Human Development and Family Studies Major

Are you interested in what makes people tick?

At a glance

In this major, you’ll learn to identify factors that influence cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development through infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, later adulthood and aging. Coursework and an internship prepare you to work in a variety of settings including youth services, education programs, healthcare, juvenile and adult corrections, family and community services, and long-term care facilities. This program is also available online.

Degree typeBachelor of Science
FormatOn campus and online
Part ofCollege of Health and Human Sciences
Competitive major?No
Accelerated option?Yes
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A concentration allows you to specialize in a certain area within your major, offering a depth of information and hands-on experiences that you may not otherwise get. Many students in this major will concentrate in one area to work in a specific field after college, as well as find mentors and internships before they even graduate.

Early Childhood Professions

Prepare for careers in early childhood education as well as professional work with children in a variety of settings. This is an ideal choice for HDFS majors who plan to apply to the competitive Early Childhood Education major later. 

General Human Development and Family STudies

The general concentration allows you to explore your interest in the lifespan or more general focus in human development without seeking the specialized training offered in other concentrations. You’ll take courses in HDFS, psychology, and social work as well as selected courses from other disciplines for a well-rounded and robust education in human development and family studies.  

Leadership and Advocacy

This concentration guides you into leadership positions in organizations that promote the optimal development of individuals and families. This concentration includes coursework in finance, management, marketing, public policy, professional communication, and leadership.  

Pre-Health Professions

You’ll be prepared for careers in healthcare and graduate school in health/medical fields. You’ll work with a pre-health advising team to ensure you’re on track to get into the schools and careers in the medical field. 

Prevention and Intervention Sciences

If you’re planning a career in the helping/human services professions, like counseling, social services, and beyond, this is the concentration to take. You’ll learn how to design and implement community-based prevention and intervention programs for youth, adults, and families.  

Some Career Options

As a grad, you will be prepared to work in a range of human-service-sector settings, such as youth-services organizations, education programs, healthcare settings, corrections and criminal justice, and programs serving older adults. You’ll be ready to pursue graduate studies in mental health, behavioral and social sciences, education, health and medicine, policy and public health, and other professional programs.

Tour and info session options

Tours may be available as part of Admissions tours and info sessions, offered throughout the year.

For additional opportunities, please reach out to:

College of Health and Human Sciences recruiter at

academic Info and Tips

Explore even more

Want a more in-depth look at this major? Take a look at the program website to learn more.