B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies Is the Human Development and Family Studies major for you?
Are you curious about the way human beings grow and develop?
- Have you ever wondered how environmental and social factors affect physical, cognitive, and emotional development?
- Are you interested in learning more about specific stages of human development such as infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging?
- Does the study of family dynamics or the aging process intrigue you?
- Have you ever thought about a career in early childhood education, in family counseling, or working with youth in various settings?
- Would you like to work with hospitalized children to help reduce the stress of medical treatment on them and their families?
This degree is an interdisciplinary major focusing on the development of families and individuals across the lifespan. Students learn to identify factors that influence cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and later adulthood in the contexts of culture and family. There are five concentrations that students select from, which prepare them to work in a variety of settings.
See what it’s like to be a Human Development and Family Studies student:
B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies Degree Concentrations
Human Development and Family Studies Concentration
The Human Development and Family Studies Concentration is a general concentration that is available to HDFS majors who do not choose one of the more specific concentrations. This general concentration is an excellent choice for students who are interested in a lifespan or more general focus in HDFS and are not seeking the specialized training offered in the other four concentrations. Students choosing this concentration will be preparing to enter a variety of different careers or graduate programs, as outlined above. The curriculum includes primarily HDFS, psychology, and social work courses as well as selected courses from other disciplines for a well-rounded and robust education in human development and family studies. By selecting this concentration, students have an opportunity to participate in a variety of experiential learning courses and internship options as they explore and prepare for their career path and additional credentialing options. Please note that the HDFS general concentration does not appear on students’ transcripts.
Early Childhood Professions Concentration
The courses in the Early Childhood Professions Concentration prepare students for careers in early childhood education as well as professional work with children across a variety of settings, including working with children with special needs. This concentration is an ideal choice for first and second year Human Development and Family Studies majors who plan to apply to the competitive on-campus Early Childhood Education Major during their sophomore year. Additionally, this concentration is the preferred choice for students interested in the early childhood education careers that do not require teacher licensure, or for students who will pursue a graduate degree and licensure in childhood education. Students interested in working with children with special needs, those seeking director qualifications in early childhood education, and those seeking other relevant credentials would also benefit from choosing this concentration. The curriculum incorporates courses from several disciplines that focus on early child development, education, diversity, and professional skills.
Pre-Health Professions Concentration
Many students pursuing an Human Development and Family Studies degree plan to apply to graduate or professional programs in a variety of health professions. The Pre-Health Professions Concentration prepares students for these careers and supports their goals of obtaining graduate training. Some of the careers students in this concentration pursue are: allied health practitioner, anesthesiologist assistant, child life specialist, chiropractor, dentist, medical doctor, music therapist, naturopathic or complementary medicine practitioner, nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician’s assistant, podiatrist, speech and language pathologist, or veterinarian. The courses within this concentration include a focus on science and also help prepare students to work with individuals (and their families) with disabilities, mental and physical illness, or those experiencing death, dying, or grief. In addition, students in this concentration are strongly encouraged to consult with pre-professional advisors in the Collaborative for Student Achievement for specific course (and corresponding course prerequisite) recommendations based on the credentials that they are pursuing, as the prerequisite requirements vary for graduate and professional programs.
Prevention and Intervention Sciences Concentration
The Prevention and Intervention Sciences Concentration is designed for students who are preparing for careers in the helping and human services professions such as counselors, educators, student affairs professionals, and social service providers, as well as for students seeking a research career in human development and family studies or a related field. This concentration is an excellent choice for students interested in careers requiring either a bachelor’s degree or additional credentials. Concentration coursework emphasizes evidence-based programs, and students will learn how to design and implement community-based prevention and intervention programs for youth, adults, and families. Students can either focus on a specific aspect of the lifespan or choose courses across the lifespan.
Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions Concentration
The Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions Concentration guides students who are preparing for leadership positions in organizations that promote the optimal development of individuals and families. Students in this concentration may intend to work in organizations as directors, managers, or owners. This concentration includes coursework in finance, management, marketing, public policy, professional communication, and leadership. This concentration is also appropriate for students preparing for careers in legal services, such as lawyers or politicians, as well as director positions and other leadership positions in the human services sector. Students in this concentration may choose to pursue additional credentials in leadership, business, and entrepreneurship.