PhD Programs in Family Studies and Intervention Strategies

A Ph.D. in family studies and intervention strategies will give you the skills necessary to help people solve problems and give them the tools needed to handle situations, such as poverty, substance abuse, job loss and remarriage, which can disrupt families and strain relationships. Learn about admission requirements, online options, coursework, additional requirements and what you can do with your degree. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What are the Admission Requirements for a Family Studies and Intervention Strategies Ph.D. Program?

Admissions requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Family Studies program can vary by school, but often includes a post-secondary degree, preferably in the field of human services. Along with your application, you will have to submit recent GRE scores and three letters of recommendation.

Some schools require that you outline your research goals and you may need to submit a sample of your academic writing skills, such as a postsecondary thesis. Many Ph.D. programs prefer candidates who have experience working with families in a counseling capacity.

Admission Requirements Post-secondary degree in human services, GRE scores, 3 letters of recommendation, research goals, sample of academic writing skills and work experience in field
Online Programs Most available are hybrid programs with some on-campus requirements
Common Courses Families and legal issues, counseling children, sex theory, family theories
Program Completion Involves core and specialist course completion, research, writing and defending a dissertation
Career Options Work as marriage or family therapist, family policy analyst or parent education consultant, teaching at college level

Do Online Programs Exist?

There are a few online Ph.D. programs in family studies and intervention strategies, but most of these programs are in hybrid format. In an online program, you have the option to choose a learning method that suits you best. This could involve following a specific plan of study, where you interact with your classmates and your professors online. Or, it could involve completing independent research. Both options have some on-campus requirements, such as in-person residencies and presenting your dissertation.

What Courses Will I Take?

In most of these Ph.D. programs, courses are targeted on family structures and how these structures work in relation to different aspects of the family unit. You will learn how a unhealthy family life can affect people and their development, both personally and professionally. You will study family policies and at-risk families, including the implementation of prevention and intervention programs and methods. Coursework can include:

  • Families and children in poverty
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Prevention, intervention and consultation
  • Remarriage and step-families
  • Families and legal issues
  • Counseling children
  • Communication in families
  • Sex theory
  • Family theories
  • Couples therapy

What Some of the Other Requirements?

To complete the requirements within a Ph.D. program, you will need to take core courses and some electives. You will also need to complete coursework in a specialization. Other requirements may include:

  • Education courses with teaching experience
  • Research
  • Comprehensive matriculation exam
  • Writing and defending a dissertation

How Can I Use This Degree?

With a Ph.D. in family studies or a Ph.D. in human services with an emphasis in family studies and intervention strategies, you can become a marriage or family therapist. Having your Ph.D. also allows you to teach at the college level. Other career options include family policy analyst, a parent education consultant or a representative of social services. You could also become a consultant that evaluates family therapeutic services offered by counselors and make critiques or suggestions regarding their procedures and techniques.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Capella University

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