Doctor of Philosophy in HDFS
Our primary aim with this degree is to develop in students who have already demonstrated a strong interest in family systems and/or in human development (evidenced by outstanding performance in related undergraduate and master's work at Auburn or elsewhere) a high degree of research competence. With these competencies, graduates may seek careers as primary contributors to the developing base of knowledge in the field of Human Development and Family Science . Also essential for the successful doctoral student, we believe, is the ability to communicate that knowledge. Therefore, in addition to the core of course work that doctoral students complete, they also develop individualized competency plans, in consultation with their advisory committee, that take advantage of and build upon their prior experience in research, teaching, and public (or professional) service. The faculty believe that this competency-based approach to doctoral education results in the best prepared and most well-rounded student.
HDFS doctoral graduates have been very successful in the job market. Our graduates currently hold positions at a variety of universities including, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of New Hampshire, to name just a few. Additionally, our students have been placed in a variety of applied and research settings including, Cooperative Extension and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, DC.
Ph. D. Procedural Guide
Required Courses for Ph.D. Degree: PhD-HDFS
|HDFS Core Requirements
|HDFS and/or Other Supporting Courses/Electives
|Minimum Total (Beyond the Bachelor's Degree)
Course Titles and Associated Credits
HDFS Core Requirements (19 credits)
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods (3)1
HDFS and Social Policy (3)1
Program Design (3)1
Society and Health (3)
Child and Adolescent Development in Context (3)
Adult Development in Context (3)
Family Process (3)
Seminar in HDFS (1)
Relationship Development and Processes in Childhood and Adolescence (3)2
Relationship Development and Processes in Adulthood (3)2
1 Students must take one course from the set that shares the superscript. The others may be taken as an elective.
2 Students must take one course from the pair that shares the superscript. The other may be taken as an elective.
Research Methods/Statistics (12 credits required)
Research Methods for HDFS I (3)
Research Methods for HDFS II (3)
Covariance Structure Analysis (3)
Multilevel Modeling (3)
HDFS Electives and/or Other Supporting Courses (25 credits)
Elective hours may come from non-core HDFS courses and special topics, from independent reading and research, from practicum and field placements, or from courses identified across campus. Students’ major professors and advisory committees are instrumental in selecting elective courses.
Students in the HDFS option (non-MFT) may also take any MFT content classes as HDFS electives (i.e., MFT Theory I & II; Clinical Issues I, II, & III; and Professional Issues) but they are not eligible to take the MFT practicum or internship.
If a student's master's program (from another university) included courses similar to some of the courses required in the HDFS Ph.D. program, the student may submit materials (e.g., syllabus, paper) to the faculty member who teaches the similar HDFS course for a determination of course content equivalency.
Dissertation (10 credits)
Research and Dissertation (minimum of 10 credits)