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Doctoral Program

About the PhD Program

Students in the doctoral program pursue in-depth studies of theory, advanced methods, and empirical knowledge about human development and social relationships. CFS PhD students focus on research and scientific inquiry.

The CFS doctoral program also trains professionals to design and empirically evaluate sophisticated intervention and prevention programs for children, youth, and families. Our doctoral program consists of 72 hours of graduate credits—24 of which are devoted to the dissertation (program plan).


MS en route to PhD

Typically, applicants to the doctoral program have earned a master’s degree or are currently working on their master’s degree when they apply to the doctoral program. However, applicants with undergraduate degrees may also be considered for direct admittance to the PhD program if they have undergraduate research experience relevant to human development and family studies, focused research interests, and a strong academic record.

Students admitted without a master’s degree will complete requirements for the thesis-based master’s degree as part of their program of study. If in good standing after completing the master’s program requirements and under the recommendation of their graduate committee, these students will proceed directly into the PhD program. Applicants without a master’s degree can select the “MS–PhD” option on their application to the department. Applicants with a master’s degree should select the “PhD” option on their application to the department.


Graduate Contacts

Director of Graduate Studies
Julia Jaekel, PhD
jjaekel@utk.edu

Graduate Secretary
Sonja Spell
sspell1@utk.edu
865-974-1713

Department Head and Professor
Mary Jane Moran
mmoran2@utk.edu