Marriage, Family, & Human Development PHD

Program Purpose


The mission of the MFHD Ph.D. Graduate Program is to enable students to strengthen marital and family relationships and to facilitate optimal human development. The MFHD graduate program is designed to help students 1) learn the dominant theories, main research findings, and contemporary issues in the MFHD research literature, 2) learn the general research methods used in MFHD and become competent in applying these methods to research questions in the field, and 3) contribute to students' selected area of scholarly specialization through original research.

Curricular Structure

See MFHD Ph.D. Program MAP

Graduate Catalog

Program Information

Learning Outcomes


Marriage, Family, and Human Development Fundamentals

Demonstrate knowledge of the dominant theories, main research findings, & contemporary issues in the MFHD research literature.

Courses that Contribute: MFHD 799R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Competence
Research Skills

Demonstrate advanced knowledge of and competence in the general research methods and statistics used in MFHD.

Courses that Contribute: MFHD 799R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Effective Research Analysis and Reporting

Review existing research: design, analyze, and report advanced original research that contributes to a scholarly specialty.

Courses that Contribute: MFHD 799R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively

Evidence of Learning


Direct Measures

  1. Regular meetings with faculty advisor to monitor progress
  2. Semi-annual student evaluations (student self-evaluation followed by the evaluation of a faculty sub-committee)
  3. Qualifying exams
  4. Public defense of dissertation
  5. Peer-reviewed scholarly paper/s and presentations.

Indirect Measures

  1. Exit interviews and surveys
  2. External and internal unit reviews
  3. BYU alumni surveys

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


The assessment data are stored in the School of Family Life Office. These data are analyzed and summarized by the graduate committee and presented to the faculty each year during a faculty meeting. From the ensuing discussions, plans are made to revise the graduate program and improve student learning as per school, college, and university protocols.