Donald Bruce Ross III

Donald Bruce Ross III
Associate Professor & FFC Program Director

Professional Profile

Dr. Bruce Ross, Ph.D., AFC®, CFT-I™, serves as an Associate Professor in the Family Sciences Department for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. He also serves as the Program Director for the Family Financial Counseling (FFC) undergraduate major program. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and a Certified Financial Therapist-I™. Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University earning a double major in Psychology with Research and Philosophy. He continued his education path at the University of Maryland where he earned a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He went on to the University of Georgia to earn a PhD in Human Development and Family Science with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and a specialization in financial counseling and financial therapy practices.

Dr. Ross' professional and research interests primarily focus on personal and family financial well-being. Emphasis areas include analyzing relationship dynamics around money from three primary perspectives: a) inter- and intra-personal family dynamics associated with financial strain, b) financial counseling and therapy modalities and practices, and c) intergenerational patterns of family financial socialization processes. These interests are considered across a multitude of diverse populations and contextual issues. He interests center around the systemic practice of financial therapy to better serve families from a holistic perspective.

Dr. Ross served on the Executive Board for the Financial Therapy Association (FTA) as Treasurer in 2018, and then President in 2020. He also has served extensively on FTA Committees such as the Regulatory Committee, Certification Committee, Conference Committee as Chair, Co-Chair, and Review Chair, and the Business Development Committee as Chair. Dr. Ross also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Financial Therapy, as well as an ad hoc reviewer for Family Relations, Contemporary Family Therapy, Journal of Personal Finance, and Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning.

Personally, Dr. Ross grew up originally in Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area, and is very excited to be back in his home state. He enjoys the great outdoors and loves to hike, camp, sail, scuba-dive, ski, and woodworking. His go-to stress relief is cooking or playing with his dogs, Lulu and Ellie. He is thrilled to be here at the University of Kentucky!

Courses Taught

  • FAM 652: Readings in Family Theory and Research
  • FAM 475: Special Topics: Family Financial Counseling
  • FAM 690: Research Methods in Family Sciences
  • FFC 251: Introduction to Personal and Family Finance
  • FFC 351 Advanced Personal and Family Finance I
  • FFC 352 Advanced Personal and Family Finance II
  • FFC 403 Financial Counseling
  • FFC 496 Accredited Financial Counselor Review (Program Capstone)


Ph.D., Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Georgia, 2017
M.S., Couples and Family Therapy, University of Maryland, 2012
B.S., Psychology with Research and Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 2010