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Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies (PhD-HDFS)

Our primary aim with this degree is to develop in students who have already demonstrated a strong interest in family systems and/or in human development (evidenced by outstanding performance in related undergraduate and master's work at Auburn or elsewhere) a high degree of research competence. With these competencies, graduates may seek careers as primary contributors to the developing base of knowledge in the field of Human Development and Family Studies. Also essential for the successful doctoral student, we believe, is the ability to communicate that knowledge. Therefore, in addition to the core of course work that doctoral students complete, they also develop individualized competency plans, in consultation with their advisory committee, that take advantage of and build upon their prior experience in research, teaching, and public (or professional) service. The faculty believe that this competency-based approach to doctoral education results in the best prepared and most well-rounded student.

HDFS doctoral graduates have been very successful in the job market. Our graduates currently hold positions at a variety of universities including, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of New Hampshire, to name just a few. Additionally, our students have been placed in a variety of applied and research settings including, Cooperative Extension and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, DC.

Ph. D. Procedural Guide

Notification of Major Professor and Doctoral Advisory Committee (pdf)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Required Courses for Ph.D. Degree: PhD-HDFS
HDFS Core Requirements     16 credits
Research Methods/Statistics     12 credits
HDFS Advanced Special Topics     6 credits
HDFS and/or Other Supporting Courses/Electives     16 credits
Dissertation     10 credits
Minimum Total (Beyond the Bachelor's Degree)     60 credits

Course Titles and Associated Credits

HDFS Core Requirements (16 credits)

HDFS 6200
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods (3)1
HDFS 6300
HDFS and Social Policy (3)1

HDFS 7010
Child and Adolescent Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7020
Adult Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7040
Family Process (3)
HDFS 7930
Seminar in HDFS (1)

HDFS 8010
Relationship Development and Processes in Childhood and Adolescence (3)2
HDFS 8020
Relationship Development and Processes in Adulthood (3)2

1 Students must take one class from the pair that shares the superscript. The other may be taken as an elective.
2 Students must take one class from the pair that shares the superscript. The other may be taken as an elective.

Research Methods/Statistics (12 credits required)

HDFS 7050
Research Methods for HDFS I (3)
HDFS 7060
Research Methods for HDFS II (3)
HDFS 8050
Advanced Research Methods I (3)
HDFS 8060
Applied Longitudinal Methods (3)
HDFS 8070
Advanced Research Methods II (1-3)

HDFS Advanced Special Topics (6 credits)

HDFS 6970, 7970, 8970
Advanced Special Topics (1-4)
HDFS Electives and/or Other Supporting Courses (16 credits)

HDFS 6960
Special Topics (1-3). May be repeated for maximum of 9 credits.
HDFS 8970
Advanced Special Topics (1-3)

Elective hours may come from non-core HDFS courses and special topics, from independent reading and research, from practicum and field placements, or from courses identified across campus. Students’ major professors and advisory committees are instrumental in selecting elective/other emphasis courses.

Students in the HDFS option (non-MFT) may also take any MFT content classes as HDFS electives (i.e., MFT Theory I & II; Clinical Issues I, II, & III; and Professional Issues) but they are not eligible to take the MFT practicum or internship.

If a student's master's program (from another university) included courses similar to some of the courses required in the HDFS Ph.D. program, the student may submit materials (e.g., syllabi, texts, exams, term papers) to the faculty member who teaches the similar HDFS course for a determination of course content equivalency.

Dissertation (10 credits)

HDFS 8990
Research and Dissertation (minimum of 10 credits)