The family sciences doctoral (Ph.D.) program is a research-based curriculum that provides a strong foundation in theory, research methods, and statistics. We also provide all doctoral students with teaching opportunities. The curriculum is competency based, but minimal coursework requirements include 2 years of residency and 36 credit hours, comprised of 20 credit hours of foundational courses (if not taken in master’s program), 9 credit hours of research methods and theory, 9 credit hours of statistics, 5 credit hours of professional development, and 15 credit hours in a specialization area.

Four emphasis areas are available in the family sciences doctoral program: (a) adolescent development, (b) aging, (c) family finance and economics, and (d) family processes. Additionally, graduate certificates can be earned in specialization areas such as applied statistics, college teaching and learning, gerontology, maternal and child health, and gender and women’s studies.

Funding is available for doctoral students, including both half-time (10 working hours per week) and full-time (20 working hours per week) graduate teaching assistantships, which usually include half or full-time tuition scholarships, respectively. Faculty members who have received internal or external funding may also offer research assistantships.

Graduates of the doctoral program are qualified for academic positions at colleges and universities, program evaluation positions in public and private settings focused on the family, and administrative positions in public and private human services prevention and intervention settings. Recent graduates are working as faculty members at academic institutions such as California State University, University of Akron, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, and University of Missouri.

The application deadline is January 15 to begin fall semester of the same calendar year; admissions are for fall semester enrollment only. Students generally must have a master's degree prior to admission into the doctoral program, but particularly outstanding applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree but not a master’s degree are occasionally considered for admission into the doctoral program. Successful applicants to the doctoral program in recent years have had a minimum 3.5 GPA on previous graduate level work, verbal and quantitative scores above the 50th percentile, and a 4.5 or higher on the analytical portion of the GRE. Previous research experience is desirable, but not required.

Doctoral students are required to form an advisory committee within their first year in the program; the table below indicates which positions each faculty member can currently hold on a doctoral advisory committee. At a minimum, the committee must be comprised of one chair and three members (one of the members must be from outside the department), and at least three people on the committee must be among the faculty members identified in the table below with an asterisk (*), or hold a similar (full graduate faculty) status if from an outside department. See the faculty page for more information about individual faculty members.

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Jason Hans (859-257-7761 or with any questions or to discuss how the program may serve your needs.