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Graduate Course Descriptions




  • Grading Restriction: P/NP only.
  • Repeatability: May be repeated.
  • Credit Level Restriction: Graduate credit only.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.


Required for the graduate student not otherwise registered during any semester when such a student uses university facilities and/or faculty time before degree is completed.

  • Grading Restriction: Satisfactory/No Credit grading only.
  • May not be used toward degree requirements.
  • Repeatability: May be repeated. Maximum 24 hours.
  • Credit Restriction: May not be used toward degree requirements.
  • Credit Level Restriction: Graduate credit only.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.


Theoretical models of human development; analysis, synthesis, and discussion of historical and contemporary relevance of models; application of theory to research, prevention, intervention, and education; critical reading and evaluation of theory-based research regarding human development.

Research and theory in a selected area of child development. Emphasis on development in the context of family and community. Topics vary.

Current literature and issues in early childhood education.

  • Prereq: 510 or equivalent or consent of instructor.


Theory and research on environmental and developmental issues in contemporary family situations and educational environments for children from infancy through middle childhood. Implications for programs and policy.

Developmental nature of families’ experiences in caring for handicapped children, especially during infancy and early childhood.

Understanding couple relationships through the life course (adolescence to late adulthood); focus on common couple interactions and difficulties from research and clinical perspectives.

Influence of parents on children, influence of children on parents, reciprocal interaction between parents and children, applications of systems models, impact of child abuse and divorce on children.

  • Recommended background: 6 hrs graduate course work in child and family studies.


Theoretical models of families; analysis, synthesis, and discussion of historical and contemporary relevance of models; application of theory to research, prevention, intervention, and education; critical reading and evaluation of theory-based research on family.

Overview of current child assessment and evaluation approaches and their connections to instructional adaptations in early childhood education (PreK-3 classrooms).

  • This course is only offered in the summer.


Diversity in child and family contexts, focusing on variations that coincide with major axes of diversity in contemporary societies.

  • (DE)Prerequisite(s): 550.

Students will design cross-cultural research with international partners including in-depth review of and response to challenges and considerations for cross-cultural research studies; the analyses of historical and contemporary cross-cultural research studies, qualitative research methods, and exposure to diverse cultural contexts are emphasized.


Examining early development (zero to 5 years) from a cross-cultural perspective; focus on cultural and international research and theory.


Processes used by children and families during times of stress. Theoretical contributions to study of impact of developmental stressors and catastrophes on children and families.

  • (DE)Prerequisite(s): 550.


School and community programs. Education for human development and family living.

  • Grading Restriction: Satisfactory/ No Credit grading only.
  • Registration Permission: Consent of Instructor.


School and community programs concerned with education for human development and family living. Committee approved and supervised written project.

  • S/NC only.


Exploration of classic and contemporary theoretical approaches in family therapy. Emphasis given to application of concepts and methods from these approaches to family situations.

  • Cross-listed: (Same as Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology 566).

Principles and methodologies of practice-based research for practitioners in early childhood and school settings.

  • Comment(s): Requires admission to the early childhood education graduate concentration in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Empirical means of studying human behavior, evaluating, and conducting empirical research.

  • Recommended background: 9 graduate hours in major.

Professional orientation to the field of Child and Family Studies; consideration of multi-disciplinary trends, current research and application, ethics, publication and research planning.

Strategies to document and analyze effectiveness of teaching and of professional development. Study and application of various approaches.

  • Repeatability: Not repeatable. May be taken once for 1-2 hours.
  • (DE) Corequisite(s): 575.

Intensive teaching and teaching-related experiences in professional settings in public schools. Enrollment limited to post-baccalaureate students in professional year program.

  • Grading Restriction: Satisfactory/No Credit grading only.
  • Repeatability: May be repeated. Maximum 12 hours.
  • Comment(s): Requires admission to the teacher education program.


