School of Health and Human Sciences

Graduate Programs in Human Development and Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers the following graduate programs:

Programs of study are multidisciplinary, calling for a synthesis of knowledge across the social and behavioral sciences, and for an examination of the influence of socio-cultural context on individual development and family processes. Graduate coursework focuses on human development, family studies, socio-cultural context, and advanced methods and analyses for the study of human development and family studies.

Graduate students take courses that focus on the family, peer, early care, school, and cultural contexts that impact that social, emotional, and intellectual development of children and adults; local and national policies affecting children and families; the intersection of race, class and ethnicity with development and family processes; adolescent and adult development; and the psychobiological underpinnings of human development and family processes.

Students substantive interests are further supported with coursework in cutting-edge research methods and analyses for the study of development and family process as well as hands-on research training under the direction of a faculty mentor and advisory committee. Doctoral students have considerable flexibility in tailoring their coursework and research to specialized interests and career goals.

Core areas of faculty research include:

  1. Early Childhood Development, Care, and Education,
  2. Parent-child Relationships,
  3. Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood,
  4. Close Relationships, Marriage, and Divorce, and
  5. Human Development and Family Diversity in Socio-cultural Context.

Across these areas, faculty research projects range from micro-analytic analyses of peer, classroom, and parent-child interactions and experimental tests of children’s social and cognitive development, to community-engaged projects, focus groups, and in-home interviews with local populations of diverse families, to national surveys and the secondary analysis of child and family survey data.