Doctoral Degree in Human Sciences

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Human Sciences has two Specializations in the Department.

  • Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Medical Family Therapy (currently inactive)
These specializations are research-oriented programs designed to prepare professionals for careers in research, university-level teaching, leadership roles in policy development and implementation, and program development and implementation and outreach. Doctoral students take core courses in Child, Youth and Family Studies, research design and statistics, ethics, teaching, and supporting disciplines. Doctoral students plan their program of study with the mentorship of their major advisor to include a breadth of content spanning the discipline, as well as focused content in which the student will develop expertise.

Within the doctoral Specialization of Child, Youth and Family Studies, students may focus their studies on any content area represented in the Department. Students are admitted into this Specialization in the areas of:

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Family Science

The Child, Youth and Family Studies Specialization may be approached in two ways: 1) Comprehensive Ph.D. program that combines a M.S. and Ph.D. in one program and 2) a Ph.D. for students entering with an appropriate M.S. degree. The Comprehensive Ph.D. option is not available for students applying to the doctoral Specialization in Medical Family Therapy. Admissions to the doctoral Specialization in Gerontology is handled through the Department of Gerontology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (