The HDFS Report: Claire Kamp Dush’s Ranking of HDFS Programs in North America

This is the 2017 ranking of Human Development and Family Science-type programs. You might wonder – what is Human Development and Family Science, what those of us in the field affectionately call HDFS? My colleague Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan wrote that “The purpose of HDFS is to nurture independent scholars who approach the study of development and behavior of human beings within social contexts from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The training of HDFS graduate students thus encompasses many approaches and paradigms, but is integrated through instruction in systems and bioecological perspectives, which emphasize that individuals are embedded in social contexts and cannot be fully understood out of context, and that human development and adaptation influence and are influenced by multiple interconnected sets of factors (e.g., genes, family relationships, school, community, society).” Below, you will see a ranking of 48-HDFS doctoral programs. These programs have a variety of names, but what they all hold in common is the study of human development in context. I will rank programs again in 2020, and until then, browse these programs, and consider continuing your graduate training in a program that will give you a broad perspective on human development and family relationships across multiple contexts and from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Often the most innovative advances in the study of human development and the family come from scholars who generate ideas after being exposed to a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Study HDFS, and you may be surprised at what you learn, and the knowledge that you generate!

The methodology of these rankings can be accessed here.

2017 Overall Rankings

Rank University Mean Program/Department
1 Pennsylvania State University 4.5 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
2 Cornell University 4.0 Department of Human Development
3 University of California, Davis 3.9 Human Development Graduate Group
4 University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana 3.8 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
4 University of Maryland at  College Park 3.8 Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
6 Arizona State University 3.7 Program in Family and Human Development
6 Northwestern University 3.7 Program in Human Development and Social Policy
6 Ohio State University 3.7 Program in Human Development and Family Science
6 University of Minnesota 3.7 Department of Family Social Science
10 University of Connecticut 3.6 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
10 University of North Carolina Greensboro 3.6 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
10 Virginia Tech 3.6 Department of Human Development and Family Science
13 Auburn University 3.5 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
13 Oregon State University 3.5 Program in Human Development and Family Studies
13 Purdue University 3.5 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
13 University of Texas 3.5 Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
17 Brigham Young University 3.4 Program in Marriage, Family, and Human Development
17 Michigan State University 3.4 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
17 University of Missouri 3.4 Department of Human Development and Family Science
17 University of Wisconsin-Madison 3.4 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
21 Florida State University 3.3 Department of Family and Child Sciences
21 Tufts University 3.3 Department of Child Study and Human Development
21 University of Arizona 3.3 Program in Family Studies and Human Development
21 University of Maryland at  College Park 3.3 Department of Family Science
25 Colorado State University 3.2 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
25 University of Georgia 3.2 Department of Human Development and Family Science
27 Iowa State University 3.1 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
27 University of Nebraska-Lincoln 3.1 Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies
27 Utah State University 3.1 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
30 Kansas State University 3.0 School of Family Studies and Human Services
31 Syracuse University 2.9 Department of Human Development and Family Science
31 University of Delaware 2.9 Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
31 University of Pennsylvania 2.9 Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development
34 Oklahoma State University 2.8 Department of Human Development and Family Science
34 University of Tennessee at Knoxville 2.8 Department of Child and Family Studies
36 Texas Tech 2.7 Department of Human Development and Family Studies
36 University of Florida 2.7 Department of Family, Youth and Community Services
36 University of Kentucky 2.7 Department of Family Sciences
36 University of Rochester 2.7 Program in Human Development
40 Montclair State University 2.6 Department of Family Science and Human Development
41 University of Guelph 2.5 Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
42 North Dakota State University 2.4 Department of Human Development and Family Science
43 Texas Woman’s University 2.3 Department of Family Sciences
44 Loma Linda University 2.2 Department of Counseling and Family Studies
44 Louisiana State University 2.2 Concentration in Child and Family Studies in the School of Social Work
46 Mississippi State University 2.1 Program in Human Development and Family Studies
46 University of Alberta 2.1 Department of Human Ecology
48 University of New Mexico Rank not published Program in Family and Child Studies

 

photo credit: ▲ ►▼ ◄ via photopin cc

photo credit: ▲ ►▼ ◄ via photopin cc

Top 5 Programs in Family Science 2017

Rank University Program/Department
1 Pennsylvania State University  Department of Human Development and Family Studies
2 University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Department of Human Development and Family Studies
2 Virginia Tech Department of Human Development and Family Science
4 University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science
5 Brigham Young University Program in Marriage, Family, and Human Development

 

photo credit: Cilia Schubert via photopin cc

photo credit: Cilia Schubert via photopin cc

Top 5 Programs in Child Development 2017

Rank University Program/Department
1 University of California, Davis Human Development Graduate Group
2 Pennsylvania State University  Department of Human Development and Family Studies
3 University of North Carolina Greensboro Department of Human Development and Family Studies
4 Cornell University Department of Human Development
5 Arizona State University Program in Family and Human Development

 

photo credit: 55Laney69 via photopin cc

photo credit: 55Laney69 via photopin cc

Top 5 Programs in Adolescent Development and Emerging Adulthood 2017

Rank University Program/Department
1 Pennsylvania State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies
2 Arizona State University Program in Family and Human Development
3 University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Department of Human Development and Family Studies
3 Auburn University Department of Human Development and Family Studies
3 Tufts University  Department of Child Study and Human Development

 

photo credit: Photoflurry via photopin cc

photo credit: Photoflurry via photopin cc

Top 5 Programs in Adult Development and Aging 2017

Rank University Program
1 Pennsylvania State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies
1 Virginia Tech Department of Human Development and Family Science
3 Colorado State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies
4 Purdue University Department of Human Development and Family Studies
4 Oregon State University Program in Human Development and Family Studies