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Ph.D. Courses & Requirements

The Human Development and Social Policy Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) 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 3 types of people benefiting from our program

Individuals with an undergraduate degree in FCS, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science or a related social science area of study.

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.

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 Ph.D. for further career development.

 

Ph.D. Course Work

67 total credit hours include:

  • 20 credit hours from HDSP core and advanced classes from the FCS Department
  • 18 credit hours, 9 each from two specialization areas that include other departments, such as economics, sociology, political science, or psychology, or from particular cross-department themes, such as health or geospatial analyses
  • 9 credit hours from allied courses
  • 6 credit hours of advanced methods/statistics
  • 14 (or more) doctoral dissertation research credits
      PH.D. COURSE REQUIREMENT SHEET

Qualifying Examination or Alternative

Students develop a project to demonstrate competency in bridging disciplinary approaches to areas of interest in Human Development and Social Policy.  The student's supervisory committee evaluates this work to ensure that the student is adequately prepared to accomplish his or her dissertation research.  Given the interdisciplinary and policy-relevant nature of the program, the examination may include alternatives to a traditional examination, such as a program evaluation, evaluation proposal, white paper, academic paper, grant proposal, or other professionally-relevant product.

Dissertation Research

Students are encouraged to select publication goals and formats that will serve their careers, such as:

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Program evaluations that would be presented at governmental or nonprofit agencies
  • Research-based curriculum or training, including translational work to complement traditional research.

 

THE APPLICATION PROCESS NEEDS TO BE STARTED AND COMPLETED NO LATER THAN
FEBRUARY 1, 2022  FOR CONSIDERATION FOR ADMISSION TO FALL SEMESTER 2022

START THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Last Updated: 9/28/21