Post-bachelor Doctoral Degree Program

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Students who know they are interested in pursuing a PhD might be interested in our 90-hour post-bachelor doctoral program in Human Development and Family Science with a specialization in Prevention Science which provides students with the skills to teach, conduct high-impact research, and apply research-based knowledge to the development, implementation, evaluation, and administration of prevention programs designed to promote individual, family, and relationship health and well-being across the life course.

The prevention science post-bachelor doctoral degree offers students the opportunity to efficiently complete both their master’s and doctoral degrees at K-State. Benefits of this option include:

  • A shorter path to a doctoral degree
  • Continuity of faculty advising across both degrees
  • Seamless transition from MS to PhD program, which can result in increased productivity.

If students’ career plans change during their master’s degree work, they have the option of graduating with their master’s degree and not continuing to the doctoral degree.


Core courses (24 hours)

  • HDFS 752: Social Justice Approach to Prevention (3)
  • HDFS 787: Resilience in Families (3)
  • DFS 770: Development and Implementation of Prevention Science Programs (3)
  • HDFS 852: Theories of Human Development and Family Science (3)
  • HDFS 860: Family Policy (3)
  • HDFS 893: Evaluation of Prevention Science Programs (3)
  • HDFS 950: Theory Construction in Human Development and Family Science (3)
  • HHS 995: Grant Writing and Management (3)

Research Methods (9 hours)

  • CFT 983: Couple and Family Therapy Research (3)
  • HDFS 809: Qualitative Research (3)
  • HHS 888: Research Methods in Health and Human Sciences (3)

Statistics (9 hours)

Select one:

  • EDCEP 817: Statistical Methods in Education (3)
  • HDFS 806: Statistical Methods in Human Development and Family Sciences I (3)
  • STAT 703: Introduction to Statistical Methods for the Sciences (3)

Select one:

  • EDCEP 917: Experimental Design in Educational Research (3)
  • HDFS 906: Statistical Methods in Human Development and Family Sciences II (3)
  • STAT 705: Regression and Analysis of Variance (3)

Select one:

  • CFT 910: Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
  • STAT 730: Multivariate Statistical Methods (3)

Professional Development (14 hours)

  • CFT 970: Specialization and Leadership (3)
  • EDCI 943: Principles of College Teaching (3)
  • HDFS 981: Applied Practicum in HDFS (1-3)
  • HDFS 982: College Teaching Practicum in HDFS (1-3)
  • HDFS 983: Research Practicum in HDFS (1-3)


In addition to the required courses above, the curriculum requires a minimum of 15 elective credit hours. These courses should be chosen based on the student's professional goals and approved by the student's supervisory committee.

If desired, students can choose to pursue graduate certificates to complement or enhance their Doctoral Degree. Elective credits may be counted towards completion of the certificate. Please note that completion of the certificate may require additional credits beyond those required for the Doctoral Degree.

Doctoral Research (19 hours)

19 credit hours of doctoral research are required, and includes dissertation proposal seminar and PhD research credits.

Culminating Experience

Preliminary Examination or Portfolio Defense
Students have the option to complete a traditional doctoral preliminary examination or build a portfolio. The selection of a traditional preliminary examination or the portfolio option should be done in coordination with, and with approval by, your major professor and supervisory committee.

All students completing the doctoral degree with a specialization in Prevention Science will be required to complete a written dissertation and an oral defense of that written product. The dissertation is original scholarship based on the student's research, which is conducted and written under the direction of the student's major professor and supervisory committee. You have two options for formatting for your dissertation for your PhD: Traditional Dissertation or Three-Paper Dissertation. In order to prepare students for successful completion, the dissertation process will include pre-proposal and proposal meetings, in addition to mentoring from a student's supervisory committee throughout the duration.

Graduate Certificates

K-State offers many options for students interested in pursuing graduate certificates. Many of these certificates would complement graduate work in Prevention Science. In particular, Prevention Science students may be interested in the following graduate certificates:

Adult Learning
Educational Technology
Applied Statistics
Conflict Resolution
Financial Therapy
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Leadership Dynamics for Adult Learners
Personal Financial Planning
Public Administration
Public Health
Qualitative Research
Social Justice Education
Technical Writing and Professional Communication

For a complete list of graduate certificates offered at Kansas State University, please refer to the Loading... .

Application Information

  • The deadline for post-bac doctoral applications is December 1st.
  • The post-bac doctoral program only accepts applications for enrollment in the fall semester.
  • Get more complete application information.


Program Contacts

For questions about the application process, program requirements, or curriculum please contact Dr. Michelle Toews.