Family Studies, PhD
College of Education
The conceptual framework for the Ph.D. in Family Studies is based on the link between the principles of ecology and systems theory with the study of families. The current interdisciplinary perspective assumes that family dynamics can best be understood within the multiple contexts in which they occur. With the exception of a 12-hour doctoral core, students plan an individualized program with their Committee on Studies that focuses on the area of Family Studies and which may include courses in the graduate unit as well as from other units. To be eligible for the doctoral core courses (advanced seminars in theories, research and legal, ethical and policy issues in Family Studies and Internship), students will be expected to have had graduate courses (Family Studies Master’s Core courses) or their equivalents in human growth and development, family interaction, managing family resources, multicultural issues in working with families and children, introductory statistics and a course in research methods. In addition, students must have 24 credit hours in a secondary discipline and complete 15 hours to meet the inquiry skills requirement.
Students from academic backgrounds other than Family Studies are encouraged to apply. Students are expected to have a master’s degree or its equivalent in a related area. The GRE is required of all applicants and a combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative scales is generally required for admission. Additional requirements include a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study and a 3.3 graduate study GPA. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of relevant academic and work experience, evidence of interest in or experience with cultural pluralism as indicated in the letter of intent, demonstration of critical thinking and writing skills, and letters of recommendation from former professors and work supervisors with doctoral degrees (See Doctoral Admission Rating Form). All full-time faculty members independently review and rate each applicant based on the materials submitted. Following discussion of these ratings and resultant score by the faculty, two faculty members interview applicants with a mean score of 25 or higher. The interviewing faculty members present their recommendations regarding admission to the entire Family Studies faculty. A vote is taken and both the Family Studies Graduate Coordinator and he Office of Admissions communicate the resulting decision to the applicant.