Human Development and Family Sciences

human development and family studies


This major is part of the Education Exploration Group and Social & Behavioral Sciences Exploration Group

HDFS Major Website

Gerontology Minor

HDFS Minor

Career Path Concentrations

The undergraduate program in Human Development and Family Sciences presents a multidisciplinary understanding of individual and family development and change over the life span, from conception to old age. Students are oriented to the social, cultural, and historical contexts within which individuals and families function and the ways in which diversity, such as family structure, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and disability, are associated with developmental variations. Students also learn how social policies affect families, family members, and the wider contexts in which families reside. Integrating classroom and service-learning education with opportunities for research and applied professional experience, HDFS serves as a major educational and training program for students interested in careers related to human service delivery, including social work, family law, public policy, counseling and therapy, early childhood care and education, health, and family life education.

Students can major or minor in HDFS, and the Department also houses a minor in Gerontology for individuals interested in working with, for, or on behalf of the older adult population. In addition, students who wish to pursue a career working with young children and their families can focus their studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Development/Education (ECDE and ECD). Early childhood concentrations prepare students to work with children birth through age five within a variety of settings, including early childhood education, early intervention, and family/community support programs.