Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

A minimum of 90 semester credit hours above the bachelor’s degree, including 6 semester credit hours for dissertation. 30 of the 90 hours must be research courses. Consult with advisor for approved research courses.

Special Requirements

No grade below B is accepted towards any graduate degree in the Department of Family Sciences. If more than one grade below B is earned while enrolled in any Family Sciences graduate program, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Degree Plan

Students must submit a degree plan which follows the degree requirements listed below. The degree plan should be developed in collaboration with the student's advisor and committee, and it should be filed after the student has completed 18 hours of course work.

Research Tools

The Department of Family Sciences requires students to complete 12 hours of research tools. The department has a list of courses that meet the research tool requirement, and these courses are part of the degree requirements listed below. They are also included in the 30 hours of research focused course work required by the Graduate School. 

Professional Seminars

All doctoral students in Family Studies are required to attend at least 3 professional seminars each calendar year. 

Qualifying Exam

The Department of Family Sciences administers a qualifying exam for each student prior to admission to candidacy. The student must complete the required research tools before being eligible to take the exam. Students may opt to take the qualifying exam in their last or second-to-last semester of course work. In no case may a student be excused from the qualifying exam, and students may not register for dissertation hours (FS 6983 and FS 6993) until they have successfully passed the exam and have been admitted to candidacy. The qualifying exam may only be repeated once. Students who fail two attempts at the qualifying exam will be dismissed from the program.

Final Examination

A comprehensive oral examination will include a defense of the dissertation and the research on which it is based. The final examination may only be repeated one time.

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 Family Sciences
Research Methods in Family Sciences
Doctoral Core (12 hours)
FS 6003Advanced Study of the Lifespan (*)3
FS 6403Theory Building in Family Sciences3
FS 6443Research and Issues in Family Sciences3
FS 6593Practicum in Family Sciences (*) offered in Spring3
Research (24 hours)
FS 6193Advanced Statistics for Family Sciences (Prerequisite: FS 5193 or equivalent master's level statistic course)3
FS 6203Frameworks and Ethics for Qualitative Research in Family Sciences3
FS 6433Grants Writing in Family Sciences3
FS 6693Advanced Quantitative Research Methods In Family Sciences (Prerequisites: A master's level research methods course and a graduate-level statistics course)3
FS 6793Advanced Qualitative Research Methods In Family Sciences (Prerequisite: FS 6203)3
FS 6893Multivariate Statistics (Prerequisites: FS 5193 or equivalent master's level statistics course, FS 6193 or equivalent doctoral level statistics course, and familiarity with SPSS )3
FS 6983Dissertation3
FS 6993Dissertation3
Professional Competencies (9 hours)
FS 6303Academic Life and Scholarship3
FS 6343Effective College Teaching Methods3
FS 6863Family Financial Counseling3
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 Development Within the Family
Gender Role Development
Parenting Education (*)
Family Crises
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.