Application Information

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. Before you continue with the electronic application for admission, we wish to ensure that you are familiar with the minimum requirements for admission to graduate degree study in Human Development and Family Studies. Qualified applicants for graduate study in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies are expected to have interests and goals that are consistent with the department's expertise and course offerings.

Application Procedures

  • Applications for Fall 2022 admissions are due January 4th.
  • Applications are accepted for fall admission only.
  • Applications need to be completed online through the
    Purdue Graduate School. The application fee must be paid with a credit card.

Supporting Documents

The following documents are required to support your application:

  • Transcripts 
    Human Development and Family Studies will accept unofficial transcripts and/or academic documents uploaded through the online application system for review purposes. You will need to provide official transcripts and/or academic records at the request of Human Development and Family Studies or if you are recommended for admission. For more information on submitting transcripts, visit
  • GRE Test
    The GRE is required* as a part of the application to the doctoral program in HDFS. The GRE test needs to be taken within the last five years. For information and test dates, visit
    Purdue University's code for the GRE application is 1631.
    *Note: The GRE requirement has been waived for applications submitted during the 2021-2022 academic year. It is not necessary to submit the GRE with your application. 
  • English Proficiency
    Non-Native English speakers must demonstrate English language proficiency. TOEFL and TWE scores (or their alternatives) must be reported directly by ETS. English proficiency test scores must be no more than two years old at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School. We typically suggest that scores be valid until at least after February 15th. The minimum scores are listed below.
    • TOEFL for Non-Native English Speakers: 
      Minimum Paper-Based Test (PBT) Score Required: 600
      Minimum Internet-Based Test (IBT) Overall Score Required: 100
      With the following minimum section requirements:
      Reading: 22
      Listening: 22
      Speaking: 22
      Writing: 22
    • TOEFL Essentials
      Minimum Overall Score: 10.5
      Minimum Section Requirements:
      Reading: 10.0
      Listening: 10.0
      Speaking: 12.0
      Writing: 10.0
    • TWE for Non-Native English Speakers:
      Minimum score of 4.0                   
    • IELTS (Academic Module):
      An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 6.5 or higher will be accepted
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic Module):
      An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 58 or higher will be accepted
    For more information on the English proficiency requirements, visit
  • Recommendation Letters

    Three (3) letters of recommendation are required.

    When you create an online application to the Purdue Graduate School, you will have the opportunity to enter the names of your recommendation providers along with the preferred method of submission for the recommendation. If you elect to have the recommendation submitted online, your recommendation provider will receive an automatic email notification with instructions for accessing our online recommendation system. Once the online recommendation is submitted, the graduate program to which you applied will have access to view your online recommendation.

    For recommenders wishing to complete a paper recommendation, please send the following recommendation form (PDF). The paper recommendation should be sent directly by the recommender to the department's Graduate Studies Office (see below).

  • Statement of Purpose 

    Unless otherwise noted within the Graduate Program Requirements Web page, each degree-seeking applicant is expected to complete a Statement of Purpose. For more information regarding the Statement of Purpose, visit

  • Diversity Statement

    Please complete a diversity essay that should be 500 words or less responding to the following statement:

    Describe your leadership, work experience, service experience, or other significant involvement with racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or educational communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education, and how these experiences would promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence.

If extenuating technological circumstances prevent your use of the electronic application process, you may submit all documents except the GRE and English proficiency scores and recommendation letters in one large envelope addressed to:

HDFS Graduate Program Admissions
Hanley Hall, Rm. 238
Purdue University
1202 W. State St. 
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2055

Contact Information

Graduate Program Secretary
HDFS Graduate Studies Office
Phone:  (765) 496-3816
Fax:  (765) 496-1144

Web Sites of Interest

Students admitted to the graduate program are required to have completed an undergraduate or graduate statistics course and research methods course or the equivalent. Applicants who do not meet this prerequisite but who are otherwise qualified for admission are required to complete remediation courses during their first year of study. The remedial course(s) may count toward degree requirement. International students participate in a telephone interview.

Current master's students wishing to move to a doctoral degree program in this same graduate program will not be required to submit a new application.

Doctoral Degree Program Basic Requirements

Students who enter our doctoral program with a master's degree from another university must submit evidence of having completed an empirical thesis. Students with a B.A. or B.S. degree and students who did not complete an empirical thesis as part of their master’s thesis degree program must complete an independent research project during the first two years.

  • Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average: 
    3.0 or equivalent required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): 
    Official scores required**
    **Waived for applications during the 2021-2022 academic year.

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