University of Connecticut

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The Department of Human Development & Family Studies focuses its teaching, research, and outreach activities on the well-being and healthy development of individuals and families over the full span of life, including dynamic relations within the family as well as the family's interactions with other social institutions. The Department's undergraduate and graduate programs present a multidisciplinary understanding of individual and family development and change over the life span. Students are oriented to the broad social, cultural, and historical contexts within which families function, and how context is reflected in developmental variations related to issues of diversity such as family structure, race, gender, class, and ethnicity. Students are exposed to the study of how social policies and various types of social services affect families, family members, and the wider contexts in which families reside. At the graduate level, the Department awards an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Eva S. Lefkowitz
Department Emphasis
  • 30% Family Science
  • 30% Child/Human Development
  • 25% Family Therapy
  • 15% Family Policy
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Doctoral
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Master's
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

348 Mansfield Road, U-2058
Storrs Mansfield, CT 06269-2058
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergraduate Director
Dr. Kari Adamsons
Undergrad Program Options
  • Adult Development & Aging
  • Childhood & Adolescence
  • Family & Society: Social Policy & Planning
  • Family Relationships: Services & Counseling
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Close Relationships
  • Individual and Family Development
  • Special Topics Lecture
  • Diversity Issues in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Research Methods in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Human Development: Infancy Through Adolescence
  • Human Development: Adulthood and Aging
  • Family Interaction Processes
  • Baseball and Society: Politics, Economics, Race and Gender
  • Supervised Field Experience
  • Foreign Study – Not sure
  • Honors Proseminar
  • Fieldwork in Community Settings
  • Research Practicum in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Special Topics – Not sure
  • Selected Topics in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • Early and Middle Childhood Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Social and Community Influence on Children in the United States
  • Introduction to Programs for Young Children
  • Integrated Curriculum Methods and Materials for Infants and Toddlers
  • Integrated Curriculum Methods and Materials for Preschool and Kindergarten
  • Emergent Literacy and Language Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Professional Development and Advocacy in Early Childhood
  • Developmental Approaches to Intergroup Relations and Victimization
  • Programs for Young Children: Introductory Laboratory
  • Observing Infant and Toddler Development
  • Observing Early Childhood Development
  • Early Childhood Development and Education: Supervised Fieldwork Practicum
  • Aging in American Society
  • Gender and Aging
  • Disabilities: A Lifespan Perspective
  • Biotechnology, Disability and the Family
  • Death, Dying, and Bereavement
  • Men and Masculinity: A Social Psychological Perspective
  • Latinos: Sexuality and Gender
  • Issues in Human Sexuality
  • Parent-Child Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Parenthood and Parenting
  • Risk and Resilience in Individuals and Families
  • Individual and Family Interventions
  • Family and Consumer Sciences: Developing Curriculum for Adolescents
  • Family Resource Management
  • Family Life Education
  • Abuse and Violence in Families
  • Low Income Families
  • History of the Family
  • The Family-School Partnership
  • Families and Work
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Latino Health and Health Care
  • Asian-Pacific American Families
  • Planning and Managing Human Service Programs
  • Legal Aspects of Family Life
  • Public Policy and the Family
  • Child Welfare, Law and Social Policy
  • Comparative Family Policy
  • Senior Seminar in Research Methods
  • Professional Communication in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Honors Thesis
  • Honors Thesis Preparation Seminar
  • Independent Study for Undergraduates
  • Early Childhood Development and Education: Supervised Teaching Practicum
  • Administration and Leadership in Early Childhood Programs: Practicum
  • Living with Chronic or Life-threatening Illness
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

Integrating classroom and service-learning education with opportunities for research and required professional experience, HDFS serves as a major educational and training facility for students interested in careers related to human service delivery. A distinctive feature of the undergraduate curriculum is the program of internships where students have the opportunity to sharpen professional skills and to see the relevance of their academic work to the "real world" of individuals and families.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Edna Brown
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Parent-Child Relations In Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Investigation of Special Topics (in Human Development)
  • Proseminar
  • Prevention, Intervention, and Policy Approaches in Family Studies
  • Patterns and Dynamics of Family Interaction
  • Theories of Family Development
  • Lifespan Human Development Models and Concepts
  • Qualitative Research Methods in HDFS
  • Research Methods in HDFS I & II
  • Human Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Advanced Theories of Human Development
  • Seminar on Adolescent Development
  • Parent Education
  • Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Marriage Therapy
  • Clinical Assessment and Practice
  • Special Issues in Family Development
  • Seminar in Parent-Child Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Close Relationships
  • Methods and Materials of Family life Education
  • Aging: Personality and Social Intervention
  • Aging and the Family
  • Social Gerontology
  • Adaptation and Development in Adulthood
  • Family Therapy Research
  • Advanced Family Therapy
  • Gender Role Transitions and Conflicts over the Lifespan
  • Diverse Families: Adaptation
  • Culture, Health and Human Development
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • Early and Middle Childhood Dev
  • Policy, Law, & Child Welfare
  • Living with Chronic Illness
  • Human Attachment Across the Lifespan
  • Building Cultural Competencies in Marriage and Family Therapy
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Couple Relationships
  • Gerontology
  • Health and Well-being
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Parenthood and Parent-Child Relationships
  • Prevention & Early Intervention
Masters Comments

Graduate study leading to a Masters' degree in Human Development and Family Studies is available at the University of Connecticut. Students are provided with advanced training in the theories and research methods necessary to pursue a scientific understanding of family members and family systems. Nationally accredited clinical training is offered in marriage and family therapy at the Master's level. Students interested in working in the fields like family life education, parent education, prevention and health promotion, or program evaluation would also apply to the M.A. program. M.A. applicants should contact faculty in their interest-area to learn about opportunities. MA-only students are not guaranteed support through departmental assistantships, but are offered these opportunities whenever possible.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Couple Relationships
  • Gerontology
  • Health and Well-being
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Parenthood and Parent-Child Relationships
  • Prevention & Early Intervention
Doctoral Comments

The HDFS program at UConn is one of a very select number of programs in the U.S. that offer Doctoral studies in Human Development and Family Studies including a doctoral level training program in marriage and family therapy. Qualified applicants to the PhD program may enter with either a BA/BS or MA/MS degree in a related profession or discipline including but not limited to: nursing, education, psychology, sociology, rehabilitation, counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, parent education, public health and health psychology, early intervention services, and positive youth development. Students design programs of study that will advance their skills in intervention /clinical practice (through acceptance into the Marriage and Family Therapy area of specialization) as well as program evaluation, policy studies, and research methods. All students accepted for doctoral studies receive support (including tuition waivers, stipends, and access to health insurance) through fellowships or graduate assistantships.

Upon completion of the PhD program, many graduates enter post-doctoral fellowships or traditional academic positions. Others are employed by non-profit agencies, state and federal government agencies, health/hospital research, and human services research or policy positions.

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
CFLE Contact
Beth Russell
CFLE Contact Email