PhD Family Studies
The Human Development and Family Studies program is designed to meet the needs of students seeking advanced training that bridges basic and applied research in Human Development from a life course perspective. The program emphasizes research, teaching, and intervention studies that address and promote optimal human development across a variety of contexts. A hallmark of this program is its interdisciplinary nature, drawing faculty from the fields of psychology, sociology, history, education, and policy analysis among others. Broadly speaking, faculty provides strength across the developmental spectrum from early childhood to old age. Concern is with both the basic processes of normal life course development, including life course transitions, and with problematic or atypical development. This program does not prepare students to be clinical psychologists, school psychologists, or family life counselors.
This major has a number of special features, including:
- an emphasis on patterns of continuity and change in individuals and families across the life course
- integration of diverse but related theoretical and methodological models that focus on the social, economic, and cultural contexts of human development
- application of developmental research to social needs by promoting and evaluating individual, family and community interventions designed to promote and enhance human development from infancy through old age
- training in the design of longitudinal studies and analysis of panel data
- attention to the public policies that affect human development and the contexts within which that development takes place
Students develop an individual program of study and research in consultation with their Committee, which is chaired by a member of the Field of Human Development but can include faculty members from other fields. All students are required to complete at least two semester of graduate-level training in statistics and one semester of teaching. The field also requires that students complete a pre-doctoral research project or master's degree before taking the Admission to Candidacy (A) examination.