Family Studies and Human Development Graduate Program
Susan Silverberg Koerner, Ph.D.
Fitch Nesbitt Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Melissa A. Barnett, Ph.D.
Norton Assistant Professor in Fathers, Parenting and Families
In Spring 2013 (Jan-May), Dr. Koerner will be on sabbatical. During that time, please contact Dr. Melissa Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org
The graduate program offers a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree with an emphasis in Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD). For specific program requirements and information, please see the FSHD Graduate Program Handbook. You can also download our Checklist for Ph.D. Plan of Study.
We admit graduate students whose goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development, which typically takes at least five years of full-time study to complete. We do not provide training in counseling or clinical skills.
The FSHD graduate program curriculum is designed to provide broad exposure to developmental and interpersonal and family theories, to develop research skills and expertise, and to build in-depth knowledge in a content area chosen by the student.
Ph.D. Program in FSHD
Students interested in research, consulting, and/or teaching at the college level may pursue a doctoral degree with a concentration in family studies and human development. The program typically takes five years and combines advanced study in human development with family and interpersonal theories, research, and special topics.
Courses required for the Ph.D. include Analysis of Family Studies, Theories of Human Development, Foundations of Family and Interpersonal Theory, Application of Family and Interpersonal Theory, Research Methods, Statistics, and special topics seminars chosen based on student interests. Doctoral students also complete coursework in a chosen minor area.
Recent program graduates have taken positions as research scientists and professors in the fields of human development and family studies, family health, adolescent sexuality, criminal justice, psychology and anthropology.
MS/Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development
After completing required coursework and a Master's thesis, a MS degree is earned. Additional requirements for the Ph.D. include a pre-candidacy meeting, minor and major coursework, comprehensive exams and a dissertation. We do not offer a stand-alone masters in the counseling or clinical areas.
Benefits of FSHD Ph.D. Program Include:
the chance to work with professors with well-established research and teaching reputations and successful grant histories
a regular colloquium series featuring leading researchers in the field
grants to support thesis and dissertation research
a strong record of supporting students on assistantships
opportunities for co-authorship of research publications and presentations
an excellent career placement record
financial support to attend national conferences and conduct research
- leadership opportunities through student roundtables and participation in faculty meetings and committees
Faculty Mentoring and Research Opportunities
The doctoral program follows an apprenticeship model in which students work closely with a faculty mentor. Faculty and Students conduct research generally in the core research areas of Family relationships; Health and well-being ; Adolescent development and transition to adulthood ; Social and emotional development; Romantic and sexual relationships; and Applied research.
Supported by the Frances McClelland Institute, FSHD faculty and graduate students are actively involved in four research initiatives: Fathers, Parenting, and Families; Health, Emotions, and Relationships; Adolescent Health and Development, and Early Childhood: Typical and Atypical Development.
We do NOT provide training or coursework in counseling, therapy or diagnosis of clinical disorders. Our Master's and doctoral programs do not lead to licensure as a mental health professional. Prospective students who are interested in careers in mental health services should seek information elsewhere, including the American Psychological Association (www.apa.org), the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (www.aamft.org) and National Association of Social Workers (naswvt.org).