other departments. Graduates of M.S. and Ph.D. programs in the department will understand and apply relevant theories to educational, research, and/or intervention or prevention programs. It is intended that they will produce and disseminate research results and provide leadership in human development and family studies professions.
Graduate study in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University is multidisciplinary and focuses on research and practice in several content areas such as adolescent/youth development, adult development and aging, family studies and policy, family economic well-being and financial planning, infant and child development, health and well-being, and lifespan development.
Prerequisite to work in the major is the completion of a related undergraduate program with basic courses and/or experiences in areas such as child/human development, community and regional planning, economics, education, family studies, psychology, or sociology. Additional coursework or prerequisites (e.g., basic statistics) may be required depending on the undergraduate program and program of study. Students may be admitted to our doctoral program with either a bachelor's (M.S./Ph.D. Track, 5 years) or a master's degree (Ph.D. Track only, 3 years).
Students admitted to the Ph.D. Track without a prior master's degree complete requirements for a thesis-based master's degree as part of their doctoral program of study. All students take a core set of courses; the program of study is then completed with a selection of courses that meet the individual needs of the student. The variety of and flexibility in the coursework allows a student to tailor a program to specific academic interests. The graduate programs are based on a theory, research, and application interactive paradigm with all three areas integrated into content and method courses.