University of Georgia

Department of Human Development and Family Science
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The Department offers comprehensive programs that cover all aspects of families throughout the life cycle: infancy, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, midlife, and aging. The goal of the department is to provide an educational experience that promotes the integration of knowledge and professional practice from the fields of human development and family science. Primary objectives are to prepare researchers and scholars to generate knowledge about individual and family development and behavior over the life span, as well as educate professionals who will provide educational, counseling, and advocacy services needed for children and families to function more effectively. The department includes a marriage and family therapy clinic, a child development lab, and an extensive outreach program along with a considerable portfolio of funded research. This scientist-practitioner model reflects the goals of The University of Georgia, a flagship, Research I, land-grant institution integrating research and its application to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Emilie Smith (Department Head) and Barber Distinguished Professor
Department Emphasis
  • 50% Family Studies
  • 30% Human Development
  • 10% Marriage and Family Therapy
  • 10% Child Life
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
Department Address

305 Sanford
Athens, GA 30602-0001
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergraduate Director
Dr. Melissa Scott Kozak
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Development and Family Science
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Development Within the Family
  • Introduction to Life Span Development
  • Introduction to Child Development with Lab
  • Directed Study in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Professional Development/Community Activities
  • Adolescence & Young Adulthood Survey
  • Midlife/Elder Years Survey
  • Prenatal & Infant Development
  • Issues in Family Systems
  • Development of Interpersonal Relationships
  • Advanced Human Development
  • Advanced Infant Development
  • Family Policy
  • Diversity in Human Development & Family Systems
  • Aging & the Family
  • The Family
  • Hospitalized Child & the Family
  • Child Life interventions for Children & Families in Health Care settings
  • Family Development
  • Parent Education and Child Guidance
  • Aging & Social Inequalities
  • Human Sexuality Across the Life Span
  • Family Life Education Methodology
  • Family Intervention
  • Research Methods in Human Development & Family Science
  • Therapeutic Benefits of Play
  • Study Abroad in Human Development & Family Science
  • Seminar in Human Development & Family Science
  • Directed Reading and/or Projects (Honors)
  • Honors Thesis
  • Preinternship Orientation
  • Applied Internship
  • Research Internship
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

The HDFS undergrad program serves 400 majors and 250 minors. Average class size is 60. All HDFS majors are required to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through either an applied or research internship experience. Inquiries regarding the Undergraduate Program should be directed to the HDFS Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Melissa Kozak, or to the Undergraduate Program Assistant, Mrs. Barbara Derricote. A current program description appears at:

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Margaret Caughy
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Theories and Issues in Human Development
  • Adolescence and the Family
  • Aging and the Family
  • Advanced Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Family Theory
  • Contemporary Research on Issues in Family Relationships
  • Women in the Family and Society
  • Human Sexuality Across the Lifespan
  • Family Policy
  • Diversity in Families
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Research Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Evaluation Methods in Human Development & Family Science
  • Advanced Statistics (multiple courses)
  • Observation and Assessment Techniques
  • Working with Families in Early Intervention
  • Creative Activities for Young Children
  • Hospitalized Children and the Family
  • Marriage & Family Assessment
  • Couple and Family Intervention Methods
  • Practicum in Marriage and family Therapy
  • Supervision of Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Internship in Marriage and Family Therapy
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Human Development and Family Science (Child Life Emphasis)
Masters Comments

The M.S. in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Child Life is offered for students wishing to work with children and families in healthcare settings. This program allows a dual focus on the study of issues and development in children and families, along with theory, practice, and research in Child Life. Students in this specialization will complete the required Human Development and Family Science and Child Life coursework listed in their program of study. Upon fulfillment of the program requirements, students will graduate with a Master of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science with a Specialization in Child Life. To learn more, please visit our website: or Contact Dr. Diane Bales, Director of Child Life ([email protected])

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Human Development and Family Science
  • Human Development and Family Science (Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis)
Doctoral Comments

The Ph.D. program in Human Development and Family Science is designed to enable each student to gain and to demonstrate competence in acquiring, integrating, applying and generating: 1) substantive and theoretical knowledge of individuals and families over the life course; 2) knowledge of and skills for conducting research on individual and family development and behavior; and 3) skills for engaging with individuals, families, and other professionals in processes that prevent or solve problems and promote competence and well-being. To accomplish these goals, both formal course work and practicum experience in research, teaching, and service are required. To learn more our about our Ph.D. program, please visit our website:

The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students to be couple and family therapists and scholars. To develop all facets of the professional role, the program is guided by the scientist-practitioner model and biopsychosocial model. Students are provided opportunities to: 1) build clinical skills in family therapy practice, 2) gain research skills that focus on individuals, couples, and families, and 3) develop quality teaching skills. To learn more about The Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, please visit our website: or email Dr. Jerry Gale, Director of Marriage and Family Therapy ([email protected])

Graduates of our Doctoral program are conducting research, teaching and administering child and family programs at leading universities and agencies nationwide.

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
Dr. Melissa Kozak
CFLE Contact Email