Family Science (FMSC)

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Abstract

The Department of Family Science prepares students to describe, explain, and improve the quality of family life through applied research, education, therapy, human services, policy analysis, and advocacy. The approach is interdisciplinary, emphasizing individual, interpersonal, and social change. The program of study is based on a systems or ecological paradigm, combining the perspectives of interrelated professional fields including family science, couple and family therapy, maternal and child health, family policy, behavioral science, and human services. Graduates are prepared for careers in the public, non-profit and private sectors, including university teaching, research, family policy analysis, and administrative positions in human service and public health programs.

The Department offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Couple and Family Therapy, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Family Science, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) degrees. Students applying to the PhD program in Family Science should have a Master's degree in Family Science or a related behavioral or social science. It is possible for a limited number of students to be accepted into the Family Science Ph.D. program with only a Bachelor's degree, but they must complete a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Couple and Family Therapy in route to the Ph.D. Most Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. applicants have a Masters Degree in Public Health (MPH), or an applied behavioral or biological science. Prior to entry, MCH students must also have completed at least one semester of a university-supervised, graduate level professional experience in a public health or mental health setting. MCH students must complete missing MPH core courses (biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and health behavior) within one academic year of program entry.

The M.S. program in Couple and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The program provides students with the counseling work and supervised clinical training typically required in states with Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure. The curriculum is based on an integrative approach to family therapy. From a general systems perspective, students acquire a broad knowledge of family therapy approaches and related theory. Didactic course material is continuously applied in supervised clinical practice in order to integrate theory and practice into a total learning experience.

The Ph.D. in Family Science is a research-oriented program examining internal family processes, as well as the dynamic interaction of families with the biological, psychological, social, political, and economic aspects of their environment. The integrated program of study focuses on family theory, research methodology, family policy, family programs, ethnic families, and major issues confronting contemporary families. Students learn to design, implement, and evaluate culturally-sensitive interventions addressing family needs and to analyze the consequences of public/private policies on family well-being.

The Ph.D. program in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) trains students to promote the well-being of families through scholarship, leadership, and partnership. The program prepares the next generation of MCH investigators, practitioners, and leaders by conducting research and evaluation, and by developing model MCH programs and policies. The MCH curriculum fosters critical thinking and examination of interacting biological, behavioral, and social processes influencing health and well-being. Students examine the health of individuals and populations within home, school, work place, and diverse community contexts, and explore the effects of community, state, and national MCH policies.

Admissions Information

Master of Science (M.S.)

Students are selected on the basis of:

* a bachelors degree in family studies or a related discipline,

* a minimum 3.0 (out of 4.0) grade point average for the Baccalaureate degree,

* the quality of previous undergraduate and/or graduate coursework,

* quality of the empirical Master's Thesis (for those with a Master's degree),

* the strength of their GRE scores,

* letters of recommendation,

* relevant work experience,

* professional goals congruent with those of the program.

In addition, applicants must complete and submit a hard copy of the "Couple and Family Therapy Application Form," available on our website, http://www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/graduate/ms/admission.

Students applying to the Couple and Family Therapy program must apply by January 15 (International students must apply by January 1). Students are only admitted to the Couple and Family Therapy program for the Fall semester.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Family Science Ph.D. program considers applications from students with a Master's or Bachelor's degree in family science, public health, or a related discipline. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Family Science with a baccalaureate degree must complete the M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy with a thesis en route to the Ph.D.

The Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. program considers applications from students with a Master's degree in Public Health (M.PH.) or a social/behavioral/biological sciences Master's degree that focuses on family, maternal, and/or child health issues (including mental health). Prior to entry, students must also have completed at least one semester of a university-supervised, graduate level professional experience in a public health or mental health setting. Applicants with a Masters degree other than an MPH degree must complete the required 5 public health core courses (biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences) within one academic year of their entry into the program.

Important: Applicants to the Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. program starting Fall 2013 are required to submit two applications for admission. First, they will submit an application to SOPHAS and second, they will submit a separate application to the University of Maryland.

In addition to meeting Graduate School requirements, students are selected for the Ph.D. program on the basis of:

* performance in previous undergraduate and/or graduate coursework,

* the strength of GRE scores taken within the last five years,

* letters of recommendation,

* quality of the empirical Master's Thesis (for those with a Master's degree),

* relevant work experience, and * professional goals congruent with those of the program.

The deadline for applications to both Ph.D. programs is December 15.

The Department of Family Science encourages applications from members of racial/ethnic minority groups for both its M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

Please see the Ph.D application deadlines below.


Application Deadlines
Type of Applicant Fall Spring

Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Deadline: December 15

International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas, as well as those seeking admissions under A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.

Deadline: December 15

Application Requirements

  1. GRE Scores
  2. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  3. Statement of Goals
  4. Transcripts
  5. Couple and Family Therapy Application Form (M.S. program only)
  6. Master's thesis or other research sample (Ph.D. program only)
  7. Resume / CV

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

The Couple and Family Therapy M.S. program requires 48 credits for the non-thesis option and 51 credits for the thesis option, which includes a two-year internship sequence.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program in Family Science requires 51 graduate credit hours beyond the Master's degree, including 30 core credits (theory, issues, research methodology, statistics), 6 elective credits, 3 research internship credits, and 12 dissertation credits.

The Ph.D. program in Maternal and Child Health requires 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master's degree, including 21 core credits (theory, issues) 12 research methods and statistics credits, 3 elective credits, and 12 dissertation credits.

Students in both Ph.D. programs must also submit an individual study plan, pass a comprehensive examination, and complete a dissertation and oral defense.

Facilities and Special Resources

The University's close proximity to the nation's capital, the state capital in Annapolis, federal executive departments, and headquarters of national professional and public interest associations provide research and internship placements for studying family policy unmatched by any other graduate program in the discipline. The Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area offers rich opportunities for research on culturally and socioeconomically diverse families. The campus and department have excellent computer facilities. Students have ready access to the University's extensive library systems, as well as holdings from the Library of Congress, the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, National Archives, and many other library collections.

Center for Healthy Families: This Center is the training and research arm of the Couple and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Family Science. Departmental graduate students and faculty provide clinical and educational services to families from surrounding communities in this new, state-of-the-art facility. Master's and doctoral students use data collected at the Center for research projects.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance for Ph.D. students is available through university fellowships and departmental teaching and research assistantships. Some assistantships may be available for M.S. students depending on departmental funding and faculty grants. Students may also seek assistantships in other campus units and/or apply for doctoral fellowships sponsored by federal agencies (e.g., NIH, DHHS).

Contact Information

For further information, contact:

Program Director of the Family Science Ph.D. Program, Director of Graduate Studies
Kevin Roy, Ph.D.
1142 School of Public Health, Bldg. 255
College Park
MD  20742
Telephone: (301) 405-3672
Fax: (301) 314-9161
kroy@umd.edu

http://www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/

Courses: EPIB EDMS PUAF FMSC CCJS

Related Programs and Campus Units

Nutrition
Public Health: Maternal and Child Health Ph.D.
Public Health: Epidemiology Ph.D.
Psychology
Sociology

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