The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Family Science provides an interdisciplinary, research-oriented approach to the discovery and application of knowledge about families. This exciting program examines both internal family processes and the dynamic interaction of families with the biological, psychological, social, political, and economic aspects of their environment. Graduates are prepared for a number of careers in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, including university teaching, research, family policy analysis, and administrative positions in human service programs.

The Ph.D. program adopts an ecological or systems approach to the study of families and the problems they face in today's society. The program of study provides doctoral students with a broad knowledge of family theory, research methodology, family policy, family programs, ethnic families, and major issues confronting contemporary families. Students also learn to design, implement, and evaluate culturally-sensitive interventions addressing family needs and to analyze the consequences of public/private policies on family well-being.

The Maryland School of Public Health is located in a metropolitan area just 8 miles from the nation’s capital and close to the state capitol in Annapolis.  Students, their families, and residents in the surrounding area hail from diverse cultural/ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Our program offers a small student-to-faculty ratio, award-winning faculty with active research programs, mentors with diverse research expertise, and culturally sensitive learning.  Students have benefited from research internships at the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Health Statistics, and other federal agencies and private firms.  The Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar and the National Preparing Future Faculty program are part of student training.

Application to the program is made through the University of Maryland Graduate School website,  The Department of Family Science admits students in the fall semester only. The deadline for submitting the Graduate School Application is December 1st. Students are strongly encouraged to apply before the deadline date. See also

For questions about the application system, or how to apply, please contact the University Graduate School at

For more information about our program, please contact our Department at