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Degrees in Human Development and Social Policy

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Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy

The Human Development and Social Policy Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree, offered by the Family and Consumer Studies Department, involves intensive research on important polices and issues in the family, community and social life. The program takes a broad perspective on human development as interdependent with social policies that address human well-being in family, economic, and community contexts. Only a few students are admitted each year, so that students can benefit from close association with faculty.

Graduates Can Prepare for the Following Careers:

Policy development and analysis 
Non-governmental and governmental agencies
Planners, administrators, and evaluators of services
Advocates for families and communities
Academic careers

We Envision Three Types of People Benefitting From Our Program:

  1. Individuals with an undergraduate degree in FCS, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, or a  related social science area.
  2. Individuals with a related master's degree (such as Master of Public Policy (MPP,) economics, sociology) who  have interests in human development and social policy-related topics from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  3. Individuals with undergraduate or master’s degrees who are currently working in government and non-profit organizations on related policy issues who would like to pursue a PhD for further career development.

Ph.D. Course Work:

Click here to see the requirements.

Financial Aid:

Students can provide their own support, apply for scholarships, apply to work on faculty funded research grants, or apply to teaching or research assistant jobs that pay a yearly stipend and provide partial tuition in exchange for assistance with faculty research or teaching, or advanced students may be eligible to offer their own courses.

Contact Information

Graduate Director:  Jessie Fan
Phone:  801-581-4170
Email: Jessie.Fan@fcs.utah.edu

Masters Degree in Human Development and Social Policy

Those with a master's degree upon entry would focus on building more depth, breadth, and interdisciplinary research training that would add to their previous work in a traditional program. The interdisciplinary PhD training gained through HDSP prepares graduates for both academic and non­ academic professional positions in governmental (e.g., Census Bureau), private (e.g., marketing analysis firms), and non-profit settings (e.g., research centers).  Our program is customizable so that students can fulfill all required courses in late afternoon or evening.

The Human Development and Social Policy Master's Degree, offered by the Family and Consumer Studies Department, involves research and study on important polices and issues in the family, community and social life. The two-year master's program takes a broad perspective on human development as interdependent with social policies that address human well-being in family, economic, and community contexts. Only a few students are admitted each year, so that students can benefit from close association with faculty.

Areas of Specialty for Courses and Faculty Research Typically Span These Two Areas:

  • Human Development & Family Studies
  • Consumer & Community Studies

M.S. Course Work:

Click here to see the requirements.

Financial Aid:

Many of our students have teaching or research assistant jobs that pay a yearly stipend and provide partial tuition in exchange for assistance with faculty research or teaching.

Graduates Have Pursued the Following Careers:

  • Policy Development
  • Providers of services
  • Planners, administrators, and evaluators of services
  • Advocates for families and communities
  • Continuing education for a Ph.D. degree in a variety of programs

Contact Information

Graduate Director:  Jessie Fan
Phone:  801-581-4170
Email: Jessie.Fan@fcs.utah.edu
Last Updated: 10/23/18