Human Development and Family Science (B.S.)

School of Lifespan Development & Educational Sciences

The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science offers an interdisciplinary approach to individual and family development across the lifespan, providing opportunities for students to study how people develop physically, emotionally and socially within the context of the family and society. The program focuses on child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, biological aspects of human development, family studies, intervention research and developmental research methods. Students learn about the stages of development from infancy to adulthood and how to promote healthy family development.

The Human Development and Family Science major comprises the following concentrations:

The Case Management for Individuals and Families concentration provides training in needs assessment and the utilization of available public and private resources. Case managers provide assistance to individuals and families by coordinating services and access to resources. Students in this concentration will learn the skills necessary to understand clients' needs and goals, and develop a plan to achieve these goals with the resources and services available to them. Graduates are eligible for securing positions in a wide array of social service agencies.

The Child and Youth Development concentration prepares students for working with children and adolescents in non-school settings such as residential treatment, group care, community youth services, foster care and after-school programs. Graduates are able to design and deliver developmentally appropriate programs, preparing children and youth for productive adulthood by emphasizing skills and competency development.

The Family Life Education concentration prepares graduates to develop and implement educational programming for parents, couples, and families in a variety of education and human service settings. Family life educators teach individuals and families effective communication skills, positive self-esteem, parenting skills and healthy interpersonal skills. Graduates are eligible to apply to be certified family life educators (CFLE), a credential granted by the National Council on Family Relations.

The Gerontology concentration prepares graduates for professional positions in the diverse field of aging, including health and wellness, community-based social services, retirement communities, adult-care centers and nursing homes. The curriculum provides students with a solid understanding of typical age-related changes and how these changes affect a person physiologically, psychologically and socially. According to the U.S. Census, 20 percent of the total population will be 65 or older by 2030. Because of the increasing number of older persons and the fact that people are generally living longer, there is a growing need for people to work in the field of aging.

The Human Services concentration is a completer program for students who hold an associate degree in human services. This program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in a variety of human service agencies, including child and family welfare agencies, mental health centers, developmental disability facilities and substance abuse treatment centers.

CFLE Approved
Degree Level
Program Delivery
Area(s) of Study
Child/Human Development and Family Science/Studies
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Department Chair
Director of Graduate Studies