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     19 credits
Research Methods/Statistics     12 credits
HDFS and/or Other Supporting Courses/Electives     25 credits
Dissertation     10 credits
Minimum Total (Beyond the Bachelor's Degree)     66 credits

Course Titles and Associated Credits

HDFS Core Requirements (19 credits)

HDFS 6200
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods (3)1
HDFS 6300
HDFS and Social Policy (3)1
HDFS 6400
Program Design for Communities, Schools, and Families (3)1

HDFS 6930
Society and Health (3)
HDFS 7010
Child and Adolescent Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7020
Adult Development in Context (3)
HDFS 7040
Family Processes (3)
HDFS 7930
Seminar in HDFS (1)

HDFS 8010
Relationship Development and Process in Childhood and Adolescence (3)2
HDFS 8020
Relationship Development and Process 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)

HDFS 7050
Research Methods for HDFS I (3)
HDFS 7060
Research Methods for HDFS II (3)
HDFS 8050
Covariance Structure Analysis (3)
HDFS 8060
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)

HDFS 8990
Research and Dissertation (minimum of 10 credits)