Colorado State University Offers New Doctorate Program to Help Families, Communities with Social Issues

A unique doctoral program will prepare professionals to address issues such as school readiness and success; aging; promoting positive social and emotional development in families, schools and the community; and preventing problems like violence and aggression, addictions, unhealthy lifestyles and risky behavior.   

The new Colorado State University doctorate program is in the College of Applied Human Sciences in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The 76 credit-hour degree prepares students in rigorous research related to human and family development for careers in research at private institutes or universities. It also will train professionals for careers in youth, community and elderly programs such as school district prevention programs, statewide health organizations and health programs initiated by private industry.

The doctorate degree will provide students with skills to translate basic research into evidence-based programs and practices. Applied developmental scientists research issues such as health care access for vulnerable youth and families, children’s early school success and readiness, family care-giving for older adults, how to balance work and family, reduce gang violence and treat substance abuse and addiction.

"Given the accelerating complexity of issues confronting children, families and the aging population today, it is critical to train future leaders who can work toward creating solutions to societal challenges and promote opportunities for healthy and positive development. This new program is on the cutting edge of this effort," said Lise Youngblade, department head.

The new program is one of only 14 programs in the country and is the only such program between Minneapolis and the Pacific coast. Colorado State University is the only university in Colorado offering a degree program in Human Development and Family Studies at the baccalaureate and master’s levels.

For more information on the doctorate program in applied developmental science or any other graduate opportunity in HDFS, contact Karen Barrett in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at (970) 491-7382 or