Graduate Programs

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science Degree with options in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), as well as the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Human Development and Family Studies. The Department provides an integrated program of study of individual and family relationships over the lifespan.

The major focus of faculty and graduate students in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies is the study of interpersonal competence and relationship dynamics in the context of the family. We approach interpersonal competence issues by examining both functional and dysfunctional aspects of relationships.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers two degree curricula:

1) Master of Science (M.S.)
There are two M.S. options, both require a thesis:

Human Development and Family Studies -- A flexible program that emphasizes knowledge of the dynamics of human development and family interaction that prepares students for careers in applied family services in industrial, educational, or governmental settings.

Marriage and Family Therapy -- A clinical training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. Students learn about developmental processes in the family and receive extensive training and supervision in evidence-based interventions for individuals, relationships and families.

2) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

A comprehensive program with special emphasis in five domains of interpersonal competence across the lifespan: (a) relationships in adulthood, (b) relationships in childhood and adolescence, (c) social, cognitive and emotional health, (d) biological and psychophysiological foundations for healthy development, and (e) intervention and prevention research and application. Students develop strong research and teaching competence so they may seek careers in academic settings or as leaders in the application of research to enhance quality of life.