Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Programs

We are admitting students interested in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Adolescent development and emerging adulthood.
  • Nonprofit programs for children, adults, and their families: Management and Leadership.

The M.S. & Ph.D. Programs in Human Development and Family Studies are designed to prepare the next generation of scholars for positions as researchers, professors, or leaders in early childhood, human development, family studies, human services and related fields. The programs emphasize risk and resilience, multi-cultural issues, disabilities, prevention and intervention. The focus is on applying theory and research to practice as they relate to human development and family systems. Course work is designed to provide a strong background in the theoretical and empirical knowledge of family studies, human development and research methods. Training in applied research and service learning experiences are integrated in the curriculum.

UD doctoral programs rank among nation's best in National Research Council assessment.  Click here to see the UDaily Article

The Masters of Science program requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree and a thesis. The student’s area of emphasis is selected in consultation with an advisor and committee in planning a program.

Students work closely with faculty members to develop expertise in areas such as early childhood and education, service delivery, family support, disabilities, program evaluation, parent-youth interaction, and family relationships. As a student, you will discover that throughout your graduate experience you will be mentored by faculty who have active research projects and who work extensively in the field. HDFS faculty draw from a highly interdisciplinary approach to the field. Faculty provide students opportunities to grow in their knowledge and application of information derived from traditional disciplines, while developing new ways to examine factors that affect individuals and families across their lives.

Students come to our department from many fields including education, early intervention, human development and family studies, psychology, nursing, social work, and human services. This helps to enrich the collaborative base of our programs.

Research: Students have the opportunity to conduct research in intervention and prevention, early and family literacy, areas such as alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, prevention programming, disability studies, multicultural family issues, fatherhood, and parenting. Numerous research sites and programs are available to work with, including an Early Head Start program, an Early Reading First program, an NIH grant on alcohol and substance abuse, the Early Learning Center, the Laboratory Preschool, the Center for Community Research and Service, and many community-based programs.

Teaching: Students learn to assist with undergraduate classes, the College School, the Center for Disabilities Studies, the Center for Counseling & Student Development, guest lecture, and teach introductory courses. Opportunities to advise undergraduates, work with honor students, and develop new courses are also available.

Service: Students have the opportunity to work in programs and projects such as assisting with the development of independent living programs for young adults with disabilities, providing in-service with human services professionals, assisting with scholarly conferences and workshops, and assisting with service learning projects.

International Experience: Students have traveled to Romania to work with children and mothers-at-risk, to Belgium to participate in family policy planning, to Austria and Panama to learn about family life education, and to China to learn about the one child family policy.

Awards: Students have received awards from Strattner-Gregory Child Advocacy Award, Marion H. Steele Symposium Graduate Awards for Scholarly Presentations, Amy Rextrew Scholar Award, HDFS Travel Awards, and many other sources including university scholarships for research, travel and service.

M.S. Program of Study

This program is geared toward working professionals and other individuals who are interested in continuing their graduate studies and would like to acquire new or additional expertise in early childhood education, development, and leadership and/or human services professionals with an interest in prevention science and human services and non-profit leadership and adolescent development. Students are accepted on both a full time and part time basis.

MS in Human Development and Family Studies
Specialization: Adolescent and Youth Development/ Research (30 credits)

HDFS 601  Theories of Human Development  3
HDFS 615  Research Methods  3
HDFS 621  Family Studies 1: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives 3
HDFS 637  Program Planning, Assessment and Evaluation 3
EDUC 665  Elementary Statistics 3
600/800  Statistics Course 3
HDFS 600/800  Interest Electives in Early Childhood Education 6
HDFS 869  Thesis or Field Experience with project/portfolio 6
TOTAL 30 credits

MS in Human Development and Family Studies
MS Concentration in Early Childhood Development and Inclusive Education (33 credits)

HDFS 601  Theories of Human Development  3
HDFS 615  Research Methods  3
HDFS 621  Family Studies 1: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives 3
HDFS 637  Program Planning, Assessment and Evaluation 3
EDUC 665  Elementary Statistics 3
HDFS 600/800  Interest Electives in Early Childhood Education 12
HDFS 869  Thesis or Field Experience with project/portfolio 6
TOTAL 33 credits

MS in Human Development and Family Studies
Concentration: Human Services Leadership (33 credits)

HDFS 601  Theories of Human Development 3
HDFS 615  Research Methods 3
HDFS 621  Family Studies 1: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives 3
HDFS 637  Program Planning, Assessment and Evaluation 3
EDUC 665  Elementary Statistics 3
600/800  Statistics 6
HDFS 869  Thesis or Theoretical paper w/ Field Experience 6              

Restricted Electives: Choose 5 courses, in consultation with your Academic Advisor, from the following list:

HDFS 642  Leadership in Human Services 3
HDFS 669  Supervised Field Experience 3
UAPP 693  Public Economics 3
UAPP 694  Financial Management in Public and Nonprofit Sectors 3
UAPP 696  Human Resources in Public and Nonprofit Organizations 2             
UAPP 697  Leading Organizations in Public and Nonprofit Sectors 3
UAPP 698  Management Decision Making in Public and Nonprofit
Sectors
3
TOTAL 33 credits

Ph.D. Program of Study

The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 42 credits for students entering with a master’s degree.  Core requirements are listed below.  Students should consult with their advisor about courses to fulfill their area of emphasis.

Program Requirements

HDFS 601  Theories of Human Development 3
HDFS 803  Human Development in Life Span Perspective  3
HDFS 815 (HDFS 615)  Research Issues and Designs 3
EDUC 856  Introduction to Statistical Inference  3
EDUC 812  Regression Models in Education 3
600/800 level  Qualitative or Quantitative Methods 3
HDFS 621  Family Studies I: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives 3
HDFS 855  Family Studies II: Analysis and Critical Issues 3
600/800 level  Courses in Area of Emphasis* 9
HDFS 969  Dissertation 9
TOTAL
42 credits

* The Area of Emphasis is selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee.

Requirements for Admission

The Admission process is competitive and is determined by the number of available vacancies, the qualifications of applicants, and the match with faculty expertise. In special cases, provisional admission may be offered with specific requirements needing to be met prior to receiving regular standing. Applicants are advised to submit all application materials by February 1 for admission to the program beginning in the Fall of the following academic year. Only full-time applicants are considered for admission.  Applications for the HDFS MS or PhD programs are available at the Office of Graduate and Professional Education.

The specific requirements for admission are:

  • an undergraduate cumulative average of at least 3.0 and major cumulative average of at least 3.25; the cumulative average of prior graduate study is expected to be at least 3.5; complete transcripts of prior undergraduate and graduate work must be submitted.
  • submission of three letters of reference from individuals able to assess the applicant’s academic potential;
  • a match between the candidate’s statement of objectives and interests and the department’s capacity and available mentors;
  • a score of at least 600/250/100 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (paper-based TOEFL, computer-based TOEFL, IBET TOEFL) from applicants whose first language is not English.
  • All Ph.D. applicants must submit GRE scores. A minimum GRE score (math plus verbal) of 1050 is expected of Ph.D. applicants. NOTE:  GREs are not required for MS applicants.
  • All candidates are required to make themselves available for a personal interview.

For Further Information Please Contact:
Dr. Bahira Sherif Trask, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
111 Alison Hall West
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-8187
bstrask@udel.edu

Office of Graduate Studies
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-8697
www.udel.edu/gradoffice

  • Departmant of Human Development & Family Studies •  111 Allison Hall West •  Newark, DE 19716 •  USA
    Phone: 302-831-6500 Fax: 302-831-8776 E-mail: hdfs-dept@udel.edu  • ©