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Human Development and Family Studies Mission

Our mission is to generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge about human development across the lifespan, in the context of family, culture, and society. Our goal is to use this knowledge to help resolve societal and developmental challenges faced by children, families, and our aging population and to promote optimal development and opportunities for all.

Students in our program have the chance to learn human development and family studies from an interdisciplinary perspective.

From the Dean Welcome to Human Development and Family Studies

As the new Head of HDFS, I want to express my enthusiasm for the great work taking place here! HDFS at CSU is such a vibrant department that tackles some of the most important questions we face as a society. In HDFS, we study how people develop physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. We focus on the importance of contexts such as family, school, community, and the broader culture. And we take an inclusive and multi-cultural approach in our work. Many of our projects create and evaluate programs and interventions that are designed to help people across the lifespan and from all walks of life.

We work closely with our graduate and undergraduate students and provide them with enriching course work and impactful hands-on experiences.  Our students are mentored by some of the best faculty in the field who can help students navigate research and community-oriented settings. I am truly proud to be a part of the department’s mission to enhance healthy development across the lifespan and to engage our students in this critically important process!

Julie Braungart-Rieker, Ph.D.

Julie Braungart-Rieker

Human Development and Family Studies Who We Are

Faculty members are engaged in research examining the development of basic human processes, like cognitive, social, and emotional skills, in the contexts of families, schools, culture, diversity, and other contexts, across the life span.

We strongly value outreach and the translation of research findings into evidence-based services to the community. We invite you to find out more about our Centers.

Many faculty and students conduct research on cultural diversity, on gender and power dynamics in families, and on other forms of diversity. Our courses are infused with content related to culture, ethnicity, and gender. Several journal articles describe our infusion model, and the department has been honored with awards for our innovations related to diversity.

Student Organizations

Student organizations provide opportunities for you to take ownership of you education and leadership.

A member of the student outreach undergraduate leadership hands out candy during Treatsylvania.

World Class Education

We offer a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies that emphasizes the importance of experiential learning as well as a thorough grounding in theories and research. Students can select from five degree concentrations including: Human Development and Family Studies; Early Childhood Professions; Pre-Health Professions; Prevention and Intervention Sciences; and Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions.

We offer a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science. We also offer a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, with specialization in either Marriage and Family Therapy or Prevention Science. Students receive training in human development theory from a lifespan and ecological perspective and develop the research skills to conduct both base and applied research on human development.

Asset 143 Online Program

The Human Development and Family Studies online courses are designed to be comparable to their parallel resident instruction courses in HDFS. The online Bachelor of Science degree in HDFS carries the full accreditation of Colorado State University and is indistinguishable on student transcripts from the on-campus version of the degree.