Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Human Development, Family Science and Human Development

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: PhD

Classroom Type: On campus

Prepares candidates for cutting-edge research and university teaching positions focused on family diversity and social justice, leading to equity and excellence for all.

Application​ deadlines

January 10*
*Extended deadline for Fall 2022 only

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver

What you'll learn

Understanding diversity among families in the United States and around the globe is critical to lead for social justice, equity and excellence for all in the quality of their lives, their schooling and the health of their communities. The field of family science and human development across the life span takes a systems approach to all programs we face in contemporary society. University of Colorado Denver's PhD in Education and Human Development with a concentration in family science and human development, focuses on family diversity and social justice and prepares you for cutting-edge research and teaching in a university, college or a research organization.

Students in this concentration area will:

  • Critically examine and understand family science within an ecological life span development framework.
  • Become expert on the theoretical and inquiry-based literature in family science and human development.
  • Integrate the importance of family diversity—including race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability and language—into work in education and community contexts.
  • Work on context-sensitive policy and practice solutions to society's most meaningful problems.

A great strength of the program is the diversity of our students and their dedication to diverse families, family policy and practice, and strengths-based culturally and linguistically proficient research.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a faculty member or researcher. The university and school are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, CU Denver's School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


The 75-credit program begins each fall.

Program Courses

Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:4 to 8 years

Required Credits for Completion:75

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.

Fall Semester: January 10*
*Extended deadline for Fall 2022 only

The core course rotation begins every fall. We encourage students to review the concentration area choices on our website and contact one or more of the faculty associated with that concentration area for an appointment prior to submitting their application. This ensures the students have an opportunity to discuss their research area of interest, as well as introduce themselves to the faculty. Also, the financial support we provide our PhD students is often tied to federal and state funding decisions, so meeting with a faculty member will let you know if any funding opportunities will be available in the upcoming year.

As part of gaining admission to the PhD program, students are paired with a doctoral faculty advisor/mentor. The doctoral faculty may request a personal interview to complement the information provided in the application materials.

Application Requirements

  • Minimum requirements:
    • Master's degree or equivalent
    • 3.5 GPA in graduate-level course work recommended
  • 3 recommendation letters: two letters should come from faculty in a university program in which you were previously enrolled
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • If applying for a license, a copy of your teaching license is required
  • Resume/CV: Applicants must have and show evidence of relevant professional and/or academic experience.
  • Written Statement: In 4-6 pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font or larger), discuss research goals and a problem of practical or theoretical importance that could lead to a research study. Be sure to address how your research would fit within one of the concentration areas.
  • Recommended: Master's thesis and/or published materials — Examples of published materials include articles, book chapters, newsletters and technical reports.
  • Students applying to the Research, Assessment and Evaluation Concentration should submit a transcript that shows statistics proficiency. To demonstrate proficiency, please contact
  • $50.00 application fee
  • Admissions Interview: An interview may be required as part of the admissions process. If so, applicants will be contacted with more details.
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)
For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.