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Penn State offers opportunities for students seeking additional specialized expertise to pursue a dual-title degree. Dual-title programs are specialized curricula that students integrate within their home doctoral program (HDFS) in order to tailor the focus of their training. Following an extensive and rigorous program of training, students’ expertise in the specialized area is recognized formally in their degree title. Dual-title programs represent domains of specialization that bridge multiple departments and programs, and students pursuing a range of different primary degrees may adopt a dual-title in shared domain. Thus students pursuing a dual-title have the opportunity to interact with doctoral students from a range of departments to gain a multi-disciplinary perspective on certain topics.

HDFS is currently affiliated with 4 dual-title programs at Penn State. Students must first be accepted for doctoral study in HDFS. After completing their first year of doctoral study, students have the option of applying to pursue the dual-title.

Dual title in HDFS and Demography

Demography is the scientific discipline that studies the size, compositions, and territorial distribution of individuals, families, and area populations, and the dynamic processes that explain the changes in each. Expertise in demography can be an excellent complement to HDFS training for students with interests in public health and studying how policy, social trends, and resources affect populations.

Dual title in HDFS and Social Data Analytics

Social data analytics is the integration of social scientific, computational, informational, statistical, and visual analytic approaches to the analysis of large or complex data that arise from human interaction. The dual-title Ph.D. program provides additional training with the aim of providing scientists with the skills required to expand the field of social data analytics, creatively answer important social scientific questions, and communicate effectively with both academic and nonacademic audiences.

Dual title in HDFS and Social Behavioral Neuroscience

Beginning in Fall of 2018 students will be able to pursue a new dual title in Social Behavioral Neuroscience. Social behavioral neuroscience reflects the study of how brain development and function influence, and are influenced by, social environments and human interaction. The dual-title Ph.D. program provides students with additional training in the neurobiological foundations of brain function in order to enable them to pursue innovative interdisciplinary research with intellectual sophistication.

Dual title in HDFS and Clinical Translational Science

Beginning in 2018 HDFS will be affiliated with the dual title in Clinical Translational Science. This program is applicable for students pursuing academic careers in the area of basic research focused on processes that can be targeted through intervention practice, the development or improvement of intervention programs, or the science of translation and dissemination. This program is also relevant for students pursuing non-academic careers related to public health, policy, cost effectiveness or cost-benefit program evaluation. Note that this program does not provide clinical training in direct service delivery.

Penn State is one of the leading research universities in the United States.