Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences

Human Development and Family Sciences Texas Tech PhD  
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Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Sciences

Admission Deadline:

Priority Deadline: December 1

  • The priority deadline will be used in consideration of prestigious fellowship offers
  • The HDFS Department will continue accepting and reviewing applications after the priority deadline on a rolling basis through the start of the semester and Spring admissions will be considered
  • Scholarship and fellowships will continue to be offered based on funding availability

Prospective Student Visit:

February 25, 2020

How to Apply

The Graduate School online application system is designed to help you easily navigate through the application process and ensure you complete your application in a timely manner.
ALL documents must be submitted through the online portal and directly to the department.

How to Apply


What Graduate Programs are offered in HDFS at Texas Tech?

On-campus programs:

M.S. in HDFS
Ph.D. in HDFS

On-line programs

Master's in HDFS with a specialization in Gerontology
Master's in HDFS with a specialization in Youth Development
Graduate Certificate in Cross-Cultural Studies
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Graduate Certificate in Youth Development Specialist
Graduate Certificate in Youth Program Management and Evaluation

How many years does it take to complete a graduate degree in HDFS?

M.S. = 2 years
Ph.D. = 3 -4 years (after a M.S. degree)
Post-bac Ph.D. program = 5 years

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. If you apply for scholarships from the TTU Graduate School, you will be considered for departmental and college scholarships. A limited number of fellowships are available for our top applicants.

What is the most important part of my application?

We take a holistic approach to reviewing applicants so there is no single criteria that takes primacy. We admit students who are a good fit for our program and show potential for success. We do not set minimum GPA or GRE score requirements.

When are applications due?

HDFS M.S., Post-Bac, or Ph.D.

  • December 1 for fall admission

GPIDEA degrees (all online)

  • Spring Admissions: November 1
  • Fall Admissions: April 15

What courses are required to complete the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees?

The degree plans, including required courses, are available on this page under the Policies and Manuals tab.

How do I apply?

You need to complete an application to the TTU Graduate School, which will include your basic information, educational history, GRE scores (for on-campus M.S. and Ph.D. only), transcripts, a goal statement, list of faculty with whom you would like to work, and names of 3 references (who will receive a link to provide their recommendations for you).

When will I know if I have been accepted?

Applications due on December 1 will be notified on or around December 15. For those who apply for the April 15 deadline, you will be notified on or around April 30.

May I contact HDFS Faculty prior to completing my application?

Absolutely! We encourage M.S. and Ph.D. students to contact faculty with whom they are interested in working. If you want to be introduced to faculty before you contact them, please notify the Graduate Program Director who is happy to assist with an email introduction.

Is there a campus visit for graduate students?

Admitted students are invited to a campus visit in late February to help familiarize them with the program and campus prior to making their enrollment decisions. If you would like to visit campus prior to your application, please contact the Graduate Program Director for additional information.

Will I receive an assistantship if I attend TTU?

We prioritize assistantships for our Ph.D. students. If we have funding available, we also try to provide assistantships to Master's students. Most assistantships are for fall and spring semesters, but not summer semesters. Students are encouraged to not count on financial support during the summer term. If you receive an assistantship you must be enrolled full time during the semester of the assistantship.

Can I be admitted to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs as a part-time student?

No. Because we encourage active participation in research and teaching (for Ph.D. students) students need to be enrolled full time in the program.

Do you offer online courses for your graduate programs?

We do not offer online courses for our on campus M.S. and Ph.D. programs. However, our GPIDEA programs (M.S. with a specialization in Youth Development or Gerontology, and our graduate certificate programs) are all offered entirely online.

Policies and Manuals



Current Student Forms

All forms should be filled out, saved to your computer, and emailed to the HDFS Graduate Program Coordinator at jeremiah.ramirez@ttu.edu.

Postal Mailing Address
Texas Tech University
Office of Graduate and International Admissions
Box 41030
Lubbock, TX 79409-1030

Physical Mailing Address (Express Mail)
Texas Tech University
Office of Graduate and International Admissions
Boston Ave. at Akron Ave.
Administration 328
Lubbock, TX 79409-1030

Contact Information for Graduate School
If you have any questions about your application, call (806) 742-2781 or email: graduate.admissions@ttu.edu.
To check your application status, please check Raiderlink.

Post-baccalaureate Ph.D. in HDFS

For students with undergraduate research backgrounds, a post-baccalaureate Ph.D. is available. Applicants must show a history of involvement in research in an undergraduate program or after completion of the undergraduate degree. Applicants must also indicate a strong interest in continuing to conduct research.

When students first enter the program, they proceed as if they are Masters students. They take the same courses and fulfill the same requirements. After the successful defense of the thesis and completion of any required revisions to the thesis, a post-bac Ph.D. student's status changes to Ph.D. student. Post-bac Ph.D. students complete all of the same requirements as other Ph.D. students, except that they are exempt from the application process for the Ph.D. program.

HDFS Doctoral Program Highlights

  • Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) program also complete the Master's program requirements. Up to 30 transfer hours from an already completed Master's program may be applied toward doctoral program requirements upon approval of the student's committee and the Graduate School. 
  • Doctoral students spend two semesters in the HDFS department teaching undergraduate courses (following a practicum with guidance with a professor)—a unique aspect of our doctoral program that prepares graduate students for teaching in an academic institution. 
  • Nearly half of the hours in the doctoral program (39 of 84 hours) are electives. This allows students to define their own area of specialization. At least nine courses must be related to their specialization, and up to five courses may be taken outside of the HDFS department. Many HDFS students take courses at the TTU Health Sciences Center, College of Education, Psychology, Sociology, and other related fields. 
  • The HDFS program has a rigorous methodological sequence including quantitative and qualitative course offerings and electives. 
  • Graduate students are actively involved in research projects throughout their program and work in HDFS faculty research labs and may include research collaborations in the Child Development Research Center, the Center for Adolescent Resiliency, the Early Head Start Program and the Institute for Developmental Science.
  • Research collaborations are available across campus including the TTU Health Sciences Center, Women's Studies, the Burkhart Center for Autism Research, the Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis and Policy to name a few.
  • HDFS faculty are involved in important research, several of them funded by federal and state grants as well as international grants and they publish in top outlets in the field (e.g., Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Research on Adolescence, etc). Our faculty are highly regarded teachers, several having received awards from their national organizations and are engaged in important and prominent service at the international and national levels.