How to Apply

HDFS Graduate Programs

Applications for admission are processed online by the School of Graduate Studies. The School of Graduate Studies forwards completed applications to the department for review. Please contact the School of Graduate Studies for questions specific to the application process.

Materials Needed to Complete the Application

  • Contact information (e-mail addresses) for three people who can write about your academic and professional abilities. These individuals will be contacted via email, and will be prompted to upload their letter of recommendation to a link sent to them from the graduate school.
  • Your application letter, also called a letter of interest, letter of intent, or statement of purpose. It is recommended that applicants address the following:
    • Fit with department emphases, content areas, and areas of faculty expertise (see Faculty page)
    • Educational and occupational goals
    • Short- and/or long-term professional goals following graduation.
    • For more information, see Tips for Applying to Graduate School.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • Applicants for the Doctoral Concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy must complete the information listed above for the Doctoral Degree in HDFS and must also submit the following items:
    • Your essay should be 4-5 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. Use headers. 
    • Please include your current address, email, and telephone number at the beginning or end of your essay.
    • Describe your clinical interest areas and expertise. What presenting issues/problems are you most drawn to and what specific populations do you prefer working with? How have you developed expertise and knowledge in these areas (trainings/education, conferences/workshops, publications, etc.)?
    • How do the above expertise and interest areas tie in with your research (basic and applied)? Where do you see your research going over the next few years?
    • What attracts you to applying for the PhD program at Utah State University? What are your career goals over the next ten years?
    • Name one or two faculty members that you want to work with, specifically how you see their experience/interest area helping you to reach your research and academic goals.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to a graduate degree program within the department of Human Development and Family Studies, you must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 for last 90 quarter credit hours or 60 semester credit hours.
  • Applicants to our PhD, MS, and MMFT programs are required to submit an academic writing sample of at least five double-spaced pages in length.  Examples may include a class paper, literature review, undergraduate or master's thesis, or an in-progress or published scholarly manuscript.
  • Students for whom English is a second language must demonstrate English proficiency on the TOEFL exam.
  • In addition to these minimum standards, the applicant's undergraduate education should include at least one research methods and one statistics course.  We recommend that these courses are in the social sciences and at the upper-division level.


Tips for Applying to Grad School

RaNae Wamsley

RaNae Wamsley

Graduate Coordinator of Programs

Phone: 435-797-1501
Office Location: FL 203


Application Timeline


December 15
- Applicants to all graduate programs must submit a complete application (including application letter, transcripts, academic writing sample, and contact information for references) to the School of Graduate Studies.

March 15 - Department informs students regarding admission and financial aid decisions.

April 15 - Student applicants must notify the Department regarding their decision to enroll (as per the Council of Graduate Schools resolution).