Colorado State University

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Last Updated

Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the development of families and individuals across the life span. 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. Faculty research interests and expertise encompass the entire lifespan and embrace a range of interests at the intersection of basic and applied research. Faculty research areas include:

  • Risk, Resilience, and Developmental Psychopathology
  • Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention Science
  • Emotion, Regulation, and Relational Processes
  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Cultural Context and Diversity
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

HDFS has several opportunities for graduate study. The Ph.D. Program in Applied Developmental Science (ADS)offers graduate training in research and its application to issues that affect the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.

At the Master's level, the Department offers a Master of Science degree in HDFS, with two different tracks: The Prevention Science program and the Marriage and Family Therapy program.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Lise Youngblade
Department Emphasis
  • 75% Human Development
  • 20% Family Therapy
  • 15% Family Science
Campus Enrollment
32,000
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
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

1570 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1570
United States

Phone Number
970-491-5558
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • BS in Human Development & Family Studies
  • Human Development and Family Studies Concentration
  • Early Childhood Professions Concentration
  • Pre-Health Professions Concentration
  • Prevention and Intervention Sciences Concentration
  • Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions
  • BS in Early Childhood Education
  • Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Individual & Family Development
  • Creative Experiences for Children
  • Perspectives In Gerontology
  • Practicum-Professional Skills
  • Couple & Family Studies
  • Infant & Child Development in Context
  • Adolescent/Early Adult Development in Context
  • Adult Development-Middle Age & Aging
  • Cognitive & Language Development
  • Special Needs in Early Childhood
  • Infancy and Toddlerhood
  • Socioemotional Development in Childhood
  • Developmental Transitions in Adolescence
  • Mental and Physcial Health in Adulthood
  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs
  • Death, Dying and Grief
  • Parenting and Family Relationships
  • Lifespan Prevention and Intervention Sciences
  • Families in the Legal Environment
  • Risk and Resilience Across the Lifespan
  • Experiential Learning
  • Applied Research Methods
  • Child Life Theory & Practice
  • Professional Skills Development I & II
  • Supervised College Teaching
  • Field Placement
  • Seminar-Program Proposal Development
  • Independent Study
  • Group Study
  • Research
  • Thesis
Undergrad Comments

Human Development & Family Studies provides students with knowledge & skills to assist individuals and families in their development across the lifespan. Students are involved in developing appropriate activities for educational or therapeutic settings; helping families adjust to change; aiding in avoiding substance abuse and delinquent behavior; helping adults with transitions; and easing the pain of grief at any age. Licensure in early childhood education (ages 0-8) is available through a collaborative major with the School of Education. Students are prepared for professional work with individuals and families in a broad range of contexts.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Nate Riggs
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Issues in HDFS
  • Readings in the Discipline
  • Family Theory
  • Risk & Resilience
  • Socioemotional Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Research Design
  • Statistics
  • Grant Writing
  • Grief and Loss
  • Intimacy and Human Sexuality
  • Prevention Programming and Implementation
  • Prevention Program Evaluation
  • Parenting
  • Early Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Aging & the Family
  • Professional Skills Development
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Skills and Techniques in Family Therapy
  • Foundations in Family Therapy
  • Theories in Applied Developmental Science
  • Prevention Science Across the Lifespan
  • Supervised College Teaching
  • Research
  • Internship
  • Family Therapy Practice
  • Ethical and Legal Issues, Thesis
  • Dissertation
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Prevention Science
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

The two M.S. specializations are marriage and family therapy (the only AAMFT-accredited graduate program in Colorado) and family and developmental studies, which includes child life specialists, interventionists, policy analysts, educators, and researchers or program evaluators.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science
Doctoral Comments

This doctoral program offers graduate training in research and its application to issues that affect the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.  Specific areas of expertise include (1) Risk, Resilience, and Developmental Psychopathology; (2) Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention Science; (3) Emotion, Regulation, and Relational Processes; and (4)  Adult Development and Aging.

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.