Global Family Health and Wellbeing

Global Family Health and WellbeingDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Global Scope, Local Impact

Through coursework, mentorship, research, and applied experiences, students will develop
  • Expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Broad foundational knowledge related to human development and family science
  • Content expertise in their areas of interest
  • Knowledge and skills to translate research to practice


Our program’s distinct advantages are the flexibility to develop a guided program of study tailored to students’ career goals. Examples include:

  • Training in advanced methods and statistics
  • International engagement
  • Extension, outreach, and translational research
  • Community-engaged & participatory research
  • Opportunities for refereed publications and national/international presentations
  • Opportunities for independent instruction

Application to this program

Deadline: December 1

Required materials:

1. Graduate Studies Application
2. Unofficial Transcripts
3. Resume
4. Statement of Professional Goals
In your Statement of Professional Goals, address the following: 
-What personal and/or professional experiences have led you to want to pursue a degree in Global Family Health and Wellbeing?
-What are your professional goals and how will this degree help you achieve those? 
-Identify potential mentor(s).

5. Sample of Writing
6. Three Letters of Reference
Ensure that at least one reference letter is academic (e.g., instructor, advisor) and any non-academic letters are professional (e.g., relevant employer)
Other Application Materials


Degree Requirements

Program Requirements


Coursework Related to Specialization

Students are not required to take the courses listed in this section; they are suggestions. Courses taken outside of CYAF related to the specialization may also meet this requirement with approval from the Supervisory Committee.

CYAF 811: Family Immigration and Migration

CYAF 813: Global Case Studies in Refugee Health & Wellbeing

CYAF 815: Family Violence in the Global Context

CYAF 833: Nonprofits in a Global Society

CYAF 849: Resilience in Families (GPIDEA/FAM Programs)

CYAF 882: Understanding Families from a Global Context

CYAF 895: Special Topics in Family & Cultural Diversity

CYAF 882A: Study Abroad in CYAF


Departmental Coursework Required of All Students

CYAF 901: Professional Development Seminar (2 credits each semester for first two semesters in program)

CYAF 920: Teaching Practicum (3 credits)

CYAF 972: Theories of Human Development and Family (3 credits)


Research Methodology*

CYAF 865: Research Design and Methods

PSYC 941 or EDPS 941: Fundamentals of Research Design and Analysis I or Intermediate Statistics: Experimental Methods

PSYC 942 or EDPS 942: Fundamentals of Research Design and Analysis II or Intermediate Statistics: Correlational Methods

CYAF 982: International Research Methods for Advanced Global Scholars

XXXX: TWO additional courses selected by student and advisor(s)


Doctoral Dissertation


Additional Credits Approved by Supervisory Committee

Examples include: MFT certificate coursework, **Doctoral Seminar (CYAF 995), independent study, etc... as approved by Supervisory Committee.


                                                            TOTAL CREDITS


*An 18-cr. hour Mixed Method Certificate may be obtained via the QQPM program, but requires EDPS course selection.
**Doctoral Seminar (CYAF 995): Students may take up to 9 credit hours of doctoral seminar (enrolling for 1-6 credits within any single semester.

Students must complete a minimum of 90 graduate credits, which includes a master’s degree. The master’s degree may be completed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or at another regionally accredited university. We will strongly encourage students to apply at the post-bachelor’s level. Up to 30 graduate coursework credits (excluding thesis credits) from the master’s degree may count toward the credits needed for the doctoral degree with the approval of the Supervisory Committee. A minimum of 45 graduate credits must be taken at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after filing the Program of Studies.

Students graduating from a master’s degree program that does not require a thesis must demonstrate research competency prior to completing the doctoral comprehensive examination. Criteria for demonstrating research competency will be determined by the student’s Supervisory Committee. Research competency must be documented in the student’s Doctoral Portfolio (see below). 

Global Family Health & Well-Being Handbook

Doctoral Portfolio

Students in the GFHW doctoral program complete a Doctoral Portfolio in partial fulfillment of their requirements for a Comprehensive Examination.

