Four students sit in the graduate student lounge working on classwork and talking with one another.
A Consumer Behavior & Family Economics graduate student gestures toward her poster as she explains her research to several onlooking prospective students.
A panel of four current graduate students answers questions during a Q&A session with prospective graduate students.

2023 PhD graduates Trisha Chanda (CBFE), Endang Fourianalistyawati (HDFS), Lucretia Fairchild (HDFS), and Saliha Sellman (HDFS) pose with their peers

2023 Graduation recap »
A graduate student from Human Development and Family Studies explains her research to other interested students.

Human Ecology PhD

Human ecology is the study of the complex relationships between human beings and their environments. The school offers a doctorate of philosophy within four named options/specializations:

Civil Society & Community Research

Consumer Behavior & Family Economics

Design Studies

Human Development & Family Studies

Human Ecology MS

The Master of Science in Human Ecology offers multi-disciplinary course work that focuses on current theories and strategies for creating, managing and evaluating settings that promote human and community development. Students are exposed to current research and practice that integrates: (a) the promotion of human and family development with (b) perspectives on building effective organizations and sustainable communities. Students create their own “master’s specialization” through elective courses and the completion of a real-world capstone project.

Several prospective graduate students stand facing the 100 women wall, a stained glass art piece featuring 100 women who have been influential in the field of human ecology
A Design Studies MFA student holds a piece of ivory hand-made paper as she attaches it to a larger hand-made paper display

Human Ecology MFA

The focus of the MFA degree is on creative performance in design. Its goals are to promote strong and creative conceptual thinking, exploration, interpretation, innovation, and overall excellence in design execution.

Graduate Assistantships

There are three types of graduate assistantships: teaching, project, and research assistantships. All incoming Human Ecology PhD and MFA students are guaranteed funding at the 50% level for 3-5 years, depending on their program and academic background.


The School of Human Ecology offers approximately $200,000 of scholarships to our graduate students annually. These fund student professional and academic development at every stage of a graduate career, from guaranteed funding to attend a conference in the first year to support through the final stages of a dissertation.


Fellowships are administered at the Graduate School level and vary in availability from year to year. These prestigious opportunities create protected time to allow students to focus wholly on their academic progress.

Our Community

Dó-ing the work of heritage preservation: MFA student Veronica Pham spotlights Vietnamese papermaking

"I’m finding these connections between the history of papermaking and then the history of my own culture and heritage."

Persevering through sisterhood: Meet PhD student Prudence Yokonia

Growing up in Zimbabwe, Prudence's journey to joining the School of Human Ecology as a Human Development & Family Studies PhD student has been up and down, and even cosmically aligned at times.

PhD graduate Trisha Chanda makes an impact through her research and mentorship

“The Consumer Behavior & Family Economics program taught me not only how to do research, but how to do it well.”

Trisha Chanda, a Consumer Behavior & Family Economics graduate student, poses beside her research poster titled "Children's living arrangements and mothers' post-separation economic wellbeing in Finland and the United States".

Four graduate students receive teaching and mentoring scholarship awards

We are grateful for the passion, patience and care that this year’s recipients embody every day in their classrooms, in their graduate programs and departments and through their research. Congratulations to all of the recipients!