Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS)—Ph.D. Concentration
Orientation & Program Emphasis
The concentration in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) focuses on positive development and resilience of children, youth, and family in everyday life contexts. Regarding children and youth, our faculty emphasize social and emotional development, in family, community, and other settings. Regarding family, our faculty emphasize parent-child and other family relationships, gender/sexuality, and race/ethnicity, and resilient family processes in family and community contexts (e.g., neighborhoods, workplaces, the legal system, and social service settings). The HDFS applied concentration allows students to obtain additional skills in outreach, program development, and program evaluation. Our faculty are methodologically diverse including expertise in both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Programs & Degrees
Doctoral Degree. The department offers a doctoral degree in Human and Community Development with a transcript-recognized concentration in Human Development and Family Studies.
Master's Degree. The department does not admit students into a terminal Master's HDFS concentration. However, students entering our doctoral program without a master's degree obtain an M. S. as part of their doctoral program. Students who enter our doctoral program with a master's degree but not a research thesis are required to complete a “thesis equivalence” research paper.
Click here to view individual faculty profiles.
We are looking for diverse, curious, intelligent, and highly motivated students with strong academic records. Students with degrees in behavioral or social sciences, family and consumer sciences, or education are especially encouraged to apply, as are students with involvement in the Ronald E. McNair or SROP undergraduate research opportunities. The minimum grade-point average for admission is 3.0 (A = 4.0). As a guideline, GRE scores should be above 550 for the quantitative and verbal tests, and above 4.5 for analytical writing, though the Admissions Committee may admit candidates below these scores if the student demonstrates compelling strengths in other areas. GRE scores should be no more than 2 years old.
We encourage applications from potential M.D./Ph.D. students (Medical Scholars) and, in these cases, will accept MCAT scores in lieu of the GRE.
International applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English language proficiency to be eligible for admission.
Applicants must have an advanced undergraduate course in statistics that includes descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, probability, correlation, ANOVA or regression. This requirement may be waived under special circumstances. However, if admitted, students who do not have this background will be expected to complete a statistics course in their first year.
In addition to academic potential, we particularly recruit students whose interests and career goals fit the focus of our program and its faculty. Applicants should clearly describe why our program is a good fit for their interests, and identify at least one faculty member with whom they would like to work.
Please note that we have a "full time student" department culture and thus do not enroll part-time students or encourage outside employment during the program. As you will see below, we provide excellent financial support to our full-time students.
Application Deadline: Jan 15 for following fall admission.
Application fee: $60.00 for USA students; $75.00 for International students. Guide to applying to our program. Complete the online U of Illinois graduate application here.
Student Characteristics Fall 2007 Class
Three new HDFS concentration doctoral students were enrolled in Fall 2007. All were women. One was international, and one had participated in established undergraduate research programs such as McNair or Student Research Opportunity Program (SROP). All of the students received fellowship or assistantship funding.
Highlights of Student Accomplishments
Last year there were 18 students pursuing our HDFS doctoral concentration. Here are a few of their accomplishments. Here is a complete list of student accomplishments.
- 14 HDFS students presented a paper at at least one professional meeting
- 11 HDFS students received a fellowship.
- 6 HDFS students were author or co-author on at least one refereed journal article or book chapter
- 6 HDFS students were rated as "excellent" teachers
- 4 HDFS students provided leadership within a professional organization or campus/professional society.
- 2 HDFS students won campus awards for excellence in research
Tuition & Fees. 2007-2008 $8,374 (state residents) $21,214 (non-state residents) Most students who receive an assistantship receive a full tuition waiver. (See financial assistance for tuition waiver information).
All of our students in 2007-2008 received assistantships and/or fellowships. All applicants who are admitted are considered for every assistantship and fellowship; there is no separate application process.
The financial assistance described here is completely separate from state or federal financial aid. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid for information about grant and loan opportunities.
Students entering our doctoral program without a master's degree are typically guaranteed 4 years of support at the "50% level." Those entering with a master's degree are typically guaranteed 3 years of support at the "50% level." At 2007-2008 rates, this corresponds to 20 hours of work per week as a teaching or research assistantship and a 9-month stipend worth approximately $13,000. Students who have at least a 25% assistantship (10 hours per week) qualify for a full tuition wavier. This applies to both state and non-state tuition rates. The tuition waiver does not waive student and service fees.
We also have several fellowships that provide support to students. See Financial Assistance for more information.
Though we do not guarantee funding beyond the 3rd or 4th year, we have typically been able to provide it. The average student completes our program within 5 years.
Employment of Graduates
The doctoral program in HDFS had its first graduates in 1994. Since 1994, 41 students have completed the program. Sixty-four percent of these students have taken faculty positions (55% in research universities, 33% in colleges with primary teaching missions, and 10% in community colleges). Thirty-six percent of our students have taken positions in government and other applied settings.
Information for Students with Disabilities
The Disability and Educational Resource Center for students with disabilities provides information to students. http://www.disability.uiuc.edu/
The Housing Office provides Information about both on-campus and community housing. http://www.housing.uiuc.edu/
The Child Care Resource Service provides referral information to students and others who are interested in finding child care in the community. http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/CCRSCare/
For more information contact the Graduate Program Director: Dr. Ramona Faith Oswald; email: email@example.com