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Graduate Programs Overview

The Department of Child and Family Studies is a great program in which to pursue a graduate degree. We have master’s and doctoral degree options, as well as an accompanying Certificate in International Children, Youth, and Families. Our graduate programs are based on the model of the “empirically based professional” or social scientist. Graduate students learn to conduct research on child development, family studies, and educational environments in accordance with established standards of scientific inquiry and evaluation. CFS graduate programs seek to produce researchers, scholars, and educators who are capable of independent investigation of developmental and early learning processes.

Graduate work in CFS prepares students for faculty positions in higher education, state and federal research agencies, careers in public education, community outreach, leadership positions in child care, as well as service providers in human service agencies.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available, and the department’s faculty members provide highly sophisticated graduate courses, research training, and collaborative research possibilities. Nationally recognized and/or funded research efforts have been offered in the past, including youth development and well-being in at-risk environments (i.e., marital conflict, foster care, incarcerated parents, etc.); parental influences on adolescent social competence; father involvement in families; youth and political conflict; family stress, family violence, gender and sexuality issues in the family; the development of youth problem behavior; family economic uncertainty; early literacy development; child care; early learning environments; inquiry-oriented teaching; and children’s play.

Faculty and Graduate Student Profiles

In addition to the information provided within our programs’ pages, we also encourage prospective students to explore the individual profiles of our faculty and current PhD and MS Students.

Graduate Program Highlights

Graduate Contacts

Department Head and Professor
Mary Jane Moran, PhD

Director of Graduate Studies
Spencer Olmstead, PhD

Graduate Secretary
Sonja Spell