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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.

The program of research and graduate training in HDFS is designed to provide students with the training needed to contribute to the field of human development in multiple ways. Students engage in cutting edge research in the study of individuals and families across the life span, with an emphasis on the development and application of new methodological approaches for these areas. This work spans all levels of analysis from the biological (genetics, physiology) to the social context (schools, neighborhoods, and the workplace) to inform the development and evaluation of prevention and intervention programs implemented locally or through changes in public policy.

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.