Education & Research

Graduates from Weber State’s family studies program develop a background of research and theory that makes them highly qualified to pursue academic careers in human development and family studies (HDFS) at the graduate level (both master’s and doctoral).

Why choose WSU to prepare for HDFS graduate programs?

  • Curriculum in the family studies program at Weber State is based on a number of theories, including family systems theory.
  • The family studies program also provides experience with real research. Students in our program complete a research methods course that includes collecting data, analyzing findings and reporting their research. 
  • Numerous students report this research at university-level, regional, state and international conferences. For example, for the past two years, more than 20 family studies students have been co-authors on projects presented at undergraduate research symposiums and Utah Council on Family Relation conferences. Four students have presented at annual National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) conferences.
  • Weber State’s family studies program has been an NCFR-approved program since 1997. 
  • The family studies program provides an opportunity for certification as a Provisional Family Life Educator through the NCFR ( This background is valuable for those who will be working with families.
  • The community-based service-learning opportunities available in the family studies program classes prepare our students by giving them experience in the community as educators and service workers. These experiences are very attractive to graduate programs recruiting HDFS students.

If you plan to continue your studies beyond your bachelor's degree, we recommend the following:

  • Working on research outside of the classroom
  • Asking to help professors with their research, a great way to open doors
  • Taking an undergraduate course in statistics
  • Working with faculty and Darcy Gregg on what is needed to prepare for the graduate school examinations (Graduate Record Exam [GRE], Miller’s Analogy Test [MAT]).

Careers for Master’s Graduates

  • Faculty at a university
  • Director of cooperative extension programs
  • Family therapist
  • Research scientist

The family studies program enjoys a strong faculty that is enthusiastic about engaging with you. We are committed to helping you reach your goals in our program.