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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

College of Health and Human Sciences


Interim Dean: Damon Andrew; Associate Deans: Gregory J. Harris, Chester A. Ray; Eminent Scholar Chair: Frank Fincham; Deans Emeritae: Hortense Glenn (deceased), Margaret A. Sitton (deceased), Penny A. Ralston, Billie J. Collier

The mission of the College of Health and Human Sciences is to address global challenges and opportunities related to the physical, behavioral, and psycho-social factors influencing the health and development of individuals, families, and communities. Health and Human Sciences is an interdisciplinary unit that prepares researchers and applied professionals who seek new knowledge about, and innovative solutions to the challenges of human health and quality of life in contemporary society.

Florida State University is the comprehensive human sciences doctoral-granting institution in the state of Florida. The College of Health and Human Sciences is organized into two departments: Human Development and Family Science and Nutrition and Integrative Physiology. In keeping with the University's status as a preeminent university and its role as a comprehensive graduate research institution, the college's program is based on the belief that intellectual development demands understanding of the theories, principles, and concepts in each area of study, and that research is an essential part of that endeavor. Both faculty and students are provided opportunities to test theories and advance knowledge through research and critical analysis of ideas.

Facilities and Fellowships

  • The College of Health and Human Sciences has a multimedia laboratory with advanced software application and media equipment for faculty and graduate students to conduct research. The multimedia laboratory is in the Sandels Building.
  • The Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) has three laboratories used to support our training and research mission. The specific topic of research varies depending on the faculty and students involved, but all activities focus on the scientific discovery and the application of research discoveries to strengthen individuals and families.
  • The Center for Couple and Family Therapy (CCFT) is the primary clinical training center for marriage and family therapy doctoral students and serves as a critical interface between the University and the greater Tallahassee community. The CCFT provides mental health services to individuals, couples, and families with a variety of presenting problems, including relationship distress, anxiety, grief and loss, parenting, premarital counseling, and involvement with the Child Welfare System. The CCFT is equipped for both intervention and observational research.
  • The FSU Family Institute located in the Longmire Building provides a laboratory space for basic and applied research on relational processes and outcomes in couples and families. It is equipped for observational studies, experimental research and the identification of relevant biomarkers, especially cardiovascular functioning. A particular strength of this facility is its extensive data base and ongoing study of romantic relationships in emerging adults.
  • The Center on Better Health and Life for Underserved Populations engages in both prevention and intervention research in health-related issues within the broader community and partners with agencies throughout the State with a focus on health disparities.
  • The Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology (NIP) has several laboratories dedicated to research in a variety of areas. The research fields include food microbiology (biological safety level two), food science, nutrition science, and exercise physiology. These facilities are equipped with instruments and technologies to conduct studies across the research continuum, from molecular to whole organism, including cell culture, animal, clinical trials, and athletic performance. The NIP laboratories that enhance and enrich the student's education include:
  • Cardiovascular Laboratories, equipped to evaluate the effects of exercise and diet on autonomic control of blood pressure, central hemodynamics, and arterial stiffness in individuals with chronic diseases.
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratories, equipped to evaluate aerobic and anaerobic fitness, strength, and body composition.
  • The Human Performance Laboratory, designed for testing and training of competitive athletes of all ages, provides an opportunity for investigators to conduct multidisciplinary research in human and athletic performance, including the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries.
  • Body Composition Laboratory provides a setting for studies of bone and mineral metabolism that utilizes equipment and technology.
  • Muscle Research Laboratories, equipped to study molecular and cellular adaptations of skeletal muscle in wasting conditions (e.g. sarcopenia, cancer cachexia, etc.) and develop preventive and/or intervention methods for muscle wasting conditions using exercise and/or dietary supplements (or nutrients) with techniques of RT-PCR, Western Blotting, Immunohistochemistry, etc. The long-term goal is to establish a multidisciplinary approach using the most current magnetic resonance technology to develop translational research across disciplines and levels of biological organization to improve quality of life through proper exercise training and anti-muscle wasting supplements.
  • Applied Electrophysiology Exercise Laboratories investigate the underlying mechanisms that affect cardiac and arterial smooth muscle physiology under normal and pathological conditions using animal models. Techniques include PCR, Western blotting, surface biotinylation, calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and pressurized artery myography.
  • Nutrition, Body Composition and Metabolism Laboratory is dedicated to the study of nutrient intake, energy metabolism, and skeletal muscle and adipose tissue dynamics and its effect on health. The relationship between muscle loss, obesity, and interacting body composition changes among different susceptible groups is a primary focus. The lab uses nutritional assessment tools such as computerized tomography imaging analysis, DXA, BODPOD, and techniques for the measurement of energy intake and energy expenditure.
  • Nutrition and Food Instrument Laboratory provides a setting for chemical, analytical, microbial, and sensory testing.
  • Food Chemistry Laboratories, equipped with spectrophotometers, various electrophoresis systems, an automated microplate reader and washer, freeze dryers, chromatographic systems, micro DSC, a water purification system, and food-analysis equipment.
  • The Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (ISSM) brings together clinical and basic science investigators whose research seeks to elucidate scientific and biomedical factors related to sport, exercise, and nutrition.
  • The Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA) within NIP addresses major issues affecting the aging population in an attempt to uncover some of the underlying mechanisms of aging. CAERNA focuses on developing unique exercise and nutritional interventions for the amelioration of chronic diseases and functional declines that occur in aging with the intent to enhance quality of life and longevity.

