Human Development & Family Science (HDFS) Graduate Programs

M.S. in Human Development & Family Science

The Department of Human Development & Family Science (HDFS) offers a Master’s in Human Development & Family Science.  The degree advances students for careers in higher education, government agencies, and businesses in the private sector.

Many students continue their education into a doctoral program. Others pursue careers in postsecondary education, public policy, and other organizations providing services to children and families.

Our faculty specialize in several areas and work collaboratively with those in other disciplines. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are available; however, all students are admitted to the non-thesis track. After the first semester of study, you can request to switch to the thesis track. Students must be in good academic standing and consult with their major professor for final approval. The non-thesis student is required to complete a 3 credit hour capstone (a special project experience) in their last semester.

The M.S. degree can be accomplished in as little as 4 semesters.

M.S./Ph.D. Option

Students can enroll in the Ph.D. program in Health and Human Sciences with a concentration in Human Development and Family Science directly following the completion of a bachelor’s degree. In this degree program students earn a M.S. in Human Development and Family Science as they progress toward a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a concentration in Human Development and Family Science.

The master’s portion of this degree program requires 30 semester hours (including a special research project). The doctoral portion requires a minimum of 60 hours (including dissertation).

The total number of minimum credit hours for the M.S./Ph.D. is 90.

Ph.D. in Human Sciences (major in Human Development & Family Science)

In the Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) Ph.D. program, we train students to become the next generation of scholars, university faculty, and researchers. Our graduates have successfully obtained positions of their choice in some of the nation’s leading academic institutions.

The HDFS curriculum addresses relational and family process in contemporary families, such as cohabiting couples, families of divorce and remarriage, military families, and foster families. Faculty are noted for their study of children’s friendships, couple dynamics, intimate partner violence, parenting practices, racial socialization, among other topics