University of Delaware

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Last Updated

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers undergraduate majors in Early Childhood Education, with a certification from birth to second grade and in human services, with concentrations in clinical services, administration and family policy, Community Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences Education. These curricula prepare students for careers with diverse individuals and families throughout the lifespan. The department also offers two graduate programs:  a Masters in human development and family studies, and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies. All HDFS programs are interdisciplinary and emphasize risk and resilience, multi-cultural issues, disabilities and prevention and intervention. The graduate programs in Human Development and Family Studies focus on early childhood education, adolescent development and nonprofit management and leadership.  The Ph.D. program is designed to develop researchers who will teach at the university level, will work in child and family policy positions, and will administer large scale programs supporting children and families. 

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Bahira Sherif Trask (Department Chair)
Department Emphasis
  • 40% Family Science
  • 40% Child/Human Development
  • 20% Disabilities
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
Department Address

111 Alison Hall West
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Early Childhood Education & Special Education
  • Human Services
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Human Services & Cultural Competence
  • Life Span Development
  • Foundation of Family Studies
  • Introduction to Caring for Young Children
  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I & II
  • Families & Their Communities
  • Survey in Child & Family Services
  • Infants & Toddlers: Development & Programs
  • Families & Developmental Disabilities
  • Parenting Through the Lifespan
  • Introduction to Research Process
  • Adolescent Development
  • Helping Relationships
  • Counseling Theories
  • Development of Human Relationships
  • Experiential Education
  • Sexuality in Contemporary Society
  • Adult Development & Aging
  • Delivery of Human Services
  • Program Development & Evaluation
  • Technology in Early Childhood
  • Professional Issues in Early Childhood Development & Education
  • Learning in Community Contexts
  • Independent Study
  • Honors Colloquium
  • Foundations of Human Sexuality
  • Aging & the Family
  • Family Relationships
  • Family Life Education
  • Early Childhood Programs for Children with Exceptionalities
  • Early Childhood Administration, Leadership & Advocacy
  • Family, Community & School Partnerships
  • Internship in Family & Community Services
  • Assessment of Young Children
  • Child Development Practicum
  • Atypical Infant & Toddler
  • Families & Children at Risk
Undergrad Comments

Early Childhood Education is for students who plan to work with children birth to 2nd grade in a variety of educational settings. The program is state approved and NCATE accredited. Graduating students receive certification in early childhood and early childhood special education. The Human Services major is designed for students who wish to work within public and private agencies serving clients birth through the aged and their families. Two concentrations focus on either clinical direct services or administration and family policy. Both curricula prepare students for challenging careers with individuals and families throughout the lifespan. A 4+1 option is also available.  This program provides a pathway for students with a strong academic record who show promise of success in graduate-level work to complete a BS and MS in Human Services Leadership in 5 years. 

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Jason Hustedt
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Human Development in Life Span Perspective
  • Impact of Aging on Family
  • Seminar in Community Development & Nonprofit Leadership
  • Poverty, Neighborhoods & Community Development
  • Evaluation Practices
  • Research Methods
  • Family Studies I: Empirical & Theoretical Perspectives
  • Applied Human Development in the Schools
  • Family Life Education
  • Program Planning, Assessment, & Evaluation
  • Adolescence & Youth: Theories
  • Curriculum Methods & Assessment
  • Early Childhood Administration, Leadership, & Advocacy
  • Infant Development & Stimulation
  • Leadership in Human Services
  • Programming for Young Children with Special Needs
  • Advanced Child Development
  • Measurement Techniques for Children & Familiess
  • Curriculum Analysis in Early Childhood
  • Atypical Infant
  • Supervised Field Experience & Study
  • Family Risk & Resilience
  • Research Issues & Designs
  • Topics in Family Studies & Human Development
  • Family Studies II: Analysis & Critical Issues
  • Diversity in Families & Human Development
  • Advanced Seminar in Family Studies
  • Family Crisis & Coping
  • Intergenerational Relationships & Development
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
Masters Comments

This program is geared toward working professionals and other individuals who are interested in continuing their graduate studies and would like to acquire new or additional expertise in early childhood education, development, and leadership and/or human services professionals with an interest in prevention science and human services and non-profit leadership and adolescent development. Students are accepted on both a full time and part time basis. Numerous research sites and programs are available to work with, including an Early Head Start program, the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, the Early Learning Center, the Laboratory Preschool, the Center for Community Research and Service, and many community-based programs.

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

The focus is on applying theory and research to practice as they relate to human development and family systems. Course work is designed to provide a strong background in the theoretical and empirical knowledge of family studies, human development and research methods. Training in applied research and service learning experiences are integrated in the curriculum. Areas of specialization include early childhood education, risk and resilience, disabilities, adolescents, gender roles, fathering, and multicultural issues.  The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 42 credits for students entering with a master's degree.  

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.