The individual departments of the college describe more fully the various facilities available; refer to them in the "Academic Departments and Programs" chapter of this Graduate Bulletin.

Several states have arranged for their residents to have access to specific programs through the Academic Common Market, which allows their students to pay in-state tuition. Prospective out-of-state students may contact the college to determine their eligibility for the Academic Common Market.

College fellowships as well as graduate teaching and research assistantships are available. Nominations for these fellowships/assistantships are made by the department. See the "Academic Departments and Programs" section of this Graduate Bulletin for other scholarships and fellowships available.

Graduate Programs in Human Sciences

Master's Degree Programs

Exercise Physiology with a Major in:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Food and Nutrition with a Major in:

  • Nutrition and Food Science

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programs

Human Sciences with Emphasis in One of the Following:

  • Human Development and Family Science
  • Nutrition and Integrative Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy


Minimum admission requirements include: 1) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; and 2) an academic average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all work attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student, or a 3.0 on a master's degree from an accredited approved institution, and 3) quantitative, verbal, analytical writing test scores on the general Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Applicants for doctoral programs must have three letters of recommendation. Applicants for the master's program in Human Development and Family Science must submit three letters of recommendation, while those applying to master's programs offered by the Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology are required to submit two letters of recommendation. The PhD program in Marriage and Family Therapy require personal interviews of selected applicants prior to admission. Attainment of these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to any program. Admissions decisions are based on assessments of all aspects of the student's application materials. We reserve the right to increase standards if warranted by enrollment limitations and by the number and quality of applicants.

Master's Degree Program

The master's degree has two types of programs: thesis and non-thesis. The college offers the non-thesis coursework-only option. See the "Academic Departments and Programs" section of this Graduate Bulletin for details about the requirements for each of these programs and to determine which options are available in the department.

Program policies have been developed in compliance with University policies for the master's degree programs. Policies are provided to students the first semester they enroll to guide them throughout their studies.

Doctoral Degree Program

The graduate faculty members in the College of Health and Human Sciences have developed policies for the doctoral degree programs in compliance with the University's policies. Refer to the "Graduate Degree Requirements" chapter of this Graduate Bulletin for information about scholarly engagement, program of study, preliminary examination, prospectus, admission to candidacy, dissertation, and defense. Policies for doctoral degree programs are given to students the first semester they enroll. They give specific information and procedures to guide students throughout their studies.

There is no college-wide minimum course requirement; individual programs are planned to assist students in gaining sufficient mastery of their field to successfully complete the preliminary examination. All doctoral students in the College of Health and Human Sciences take HOE 6366, Research Best Practices in Human Sciences (2). There is no college-wide foreign language, statistics, or other research tool requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Each department prescribes its own requirements.