2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 25, 2022  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Child and Family Studies, PhD

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The Child and Family Studies doctoral program is an interdisciplinary degree designed to train students in advanced theory and empirical research in the field of Child and Family Studies. The program prepares students for careers as faculty, research scientists, and administrators in various governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Students enrolled in the doctoral program engage in research activities under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The Ph.D. program consists of 72 credits and the completion of a dissertation.

In addition to completing the core requirements (27 credits)

In addition to completing the core requirements (27 credits), students are required to take additional supporting courses (33 credits) from within or outside the college in areas such as education, psychology, the social sciences, and women’s studies. Students should consult with their faculty advisor prior to selecting elective courses. Students may choose courses at the 500 or the 600 level. All students must complete a two-semester sequence in statistics and research methods. Students must also select an additional research methods course (advanced statistics, qualitative research) in preparation for their doctoral research.

Subject to departmental approval, a maximum of up to 30 credits of Masters level coursework (in CFS or related disciplines at Syracuse University or other universities) may be applied to your Ph.D. program as electives. Courses in research methodology, statistics, and major or substantive areas of study within Child and Family Studies or related disciplines are eligible to be considered.

Comprehensive Examination

After completing required coursework and prior to their dissertation, doctoral students must complete the comprehensive examination. These examinations are intended to advance learning by requiring students to integrate substantive knowledge within the broad field of Child and Family Studies. Students are expected to synthesize, critically analyze, and evaluate the literature in the field and also articulate this scientific information in the written defense examination. Formal acceptance as a Ph.D. candidate is contingent upon successful completion of the written examination. Comprehensive examinations are scheduled twice each year.


Students are expected to take 12 dissertation credits. The dissertation is a final requirement of the Ph.D. program wherein students are expected to undertake original research that makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in child and family studies (students complete 12 dissertation credits). Students are expected to present a dissertation proposal to a committee of three faculty members. Only after approval of the dissertation proposal are students allowed to undertake the proposed research project. Upon completion of the dissertation, an oral defense is scheduled before a dissertation committee. The dissertation must meet additional requirements specified by the department and the Graduate School.

Distribution of Credits:

Core Requirements 27

Electives 33

(including an additional research tool)

Dissertation 12

Total 72

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