Master's Degree graduates in red caps and gowns

PhD in Family Science and Human Development


Family Science and Human Development is an interdisciplinary field that teaches you how to understand individuals, families, and communities holistically. Our holistic approach incorporates research from psychology, social work, sociology, economics, history, women and gender studies, biology, and many other fields.

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Social Justice Focus

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Social Justice is a core strength of our research-based PhD program in Family Science and Human Development. Our students learn to use a social justice perspective to understand and help strengthen diverse individuals, families, and communities through research, policy, and prevention and education programming.

Careers of Graduates

  • Faculty in Higher Education
  • Grant Writers
  • Government and Non-Profit Agency Directors
  • Program Administrators
  • Researchers and Evaluators
  • Policy Makers

Funding Opportunities

Assistantships are available to full time students, which include stipends, full tuition and work/research component. Partial assistantships are also available to both full time and part time students. You are eligible for our assistantships when applying with our general application and no other application is required; simply check the box if you are interested in an assistantship.

Montclair State University offers financial aid, scholarships, and graduate assistantships.  To obtain financial aid information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Key Program Features

  • Degree completion in four years
  • Community engagement
  • 48 credits
  • Applied research
  • Suburban campus in NYC-metro area

Areas of Expertise

  • Contextual influences on child and adolescent development including schools, peers, and family
  • Close relationships, marriage, and family interactions
  • Diversity, inclusion, and resilience
  • Prevention, developmental system science, and translational science
  • Development across the lifespan/life-course
  • Social justice

Application Requirements

The application deadline for the Fall cohort will be January 15, 2024.

To apply online, please visit The Graduate School website.

Research & Faculty

Superior Nationally and Internationally Recognized Faculty:

Adolescent Development ● Aggression and Bullying ● African American Families ● Aging Families ● Family Transitions ● First-Generation College Students ● Immigrant Families ● Intimate Partner Violence ● LGBT-Headed Families ● Parenting ● Program Development and Evaluation ● Remarriage and Stepfamilies ● Siblings ● Substance Abuse, Depression, and Suicide



Our PhD program offers full- and part-time options. We are a 48-hour program with our students concentrating in human development or family science. The program offers flexibility for students and their advisory committees to create educational experiences to help students reach their academic goals. Family Science and Human Development and Family Science coursework includes: 

  • 15 credit hours in human development and family science core content
  • 9 credit hours in quantitative and qualitative methods classes
  • 9 credit hours in Elective courses
  • 15 credit hours of dissertation research and advisement
Program Requirements


Duane Williams

Student Spotlight – Duane Williams

The best parts of the program in my opinion are the conversations, both difficult and interesting, that I am able to have with my peers and various faculty. One of the most important things that contributes to my learning is open and fluid conversations; these happen whether in class, over coffee or tea with faculty, or even in chat rooms created by cohort members!

See full spotlight

Application Requirements:

The deadline to apply for the fall cohort is January 15, 2024.

To apply online, please visit The Graduate School website.

Contact Program Coordinator
University Hall 4144