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Explore Health and Human Development
Old Main at University Park campus.

If you’re interested in examining how individuals develop across the lifespan in the contexts of relationships, families, schools, and communities, Penn State’s Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. program will elevate you to an even higher level of research competence.

With strong multidisciplinary ties, the dual-title Ph.D. in HDFS and Social Data Analytics prepares graduate students to be leaders in research advancing the understanding, policies, and practices that improve the lives of individuals and families worldwide.

As an HDFS graduate student, you will have the opportunity to develop into an exceptional researcher and/or scholar — and an essential component of your doctoral training involves instruction by faculty from computational, informational, statistical, and visual analytic sciences, as well as other social sciences. HDFS at Penn State is recognized worldwide for the advanced scientific and methodological training provided to its graduates, who go on to achieve positions in academic institutions worldwide, policy research institutes, governmental policy advising, and industry consulting.

According to the National Science Foundation, Penn State consistently ranks among the top 15 major U.S. universities in research expenditures in science and engineering fields.