Applied Developmental Science Doctoral Program
The Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science program at Colorado State University offers graduate training in research and its applications to issues that affect the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.
Students can enter the ADS program with a completed master’s degree or with a completed bachelor’s degree. Students entering with a bachelor’s will be required to complete a master’s in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy or Prevention Science.
The majority of Ph.D. students receive support through teaching and research assistantships. These appointments cover tuition and provide a monthly stipend during the academic year.
Applied Developmental Science Curriculum
Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science
If you are interested in our program, we recommend you contact our current graduate students and faculty. Feel free to ask them any questions regarding our graduate programs.
Course of Study
The Ph.D. is an 80 credit-hour degree designed to be completed in a 4-year (coming in with a master’s degree), 5-year (completing an experimental master’s on the way to Ph.D.), or 6-year time frame (completing a clinical master’s on the way to Ph.D.) This is 18-21 credits per year. All ADS students must take 22 credits in ADS program wide core courses. In addition, 24 credits are earned in elective courses that are selected in consultation with the student’s adviser and committee. This helps to prepare the student for the career trajectory that they have planned. These electives must include at least one lifespan development elective, one statistics elective (3 credits), two prevention science/intervention electives (6 credits), and one teaching/applied research elective (3 credits).
Outside of the classroom, Ph.D. students complete several degree milestones including the doctoral dissertation.
The main goals of the preliminary exam are to provide a formal opportunity to monitor students’ learning progress, assist the student in identifying areas of strengths or areas for improvement, and support the student in establishing a foundation for progressing in their course of doctoral studies with a clear vision of their professional goals and steps that will be required to meet those distinct goals. Students submit a portfolio to their dissertation committee that includes their curriculum vitae, a writing sample, a research statement, and a statement of goals.
The primary goal of this competency is to evaluate the student’s general writing skills. What is evaluated is their depth of knowledge in human development and family studies scientific literature and in critical areas directly related to the pursuit of their individualized focus. The comprehensive writing examination is intended to provide students with a learning opportunity to gain and demonstrate proficiency in their depth of knowledge pertinent to a designated portion of the HDFS/ADS field and their proficiency in writing about key issues in the field.
Doctoral Dissertation in Applied Developmental Science
Students in the ADS program are required to propose and complete an empirical doctoral research project approved by a doctoral committee and to write up the findings in a dissertation. The dissertation project represents the culmination of students’ ADS education and is a “process” that includes (a) the conceptualization of the study, including the scientific rationale and the study methodology; (b) proposing the study to a committee of faculty members; (c) collecting the data or using an existing data set; (d) conducting statistical analyses; (e) write the results either as a single thesis or as multiple manuscripts; and, (f) defend the results to the dissertation committee in an oral exam.