University of Missouri

Department of Human Development & Family Science
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The primary emphases of the department are human development and family processes within the context of larger sociocultural systems. The distinguishing feature of HDFS is this contextual focus. Individual lifespan development is viewed as transpiring within a web of close relationships/family relationships, and family systems are seen as both context for individual and interpersonal behaviors and as units nested in larger sociocultural environments. Our unique niche is a commitment to family diversity and a multicultural perspective in research, teaching, and service. In each of these areas, we focus on the diversity that characterizes human development within the family context. Because we define family diversity and multiculturalism broadly, our focus is on the multitude of ways that individuals within families may differ, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, family structure, nationality, geographic location, and sexual orientation.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Drs. Larry Ganong and Jean Ispa
Department Emphasis
  • 50% Family Science
  • 50% Human Development
Campus Enrollment
35,000
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Master's
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Community - Master's
  • 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
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Master's
Department Address

314 Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-7040
United States

Phone Number
573-882-4035
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Child Development and Education
  • Child Life
  • Families and Lifespan Development
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Introduction to Human Environmental Sciences
  • Drop-In Child Care Programs
  • Foundations of Family Science
  • Foundations of Family Science- Honors
  • Intimate Relationships and Marriage
  • Problems in Human Development and Family Science
  • Research Methods in Human Development and Family Science
  • Multicultural Study of Children and Families
  • Principles of Human Development
  • Principles of Human Development - Honors
  • Early and Middle Childhood
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • Human Sexuality Across the Life Span
  • Infant-Toddler Development and Programs
  • Curriculum and Activities for the Early Childhood Setting
  • Drop-In Child Care Programs
  • Foundations of Community-Based Programs for Children and Youth
  • Working With Parents
  • Topics in Human Development and Family Science
  • Problems in Human Development and Family Science
  • Research Experience in Human Development and Family Science
  • Child Development 4-8 (Early Childhood)
  • Professional Development
  • Child Guidance and Classroom Environments
  • Early and Middle Childhood
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • Infant-Toddler Development and Programs
  • Curriculum and Activities for the Early Childhood Setting
  • Student Teaching Prekindergarten
  • Foundations of Community-Based Programs for Children and Youth
  • Technology and Young Children
  • Working With Parents
  • Child Development Laboratory
  • Child and Family Development Laboratory
  • Student Teaching Prekindergarten
  • Field Training Practicum
  • Working with Families
  • Children's Play
  • Readings in Human Development and Family Science
  • Topics in Human Development and Family Science
  • Problems in Human Development and Family Science
  • Advanced Research in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Children in Health Care Settings
  • Child Life Theory and Practice
  • Child Life Practicum
  • Latino/a Youth and Families
  • Black Families
  • Childhood Death and Bereavement
  • Environmental Influences on Lifespan Cognition
  • Problems of Development in Multicultural Context
  • Advanced Child Development Laboratory
  • Administration of Programs for Children and Families
  • Development and Administration of Child Services Programs
  • Stress and Reslience in Families
  • Family Interaction
  • The Process of Divorce
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Family Communication
  • Children and Families in Poverty
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Parent-Child Relations Over the Life Course
  • Program and Curriculum Design for FACS Education in Middle and Secondary School
  • Assessment in Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Methods of Teaching FACS in Middle and Secondary Schools
  • Field Experience in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Field Experience in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Student Teaching FACS in Middle and Secondary Schools
  • Families and Lifespan Development Capstone
  • Child Development and Education Capstone
  • Internship in Human Development and Family Studies
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
CFLE
Undergrad Comments

The undergraduate program is developed from a base of human development and family science courses. It is essential for the student working with children or adults to understand and to be able to maximize the resources offered by the family. It is equally important for the student concerned with the quality of family life to recognize the intricate spiral of changing needs in the growing individual. The Department of Human Development and Family Science focuses on this synthesis.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Ashlie Lester
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Family Communication
  • Black Families
  • Stress in Families
  • Problems of Development in Multicultural Context
  • Childhood Death & Bereavement
  • Child & Family Advocacy
  • Children & Families in Poverty
  • Administration of Programs for Children & Families
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Family Interaction
  • Children in Health Care Settings
  • Process of Divorce
  • Gendered Relations in Families
  • Child Life Theory & Practice
  • Child Life Practicum
  • Social & Emotional Development
  • Family Dynamics & Intervention
  • Remarriage & Stepfamilies: Development, Dynamics, and Intervention
  • Research Methods in Human Development & Family Science
  • Advanced Research Methods in Human Development & Family Science
  • Work & Family
  • Advanced Seminar on Multi-Cultural Families
  • Temperament & Personality Development
  • Language Development
  • Life Course Perspective
  • Children, Families & Public Policy
  • Cognitive Development
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Family Theories
  • Teaching Practicum
  • Research Practicum
  • Identity Development
  • Foundations of Youth Development
  • Basic Grant Development and Management
  • Adolescents and their Families
  • Administration and Program Management
  • Federal & State Policies that Impact Youth Development
  • Youth Cultures and the Culture of Youth
  • Community Youth Development
  • Youth Development
  • Adult Development
  • Physical Health & Aging
  • Aging Policy
  • Environments and Aging
  • Aging and the Family
  • Mental Health & Aging
  • Women and Aging
  • Biological Principals of Aging
  • Long-term Care Administration
  • Youth Professionals and Consumers of Research
  • Program design, Implementation, & Evaluation
  • Perspectives in Gerontology
  • Gerontology Research Methods and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Seminar in Gerontology
  • Prosocial and Moral Development
  • Latino Families and Youth
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Psychosocial Function and Older Adults
  • Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
  • Development and Administration of Child Services Programs
  • Developmental Perspectives on Health and Illness
  • Programs for Young Children
  • Internship
  • Writing Research Proposals: Skill Building
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Child Development
  • Child Life
  • Family Science
  • HDFS & Law (dual degrees)
  • Human Development
  • Human Services Administration
  • Youth Development
  • Gerontology
  • Family and Community Services
Masters Comments

The M.A. (applied emphasis) and the M.S. (research emphasis) degrees prepare students for positions in junior college or college teaching, and leadership in both public or private institutions. The M.S. degree also provides training toward the Ph.D. degree.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Family Science
  • Human/Child Development
Doctoral Comments

The Ph.D. program can lead to careers in research, college or university teaching, or to leadership positions in public or private institutions. Our recent graduates mostly have taken university positions, although some have gone to research "think tanks."

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
3/1/2009
CFLE Contact
Lawrence Ganong, Ph.D.
CFLE Contact Email