Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies
All degree plans are developed in consultation with the student's advisory committee and are based on current departmental requirements as well as individual student needs and objectives. No grade below B is accepted toward the doctoral degrees described below.
Total Semester Credit Hours Required
A minimum of 90 semester credit hours above the bachelor’s degree, including 6 semester credit hours for dissertation. (Proficiency in statistics is required as part of the program, including completion of a 6000-level statistics course.) 30 of 90 hours must be research courses. Consult with advisor for appropriate/approved research courses.
Two-thirds of the total semester credit hours will determine the major.
Note: The specific course requirements and total semester credit hours are developed in cooperation with and approved in a meeting of the student’s graduate advisory committee. The department chair also approves individual doctoral degree plans based on current departmental requirements. If a grade of C or below is earned two times while in any Family Sciences doctoral program, the student will be dismissed from the program.
The Department of Family Sciences requirement is currently consistent with the university requirements as described in the Graduate School General Requirements section of this catalog. Check with the department for any possible additions in acceptable courses to meet the research tool requirement. These requirements of 12 student credit hours are a part of the 90 semester credit hours minimum described above and are included in the 30 hours of research courses required.
A student seeking the doctoral degree in Family Studies must take a 4-part First Year Program Examination in Family Studies before completing 18 semester credit hours. An acceptable passing score for each section is required. Only one re-take is allowed.
All students are required to complete all course work on the degree plan prior to taking qualifying examinations. The only exception to this rule is that a Family Therapy student may complete the final semester of internship during the semester when the qualifying examination is taken. A student should enroll for the first semester of dissertation (FS 6983) during the semester when the qualifying examination is taken.
Family Studies students will take a 2-day written qualifying exam focusing on 5 areas: 1) Human Development Theories 2) Family Theories, 3) Quantitative Methodology, 4) Qualitative Methodology, and the 5) Content Specialization (Family Studies). An oral exam and/or debriefing will follow successful completion of the written exam. The written and oral examination may be repeated one time.
A comprehensive oral examination will include a defense of the dissertation and the research on which it is based, as well as questions concerning the major. The final examination may only be repeated one time.
All dissertation committees are comprised of a minimum of three graduate faculty members. At least two of the committee members must represent the major discipline (component). The committee chair must have full graduate faculty standing. Additional committee voting members must have associate or full graduate faculty standing.
External committee members may be requested by the committee chair by submitting a CV and request to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval. They serve in addition to the required three member committee as an ex-officio committee member.
Degree Plan Committee
All degree plan committees are composed of five graduate faculty members.
Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies Plan of Study (90 semester credit hours, including relevant master's coursework)
|Code||Title||Semester Credit Hours|
|Master's degree in Family Studies or a related field and coursework equivalent to the following:|
|Lifespan Human Development (*)|
|Theories of the Family (*)|
|Statistics for Research in Family Sciences|
|Research Methods in Family Sciences|
|Doctoral Core (15 hours)|
|FS 6003||Advanced Study of the Lifespan (*)||3|
|FS 6403||Theory Building in Family Sciences||3|
|FS 6413||Current Research and Issues in Family Sciences||3|
|FS 6423||Readings in Family Sciences||3|
|FS 6593||Practicum in Family Sciences (*)||3|
|Research (18 hours)|
|FS 6433||Grants Writing in Family Sciences||3|
|FS 6693||Advanced Quantitative Research Methods In Family Sciences (Prerequisite: A master's level research methods course and a graduate-level statistics course)||3|
|FS 6793||Advanced Qualitative Research Methods In Family Sciences (Prerequisite: A master's level research methods course)||3|
|FS 6873||Applied Multivariate Statistics for Family Sciences (Prerequisite: Graduate-level statistics course)||3|
|Professional Competencies (12 hours)|
|FS 6303||Academic Life and Scholarship||3|
|FS 6343||Effective College Teaching Methods||3|
|FS 6683||Professional Seminar in Family Sciences||3|
|FS 6863||Family Financial Counseling||3|
|Content Specialization (21 hours)|
|Select 21 semester credit hours from the following:||21|
|Family Sexuality (*)|
|Families as Consumers|
|Family Changes and Diversity (*)|
|Communication in Marriage and Family (*)|
|Adolescents in the Family|
|Gender Role Development|
|Parenting Education (*)|
|Aging in Families and Society|
|Leadership and Staff Development in Family Sciences Programs|
|Housing and Families|
|Time Management for Families|
|Families and Public Policy (*)|
|Family Economics (*)|
|Teaching Family Sciences (*)|
|Family of Origin|
No more than 42 semester credit hours of online coursework will count toward the doctoral degree.
Certified Family Life Educator
The Ph.D. in Family Studies has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations as meeting the Standards and Criteria required for the Professional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Courses noted with an asterisk (*) must be completed in order to qualify for the abbreviated CFLE application process.