Human Development and Family Studies (Ph.D.)
The Human Development and Family Studies graduate program is designed to educate students about research, theory, and methodology related to the study of individuals and families across diverse populations and diverse settings. There is a strong interest in the ways in which social institutions and settings such as day care facilities, schools, neighborhoods, and social policy institutions facilitate (or inhibit) opportunities for development and change for individuals and families. Understanding the characteristics and conditions that place individuals or families at risk for developing problems, designing effective prevention programs to address those risks, and mounting rigorous evaluations of such programs is a growing emphasis in the program.
All students, regardless of substantive area, are encouraged to develop strong skills in research methods, a hallmark of our graduate training. Through course work and apprenticeship experiences, students develop an understanding of the program's multidisciplinary life span/life course, and applied orientation. As students progress through the program, they are expected to develop specialized expertise in two or more of the department's areas of concentration: individual development, family studies, intervention research, and research methods.