Graduate School Requirements
- Meet the University and Graduate School minimum requirements for admission.
- B.S. or B.A. degree with appropriate background in Human Development and Family Studies or a related field (see below for prerequisite coursework), with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 (B) or higher.
- For non-native speakers of English, a minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 550 (paper version), 213 (computer version), or 80 (internet version).
- Coursework in human development (minimum of two courses required with A or B), family studies (minimum of one course required with A or B), and statistics (minimum of one course required with an A or B). Additional coursework in research methods is recommended. If a student is deficient in any of these three areas, additional coursework will be required before entry into the program is permitted. However, prospective students may apply even if they need any additional coursework. Should such students be accepted, their acceptance will be contingent on successful completion of needed coursework.
- Although only a B.S./B.A. degree is required, students who have master’s degrees also can apply to the Applied Developmental Science program. For those who already have an M.S. or M.A. degree, a research thesis, or comparable research project is required for the Applied Developmental Science program. As part of their application form, applicants are advised to include a synopsis of their thesis. If the applicant did not complete a research thesis as part of the master’s degree requirements, or if the degree was not in a related field, a first-year research project will be required as part of the Ph.D. in ADS.
- Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination. Current Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores at the 50th percentile or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative tests, and a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing test.
- Identification of at least one faculty mentor for whom there is a well-defined fit with the applicant’s research interests and career goals.
International Student Applications
Application procedures are similar to those for U.S. citizens or permanent resident students. The following materials must be sent directly to the HDFS department:
- An official transcript of all collegiate work completed along with a certified translation into English.
- Certified proof for financial support along with the GS Form 3F.
- Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Track III Admissions are not required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS exam.
- A statement of purpose.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- Official GRE Scores.
You can enter the Applied Developmental Science program with a completed master’s degree or with a completed bachelor’s degree.
Entering With a Bachelor’s Degree
Entering With a Master’s Degree in a Different Subject Area
If you completed a master’s degree, but you majored in a subject area other than Applied Developmental Science, Human Development and Family Studies, or a closely related field, you will need to complete the master’s coursework in Human Development and Family Studies.
However, if you did a thesis in the prior program on a topic that would be appropriate for the Applied Developmental Science program, then that thesis can be reviewed for acceptance in partial fulfillment of the master’s degree
Entering With a Master’s in Closely Related Field and No Thesis
If you have completed a master’s in Applied Developmental Science, Human Development and Family Studies, or a closely related field, but have not completed a thesis as part of that program, you will need to complete a first-year project that is comparable to a thesis project as a part of the Ph.D. requirements.
Entering With a Master’s in Closely Related Field With Thesis
If you have completed a thesis from a previous program in Applied Developmental Science, Human Development and Family Studies, or closely related field, or completed a thesis on a topic that would be appropriate for the Applied Developmental Science program, even if the department was not closely related, will need to have that thesis reviewed by a committee comprised of the Applied Developmental Science director, the Assistant Department Head, and the student’s adviser or co-advisers for acceptance or not. If the thesis is not accepted, then the student will need to complete a first year project that is comparable to a thesis project as part of the Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. program requirements.
Ph.D. Research Requirement
If you are entering with a master’s degree with a thesis you will need to satisfy the follow criteria:
- Original data collection in one’s area of research.
It is the philosophy of the Human Development and Family Studies department at CSU that all doctoral students should be involved in original data collection efforts as part of their doctoral studies (including master’s studies). This data collection does not have to take place in connection with the dissertation research, but it does need to take place at some time during the program and/or during the process of completing a master’s thesis that has been accepted by the Applied Developmental Science program as fulfilling the master’s thesis/first year project requirement for the Applied Developmental Science program. The student will need to specify when this data collection has taken place or will take place, as well as the student’s role in the data collection effort, as part of the research competency examination, and, as for other parts of the examination, the student’s committee members will need to view the student as having passed this requirement, based on the student’s experience, including his/her role in the project in which data collection took place.
- In-depth analysis of the literature and scholarly writing.
There are three format options for the exam demonstrating the student’s ability to do an in-depth analysis of the literature in his/her area of research: students select either (a) grant application or (b) Developmental Review article or (c) an essay/paper in response to specific examination questions that have been prepared and approved by the student’s committee and have been approved by the Applied Developmental Science program director (or their delegate(s) if one or both of them are on the student’s committee).
Frequently Asked Questions M.S. with Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization
How long does it take to complete the MFT program?
The program is designed to be completed in 2 years (including 2 summer sessions).
What is the difference between the various licensure and counseling related degrees?
In order to decide which degree is the best fit for you and which license you want to work toward, we recommend doing the following:
- Research various websites for the National Boards of the profession you are considering. For MFT, visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website. This may give you an idea of which professional home you find to be the best fit.
