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Doctoral Program in International Family and Community Studies

The doctoral program in International Family and Community Studies (IFCS) is designed to educate professionals to generate, diffuse and apply knowledge needed to strengthen communities’ capacity for family support, meaningful participation and strong relationships. The program can prepare students for several different career tracks. Our graduates have become scholars in interdisciplinary institutes or in academic departments related to child and family studies, social policy studies and international studies. Other graduates have become researchers, planners or administrators in domestic or international governmental or non-governmental organizations concerned with children, families and/or communities.

With its focus on family and community life, the program touches on the most fundamental aspects of people’s everyday lives. Blending the humanities, the social sciences and various professional disciplines, the program is unique in its integration of normative analysis, empirical research, and community development. With a foundation in the study of human rights as applied to children and families around the world, the program builds a comparative understanding of U.S., foreign and international law and policy on child and family issues and of the significance of democracy for the well-being of individuals, families and communities. Students acquire an appreciation of the role of civil society (e.g., voluntary associations and nonprofit organizations) and primary community institutions (e.g., schools) in promoting and maintaining democracy. Such studies provide the foundation for an understanding of the principles and practices of community development and transformation, humanitarian assistance and responsive human services. The important role and features of effective informal mutual assistance mechanisms in community life and their meaning for children and families are also explored.

The program is enhanced by the department's ties with related University programs across the globe. Students have the opportunity to participate in the department and institute’s community development, policy consultation, and empirical research projects in South Carolina, other states, and nations.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s or a master’s degree from an accredited degree program. In addition to strong academic performance, experience in volunteer and/or professional public service is desirable. Students should submit the following:

  • Resume or CV
  • Unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts are required upon acceptance.)
  • GRE test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the applicant's academic work and/or community service.
  • A 500-word personal statement about the applicant's career aspirations and goals and their relation to this graduate program.
  • A writing sample that demonstrates your writing proficiency (e.g., a course paper from the past or a recent substantial writing effort, such as a grant proposal).
  • Students for whom English is not their first language are also required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores. For more information, click here.

Both U.S. and international students are welcome, as are both new graduates and experienced professionals.

Deadline for applications is February, 1.

To apply, please click here.

For more information, contact:
Graduate Studies Coordinator
Department of Youth, Family and Community Studies
Clemson University
2038 Barre Hall 
Clemson, SC  29634
phone (864) 656-3410
fax (864) 656-6281
yfcsinfo@clemson.edu