Penn State University–Worthington Scranton

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Last Updated

Penn State's Department of Human Development and Family Studies is committed to excellence in research, teaching, and service regarding lifespan human development in the context of the family, community, and society. HDFS offers an interdisciplinary approach to individual and family development across the lifespan. As one of the premier departments of its kind, we focus on child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, biological aspects of human development, family studies, intervention research, and developmental research methods.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Janet Melnick
Department Emphasis
  • 40% Child/Human Development
  • 35% Family Studies
  • 25% Family Therapy
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Undergraduate
Department Address

120 Ridge View Drive
Dunmore, PA 18512
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Lifespan Human Services
  • Adult Development and Aging Services
  • Children, Youth, and Family Services
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies
  • Infant and Child Development
  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions
  • Empirical Inquiry in Human Development
  • Family Development
  • Internship
  • Project Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation in the Human Services
  • Human Services Seminar
  • The Helping Relationship
  • Family Relationships
  • Developmental Transition to Adulthood
  • Professional Practicum in Human Services
  • Adolescent Development
  • Human Development and Family Studies Interventions
  • Resolving Human Development and Family Problems
  • Advanced Child Development
  • Development Throughout Adulthood
  • Development & Administration of Human Services Programs
  • Developmental Problems in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Race and Ethnicity in American Families
  • Parenting
  • Design and Evaluation of Human Service Programs
  • Issues in Gerontology
Undergrad Comments

The HDFS major provides a foundation for students interested in working in human services with many different types of people-from infants to the elderly-and in many different settings from public and non-profit agencies to business and government. We prepare students to become leaders in human services, to develop new models for preventing and treating social and mental health problems and to become advocates for new social programs and policies. The HDFS major is also excellent preparation for graduate school in the social, behavioral, and health sciences or for advanced professional training in clinical and counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work, law, business, medicine and other health professions.  More information about the program in general can be found here:

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.