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Graduate Program

The 21st century is a period of rapid change as individuals live longer, families take different forms, work environments shift, and families with children struggle economically. The graduate program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies train students to address these issues.

The graduate program is designed to prepare research scientists. Students are admitted to the doctoral degree program. Students may, but are not required to, receive a master's degree in the process of completing doctoral requirements.

Research Areas Infancy & Childhood Adolescence Adulthood & Aging Early Childhood Education and Care Interpersonal Relations Culture & Diversity Health & Wellbeing Military Families


Scholars and graduate students in the department study important issues to improve people's lives, such as:

  • families coping with health problems
  • closing the large gap between poor and rich children when they enter school
  • programs to encourage literacy in preschool children
  • young adults' increasing dependency on their parents
  • the effects of work (including "extreme" work serving in the military) on families
  • cross cultural differences in family patterns
  • family influences on adolescents' and young adults' health risk behaviors
  • how "mellowing out" can prolong life