- Interview professionals from various backgrounds and who hold a variety of licenses.
- Look at the state licensing board websites for the license and state(s) in which you are interested.
Does the MFT program prepare students for licensure?
The program prepares students for licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists in Colorado and many other states. We have had a 100% pass rate on the national licensing exam over the past 10+ years because our graduates are well-trained and prepared for the licensing exam. We are a COAMFTE accredited program, which is accepted by the Department of Regulator Agencies (DORA), the government agency responsible for MFT licensure in Colorado, and many other state licensing boards across the US. All states have additional post-graduation requirements to complete prior to licensure. For example, in Colorado, MFT candidates must wait 2 years, accrue client contact hours under supervision, and pass a licensure exam to become licensed. It may be useful to look at the state board website for any state in which you may seek licensure. It is not common for other states to require additional coursework beyond what will be covered in the MFT program for licensure.
What is supervision like in your MFT program?
Both our Center for Family and Couple Therapy and our Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center utilize one-way mirrors for a supervisor to observe during all practicum sessions. Practicum students will also attend case planning to discuss their cases prior to seeing clients and they will take a break midway during each session to consult with the supervisor. During Campus Connections and internship credits, students attend case planning supervision each week. Supervisors for the three Centers are on call and are always available during emergencies.
What courses are required to complete the MFT program?
Please see the MFT Program of Study on the MFT website for a complete list of courses. Students take courses in Therapy (i.e. HDFS 534 Marriage and Family Therapy), Practicum and Internship (which includes working as a therapist in the three therapy centers on campus), research courses and thesis credits to conduct research, and in Human Development and Family Studies.
How do students get their required 500 clinical hours and supervision?
Please see the MFT website for details on our clinical programs, information on how students rotate working in each of them, and how supervision is structured.
Frequently Asked Questions M.S. with Specialization in Prevention Science
How long does it take to complete the M.S. program with specialization in Prevention Science?
The program is designed to be completed in 2 academic years. Students typically enroll as full-time students for fall and spring semesters; summer sessions often involve research and related academic activities as part of the student’s course of study.
What courses are required to complete the M.S. program with specialization in Prevention Science?
Core coursework covers issues in human development and family studies, family theory, research methods, development across the lifespan, prevention science, risk and resilience, program planning/implementation/evaluation, and grant writing, as well as dedicated thesis course credit. More information on the M.S. Prevention Science specialization can be found on the website.
Do M.S. Prevention Science students go on to complete a Ph.D.?
Engagement in the MS in prevention science coursework often enables students to determine if pursuing a Ph.D. is right for them. Students do not automatically transition into the Ph.D. program in ADS. However, interested students for whom it is the right fit are encouraged to apply to the doctoral program. They will typically apply to the ADS program during their second year of the MS in Prevention Science program.
What types of jobs do students pursue after graduating with an M.S. in Prevention Science?
Some students decide to pursue a Ph.D. in ADS or a related field. Other students pursue continued education in other areas, including health and medical fields, behavioral/mental health, public health, psychology, or others. Other students have become employed in non-profit and for-profit organizations serving youth, families, and adults in the capacity of program developers, evaluators, and specialists in delivering education and interventions. See examples of careers in Prevention Science on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions Ph.D. Program in Applied Developmental Science (ADS)
How do I identify research faculty who may serve as advisors/mentors in the Ph.D. program?
Prospective students can find HDFS faculty bios and research interest areas on the CSU HDFS website or search by departmental thematic research areas or laboratories. Our faculty are committed to ensuring excellent training and professional growth for our MS and PhD students. Our programs are also recognized nationally; for example, the Adult Development and Aging area is ranked 3rd in the nation for HDFS programs. If you are interested in working with specific faculty members, please contact them directly to find out more information about their research program and funding opportunities.
How long does it take to complete the Ph.D. program?
The program typically takes 4-6 years to complete. Students entering with a research-based Master’s thesis and who test out of certain courses may complete the program in less time.
What type of training is involved in the Ph.D. program?
The Ph.D. program is a 76 credit-hour degree, which involves graduate coursework in advanced research methodology and specialized topics; competency projects in research/writing and teaching/professional presentations; as well as a dissertation project.
What kinds of jobs do your Ph.D.s normally get after graduation? What are my career opportunities in this field?
Our graduates have gone on to various exciting careers, including as faculty at universities; research scientists in academic centers and government agencies; and program evaluators and policy analysts with non-profit organizations. The skills students develop in our ADS program, including applied research methodology, advanced data analysis, program development, implementation and evaluation, scientific writing and presentation skills, and critical thinking and problem solving in real-world context facilitate access to and success in diverse career positions.