Auburn University

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The Auburn University Department of Human Development and Family Studies is an interdisciplinary program committed to advancing and applying knowledge about individuals and families in a changing world. The Department operates the Center for Children, Youth, and Families that includes the Auburn University Early Learning Center and the Harris Early Learning Center of Birmingham, both accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Marriage and Family Therapy Center. The objective of these centers is to enhance the instruction/service learning, research, and outreach missions of the Department. Further, The Alabama Cooperative Extension System provides the infrastructure to enable the researchers and practitioners affiliated with the Department and its Centers to disseminate knowledge to the citizens of Alabama, the nation, and the world.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Joe F. Pittman, Jr.
Department Emphasis
  • 38% Family Science
  • 38% Human Development
  • 24% Family Therapy
Campus Enrollment
26,000
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

203 Spidle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
United States

Phone Number
334-844-4151
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
  • Dual Objective with Early Childhood Education
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Marriage & Family in a Global Context
  • Lifespan Human Development in Family Context
  • Professional Development & Ethics
  • Child Development in the Family
  • Adolescent & Adult Development in the Family
  • Human Sexuality Over the Family Life Cycle
  • Patterns of Family Interaction
  • Development of Interpersonal Relationships
  • Study Abroad Opportunities for Human Sciences
  • Effective Guidance and Interaction with Young Children
  • Learning Experiences for Young Children
  • Practicum
  • Service Learning
  • Program Development & Evaluation
  • Family & Social Policy
  • Study/Travel in Human Development & Family Studies
  • Hospitalized Children & their Families
  • Therapeutic Play
  • Dying, Death and Bereavement
  • Resource Management
  • Parent Education
  • Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Gender Roles & Close Relationships
  • Internship in Human Development & Family Studies
  • Advanced Seminar
  • Applied Research and Evaluation Methods
  • HDFS and Social Policy
  • Directed Readings in Human Development & Family Studies
  • Undergraduate Research & Study
  • Honors Thesis
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
CFLE
Undergrad Comments

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) prepares undergraduate students for a variety of exciting and challenging career opportunities including: preschool teaching; administering programs for young children, adolescents, and adults; parent education; mental health services; child advocacy; and cooperative extension. Senior HDFS interns have been placed in outstanding work settings throughout the United States such as Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, the Children's Television Workshop/Sesame Street, Walt Disney World, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Interns have also been placed in many local schools, counseling centers, social service agencies, court systems, and assisted living facilities for seniors. Our undergraduate students have also participated in international internships in Costa Rica, Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland, and New Zealand, to name a few. Many HDFS interns are hired by the placement site and move from HDFS directly into a satisfying professional career.

Undergraduate HDFS majors can select from among seven professional concentrations that are designed to best prepare students to be successful in meeting career objectives. These professional concentrations include: Infancy and Preschool; Child Life; Middle Childhood/Adolescence; Adult Programs; and Family Life Education.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Stephen Erath
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Child and Adolescent Development in Context
  • Adult Development in Context
  • Relationship Development & Process in Childhood & Adolescence
  • Relationship Development & Process in Adulthood
  • Family Process
  • Applied Research and Evaluation Methods
  • HDFS and Social Policy
  • Seminar in HDFS
  • Research Methods for Human Development & Family Studies I & II
  • Advanced Research Methods I: Structural Equation Modeling
  • Advanced Research Methods II: Longitudinal Methods
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Theory I & II
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Theory I & II Lab
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Clinical Issues I (Family Systems), II (Individuals), & III (Couples)
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Clinical Issues Lab
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Professional Issues
  • Independent Study
  • Practicum
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Internship
  • Directed Field Experience
  • Research & Thesis
  • Advanced Special Topics
  • Research & Dissertation
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

Human Development and Family Studies -- A flexible program that emphasizes knowledge of the dynamics of human development and family interaction that prepares students for careers in applied family services in industrial, educational, or governmental settings.

Marriage and Family Therapy -- A clinical training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. Students learn about developmental processes in the family and receive extensive training and supervision in evidence-based interventions for individuals, relationships and families.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
Doctoral Comments

A comprehensive program with special emphasis in five domains of interpersonal competence across the lifespan: (a) relationships in adulthood, (b) relationships in childhood and adolescence, (c) social, cognitive and emotional health, (d) biological and psychophysiological foundations for healthy development, and (e) intervention and prevention research and application. Students develop strong research and teaching competence so they may seek careers in academic settings or as leaders in the application of research to enhance quality of life.

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.

Program Approved Since
5/1/1997
CFLE Contact
Joe Pittman, Ph.D.
CFLE Contact Email