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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 Department Head Welcome to Human Development and Family Studies

As Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, I want to warmly welcome you to HDFS and invite you to learn more about what we do. We are passionate about people!  Our undergraduate and graduate programs illuminate the wonder and complexity of human development across the lifespan, how contexts such as family, school, community, and culture impact our development, and how we can use that knowledge to create programs and interventions that help people.

We approach the study of human development and family studies from an inclusive and multi-cultural lens. We are dedicated to engaged learning, and our programs of study utilize innovative and high-impact experiences to facilitate learning. Our faculty are engaged in exciting and impactful research activities and are committed to mentoring students in the classroom and in research projects. There is so much we are excited about. Come learn with us!

Lise Youngblade, Ph.D.

Lise Youngblade portrait

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

Opportunities for students to take ownership of their education and leadership.

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

World Class Education

We are very proud of our undergraduate program. 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 state-of-the-art 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, providing a high quality university education. 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.