Research, theory and current issues in child development, family studies, or early learning. Topics vary.

  • Repeatability: May be repeated if topic differs. Maximum 9 hours.
  • Credit Restriction: Maximum 3 hours may be applied to child and family studies specialization electives for the master’s degree.
  • Recommended Background: 6 graduate hours in the major or consent of instructor.

Individual learning experiences in specific topics in child development, family studies, or early learning.

  • Repeatability: May be repeated if topic differs. Maximum 6 hours.
  • Recommended Background: 6 graduate hours or consent of instructor.

Group and individual seminar activities during full-time internship. Application and evaluation of professional core competencies. Completion and presentation of portfolio and analysis of teaching project.

  • Repeatability: Not repeatable. May be taken once for 1-4 hours.
  • (DE) Corequisite(s): 575.

  • Grading Restriction: P/NP only.
  • Repeatability: May be repeated.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level-graduate

Advanced, in-depth study in child development, family studies, or early learning. Topics vary.

  • Repeatability: May be repeated if topic differs. Maximum 6 hours.
  • Credit Restriction: Maximum 3 hours may be applied to child and family studies specialization electives for the master’s degree.
  • Recommended Background: 12 graduate hours in the major or consent of instructor.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate


Advanced, in-depth individualized learning experiences in specific topics in family studies, child development, or early learning.

  • Repeatability: May be repeated if topic differs. Maximum 6 hours.
  • Credit Restriction: May not be applied to child and family studies specialization electives for the master’s degree.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.


Normative and nonnormative adolescent development: Physical, cognitive, moral, social, familial, sexual, and personality.

  • (DE) Prerequisite(s): 510, 511, and 550.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.


Systematic exploration of survey problems through student participation in design and analysis of survey.

  • Prereq: Soc. 531 or consent of instructor. (Same as Soc. 633.)


Advanced exploration of cross-cultural and international research and theory on children, youth, and families, focusing on variations of experience within and between cultural and national contexts.

Recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field. Topics vary.

  • Repeatability: May be repeated if topic differs. Maximum 9 hours.
  • (DE) Prerequisite(s): 510, 511, 550 and 570.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.
  • Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.


Methods of qualitative research are explored including narrative, phenomenological, ethnographic, grounded theory, and case study approaches. Emphasis on utilizing and analyzing data from in-depth interviews. Development of a proposed study and pilot data collection and analyses are required.

  • Comment(s): For master’s students completing the certificate in qualitative analysis and for doctoral students with consent of instructor.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate


Research and theory related to intersections between gender and family interactions, relationships, and processes. Consideration of contemporary societal contexts. Emphasis on gender topics and contexts varies.

  • Recommended Background: 9 hours of graduate family studies course work.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate


Contemporary women: primary psychological processes in sociological context. Reciprocal influence of society, women, and their families in relation to marriage and parenting.

  • Recommended Background: 9 hours of graduate family studies course work.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate


Design of observational research in natural and contrived settings as used in child and family research; observation methods used with these designs.

  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.
  • (DE) Prerequisite(s): 570.

Design, application, and analysis of longitudinal human development research.

  • Recommended Background: At least 3 credit hours of graduate-level methods and 3 of graduate-level statistics.
  • Registration Restriction(s): Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.

Preparing for a position in a professional setting: finding and understanding job announcements, preparing curriculum vitae, teaching philosophy and research statements , navigating the interview process, accepting a position and transitioning to a professional occupation.

  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.

Faculty-directed collaborative original research, including problem definition, instrumentation, data collection, data analysis, and report writing on a panel or sample of families and children in the Knox County area.

  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.
  • (DE) Prerequisite(s): 570.

Faculty-directed collaborative original research, including problem definition, instrumentation, data collection, data analysis, and report writing on a panel or sample of families and children in the Knox County area.

  • Registration Restriction(s): Minimum student level – graduate.
  • (DE) Prerequisite(s): 570.

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