Doctoral Programs in Family and Child Sciences

Both doctoral degree programs are research-focused, so students are provided with extensive training and experience in research methodology and statistics. The programs are based on the belief that theory serves as the foundation for research and that generating new knowledge through scholarly contributions to research is essential.

Basic Program Information

For students who have completed a master's degree from an accredited university, the Ph.D. in Human Sciences (major in Human Development and Family Science) requires a minimum of 48 credits, exclusive of the dissertation. Most full-time students pursing this degree complete the required coursework in 3 years, but must be finished within 5 years of enrollment. The Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy requires a minimum of 59 credits, including 21 hours of clinical preparation and exclusive of the dissertation credits.

Course loads usually range between 9 and 12 hours per semester. Students must be continuously enrolled for a minimum of 24 semester hours in any period of 12 consecutive months while pursuing the degree.

When the student has completed coursework, he or she then must complete a preliminary examination with an oral defense. Upon successful completion of the exam, the student enters into candidacy, where original research is undertaken, culminating in a dissertation and an oral defense. Although some students complete their dissertation within a year, others take longer. The period of candidacy is limited to 5 years.

We make every attempt to provide financial support to full-time enrolled students through Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Students typically provide 20 hours of service to the department through these assignments.