The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a premier department, ranking among the leading programs in the United States. Graduate degrees have a central focus on children, youth and families. The Ph.D. in Human Sciences, with specializations in Child, Youth and Family Studies or Medical Family Therapy¹, is a strong research-oriented program designed to prepare professionals for careers in research, University-level teaching, leadership roles in policy or program development and implementation.

There are two tracks possible—a comprehensive Ph.D. (Track ¹ or a Ph.D. following a Masters Degree (Track 2). The comprehensive Ph.D. is for students who wish to move toward a doctorate when they finish their baccalaureate degree. Those students who have already completed their Masters degree are eligible for Track 2. The Master’s degree with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies has three possible tracks Child Development/Early Childhood Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and Family Science. In addition, there are four areas of specialization available: Marriage and Family Therapy, Family Financial Planning, Youth Development, and Family and Consumer Sciences Education. The latter three are inter-institutional programs offered via distance education and are representative of new forms of cutting-edge graduate education.

The Department is housed on three campuses ─ City Campus and East Campus (both at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and the Omaha Campus (University of Nebraska-Omaha). The Lincoln campuses are located approximately one mile apart with continuous shuttle services between the two campuses. Faculty and graduate students are housed in Mabel Lee Hall on City Campus, the Human Sciences Building on East Campus, the Family Resource Center on East Campus, the Ruth Staples Child Development Lab, and the Arts and Sciences Hall on the UNO Campus. In addition to these three campuses, Medical Family Therapy students take classes on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus.

The Department is home to three facilities that enhance the research, training and clinical skills of the students. The Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory and Angeline Anderson Children‘s Garden was one of the first child development laboratory schools in the United States. The Family Resource Center is a nonprofit facility that provides marriage and family therapy on-site and at a distance. The Child Development Research Laboratory (CDRL) was established in 1993 for the study of social development of infants and young children and features a closed-circuit audio/video recording system.

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies includes 20 research-active faculty and approximately 165 resident and distance education graduate students. In addition to being recognized nationally and internationally for their research, the faculty maintain a deep sense of commitment to faculty-student interaction and to mentoring graduate students in their professional development. Our faculty has a proud and extensive track record in terms of grant funding, publications, and placing of graduate students in exciting positions in research, public policy and human services venues.

We encourage you to visit! We‘d be happy to schedule a meeting with the faculty you might like to meet or with other graduate students. If you have questions or would like to arrange a visit, contact us at or by phone at (402) 472-7787.Thank you for considering a Ph.D. program in Child, Youth and Family Studies.

1 A third specialization in Gerontology (link to UNO site) is possible in conjunction with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Department of Gerontology. Students seeking this specialization should apply to Child, Youth and Family Studies but will work with faculty at UNO to complete the degree requirements.