FAQs for Prospective Graduate Students
What is the advisor/advisee ratio?
- A hallmark of HDFS graduate programs involves individual attention
- Graduate students work one-on-one with their advisors
- Advisors typically have from 1-5 graduate students
- Incoming students benefit from working with one another and with more senior graduate students
- Graduate students work with a variety of HDFS faculty through independent study credits
What is the average number of years for a graduate student to earn a PhD in HDFS?
- Graduate students who enter with a master's degree typically take 4 years to earn a PhD.
- Graduate students who enter with a bachelor's degree typically take 5 years to earn a PhD.
What are the criteria for admissions to HDFS graduate programs?
An applicant must have:
- A good academic record
- Strong letters of recommendation from faculty members
- Demonstrated ability to pursue graduate research training
- Results of the Graduate Record Examination Verbal and Quantitative tests
- Research interests consistent with faculty expertise in HDFS
Students for whom English is a Second Language also must:
- Submit official results of TOEFL iBT: Minimum test scores are required on each section: reading, 19; listening, 14; speaking, 18; and writing, 18; as well as a minimum total of 90 is required.
- Participate in a telephone interview
What types of funding opportunities are available/do graduate students typically receive?
Graduate students typically receive funding that covers their tuition and fees and also pays a stipend or monthly salary. Funding is usually awarded in the form of assistantships. HDFS has a wide range of assistantships, including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and special opportunity assistantships to work in the children's program, Center for Families, or the college diversity office.
Fellowships may be available to eligible students. Graduate students who work at least 20 hours a week are also eligible for health insurance.
Which professional associations do faculty and graduate students belong to and participate in?
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- American Sociological Association (ASA)
- Association for Psychological Science (APS)
- Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
- International Association for Relationship Research (IARR)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
- Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA)
- Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD)
- Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD)
What can incoming students expect in the first year?
First-year graduate students usually take 9 credit hours (2 graduate classes, research credits, and weekly research seminar), including those that have fellowships/assistantships (20 hrs/week).
In addition, HDFS provides:
- A temporary advisor to guide you through decisions and courses the first year
- A graduate student mentor to provide peer support
- The ability to select a permanent advisor from the HDFS faculty
- Seminars in theory of individual development and family development
- World class training in statistical and research methodologies
- Opportunities to commence a research project of your own
- Research seminars and lectures across Purdue's campus
- MFT students also experience training specialized to their degree in Marriage and Family Therapy
What activities are available for graduate students outside of school?
Opportunities to interact with other graduate students in other HDFS program areas (HDFS Graduate Student Association) including multiple social events. Purdue also offers over 350 campus student organizations.