Component pieces of the Doctoral Portfolio include the following:

1.  Demonstration of professional level performance in teaching to be accomplished through one of the following:

1a. Full responsibility for at least one course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Required documentation shall include:

  • Course syllabus
  • Student evaluations
  • Evaluation of faculty supervisor that includes a live observation of teaching

1b. Extension/outreach options include:  translating research (e.g., developing NebGuide), direct teaching, program evaluation, and development of program.  Required documentation shall include:

  • Description of the program, course, or program evaluation including syllabus and/or outline if available; or inclusion of the NebGuide(s).
  • Description of how the NebGuide, course, program evaluation or program applies to your field of study.
  • Description of the intended audience for the NebGuide, program, evaluation or course.
  • Peer, supervisor or expert evaluation of the quality of the material and/or impact.

1c. For those on a clinical track, clinical supervision of a mental health professional trainee lasting at least 6 months.

Required documentation shall include:

  • Statement of philosophy and approach to supervision
  • Case example that illustrates your approach to supervision
  • Evaluation of your supervision by your supervisor
  • Evaluation of your supervision by your supervisee(s)

2.  Demonstration of global citizenry through international engagement in one or more of the following:

2a. Participation in a short- or long-term study abroad experience approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.

2b. Attendance at a professional conference related to family studies, marriage and family therapy, global mental health or other area related to global family health in a country other than the United States and Canada.

2c.  Other international experience approved by the Supervisory Committee.

3.  Demonstration of competency in disseminating information relevant to Global Family Health through both of the following: 

3a. Two presentations at meetings of professional/academic organizations. One of these presentations must be at national/international meetings. Poster presentations are acceptable. The student should demonstrate that their contribution to these products is significant and that they took a leadership role in their development and/or in the work that lead to their development. Please also list any other presentations and indicate the significance of these presentations to your scholarship.

Required documentation shall include:

  • One page listing all presentations that includes a brief statement of the content, the significance of each presentation to your scholarship and your contribution to each.
  • A copy of the abstract and materials submitted for the presentation to be considered.
  • A copy of the acceptance letters.
  • Copy of the listing of the presentation in the conference brochure and conference materials.
  • Copies of handouts and presentation materials.
  • Copies of participant evaluations.

3b.  A minimum of one article in a peer-reviewed journal (accepted or published). Must have been submitted for publication after matriculation as a doctoral student. The student should demonstrate that their contribution to these products is significant and that they took a leadership role in their development and/or in the work that lead to their development.

Required documentation shall include:

  • One page listing all publications and submitted manuscripts (indicate the status) that includes a brief statement of the significance of each article to your scholarship and your contribution to each.
  • The most recent version of the manuscript (in the case of a manuscript, not yet accepted, with positive reviews, it should be in a state of readiness for resubmission).
  • All correspondence with the journal, including editorial feedback.
  • Evidence that the journal is peer reviewed (if not apparent).

4.  Demonstration of professional citizenship through both of the following.

4a.   Maintain simultaneous membership in two professional organizations for at least one year prior to comprehensive exam (e.g., AAFCS, AAMFT, APA, CFHA, CFHC, IFTA, ISSBD, SRA, SRCD, STFM, NCFR). Students should discuss potential organizations with their supervisory committee to determine best fit.

Required documentation shall include:

  • List of memberships in professional organizations, including initiation dates.
  • Proof of membership.

4b. Satisfactory participation in CYAF 99: CYAF Doctoral Colloquium.

5.   Participation in leadership and/or professional activities. Document at least two of the following (other similar activities may also be approved in advance by the Supervisory Committee):

  • Reviewing proposals for presentations or publications.
  • Service on departmental, university or professional organization committees.
  • Membership on professional or service organization boards.
  • Volunteer work at state, multistate, or national conferences.
  • Election to office in state, multistate or national organizations.
  • Appointment or election for committee involvement in state, multistate or national organizations.
  • Moderation of a session at a professional meeting.
  • Significant involvement in the departmental or college graduate student organization.

Doctoral Dissertation

Students conceptualize, design, conduct, analyze and inteprete an original research project supervised by their major professor and a committee made up of other faculty members. This project will be of sufficient scope to demonstrate research competence as an independent investigator, and of sufficient relevance to demonstrate potential for impact as a researcher. This will result in a written product, known as a dissertation, that the student will defend before their supervisory committee. The research leading to the dissertation is normally conducted after the student has passed the Comprehensive Examination requirement.