The Doctor of Philosophy Degree (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 development and implementation, or program development and implementation and outreach. Doctoral students take core courses in Child, Youth and Family Studies, research design and statistics, ethics, teaching methods, advanced research seminars, and supporting disciplines.

Each Doctoral student plans a program of study with the mentorship of a major advisor to include a breadth of content spanning the discipline, as well as focused content in which the student will develop expertise. Examples of focus areas include: (1) child development/early childhood education, (2) family science, (3) life span development, (4) marriage and family therapy/medical family therapy, and (5) youth development. Students select a supporting area, such as psychology, sociology, educational psychology, statistics and methodology, education, or leadership to complement their primary focus.

Ph. D. in Human Sciences with Specialization in Child, Youth and Family Studies

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Human Sciences with a specialization in Child, Youth and Family Studies prepares scholars in both basic and applied aspects of Child, Youth and Family Studies. The focus is to prepare scholars for professional roles in teaching, research, policy development or analysis, and outreach.

The specialization in Child, Youth and Family Studies prepares students to:

  1. Conduct independent scholarly work in research, teaching, policy, and outreach
  2. Critique and interpret scholarly work of others and apply those findings to their own work
  3. Approach understanding the development of individuals and family relationships from an ecological systems perspective
  4. Maintain a current knowledge base of issues affecting children, families, schools, and communities
  5. Gain depth and breadth of knowledge in the discipline
  6. Understand and maintain professional ethics in their practices
  7. Mentor students in various educational and professional settings
  8. Develop a global perspective on development and relationships

The specialization in Child, Youth and Family Studies consists of two tracks: (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 a M.S. degree. The Medical Family Therapy specialization only has a Track 2 option.