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Graduate Programs at HDFS

Selected in 2002 and again in 2006 as the Most Outstanding Graduate Department on campus, we have a nationally recognized faculty whose research productivity was recently ranked in the top 5% of the 235 family studies programs across the country. Our department houses former editors of the Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Family Relations, three of the premier peer-reviewed, academic journals in our field, as well as past presidents of the National Council of Family Relations and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Most faculty members serve as associate editors or editorial board members of academic journals and on the governing boards of national professional organizations.

students at desks in classroom

We have a well-established mentoring program, which begins as soon as the student is accepted into the program. We actively prepare our students to become successful academic scholars both in terms of research and teaching. The range of careers that we prepare our students for is virtually unparalleled.

Since 2000, our program has provided more faculty to Doctoral/Research Extensive University family studies departments than any other program in the United States. We also prepare PhDs for positions in more applied careers in administration, program evaluation and development. Our alumni have positions with universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, and Korea.

We have developed an outstanding reputation as a place to study family diversity and multiculturalism across the life course. Because we define family diversity and multiculturalism broadly, our focus is on the multitude of ways that individuals and families may differ, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, family structure, nationality, geographic location, and sexual orientation.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers Master of Arts (applied emphasis) and Master of Science (research emphasis) degrees, and a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences, with an emphasis area in Human Development and Family Studies. The MA and MS degrees prepare students for positions in junior college or college teaching, and leadership in both public and private institutions. In fact, our Child Life students have a 96% pass rate on the Child Life certification exam. The MS degree also provides training toward the PhD degree, which can lead to careers in research, college or university teaching, or to leadership positions in public and private institutions.

Students entering the program will be advised as to whether or not the faculty feels their backgrounds are sufficient to begin graduate coursework in each area (i.e., human development, child development, or family studies). Students whose backgrounds are judged to be deficient (usually students with undergraduate training in other fields) will be required to complete one or more undergraduate courses. Undergraduate courses do not count towards the completion of master's hours. Master's students may write a thesis (HDFS 8090), complete a project (HDFS 8090), or do field training (HDFS 8972) for six credit hours.

The Master of Science degree requires the student's committee to include a graduate faculty member from outside the department who must be approved by the Graduate School. The Master of Arts degree does not require the student's committee to include a member from outside the department. More detailed information is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Most master's students are funded with a departmental assistantship of 10 to 20 hours per week, receive a monthly stipend, tuition waiver, discount at the bookstore and a stipend towards health insurance.

HDFS Offers the Following Graduate Degrees:

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