Learning Outcomes: Human Development and Family Studies, PhD

Learning Outcomes for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development & Family Studies


HDFS Graduate Student Learning Outcomes

  1. HDFS graduate students will demonstrate subject matter expertise, including theoretical and substantive expertise in a specialized area
    1. Recall key principles, theories, and concepts used in HDFS
    2. Apply key principles, theories, and concepts to the study of HDFS
    3. Critique current theories and empirical knowledge regarding HDFS
    4. Evaluate current knowledge in a specific substantive area using two distinct theories
    5. Identify knowledge gaps in a specific substantive area
    6. Pose questions to remedy said gap
  2. HDFS graduate students will demonstrate social science methodology expertise
    1. Apply key principles, concepts and analytic strategies used in quantitative research
    2. Apply key principles, concepts and analytic strategies used in qualitative research
    3. Use data management and analysis software (e.g., SPSS, NVivo, MAXQDA; HLM, R)
    4. Evaluate the methodological strengths and limitations of empirical studies
    5. Design and defend a complete research project 
    6. Complete an IRB application
    7. Complete an ethics certificate relevant to project
    8. Conduct a research project as per protocol and ethical standards
  3. HDFS graduate students will demonstrate professional competence skills
    1. Identify career and professional goals
    2. Develop leadership skills (e.g., through formal positions; informal mentoring of undergraduates or new graduate students; representing the department; participation in class or lab teamwork)
    3. Develop professional network to support career and professional goals (e.g., relationships with mentors; participation in professional organizations)
    4. Create and maintain a CV and other job-related materials (e.g., cover letter; teaching philosophy; research statement)
    5. Exhibit professional and ethical behavior
    6. Make decisions and solve problems
    7. Collaborate to achieve group goals
  4. HDFS graduate students will demonstrate scholarly communication skills in English
    1. Use effective written communication
      1. Use appropriate grammar and writing mechanics
      2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of APA style
      3. Respond to constructive criticism (e.g., revision process, peer review)
      4. Produce written work that is organized, logical, and fully developed
    2. Use effective oral communication
      1. Clearly and logically present ideas aloud through presentation to class or group
    3. Use effective visual communication
      1. Use clear and logical charts, graphs, and other visual displays to present ideas
  5. HDFS graduate students will demonstrate a critical and reflexive orientation toward and sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion
    1. Critically examine one’s own beliefs, assumptions, values, attitudes, and biases regarding diverse individuals and families
    2. Reflect on one’s own interconnected positions, privileges, and disadvantages across multiple contexts
    3. Demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion in one’s own work (written, oral, and visual communication)