University of North Carolina–Greensboro

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Last Updated

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), in the School of Health and Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service regarding human development and close relationships across the lifespan. Our objectives are to educate the next generation of HDFS professionals and scholars, to generate new knowledge, and to foster the well-being of individuals and families in their everyday lives.

As a premier HDFS department, we focus on the following areas: early care and education; child, youth, and family development; aging. Undergraduates can prepare for birth through kindergarten teacher licensure (as can our MEd graduate students) or focus on children's and adolescents' development in their diverse cultural, school, and family contexts. M.S. and doctoral students examine the biological, relational, early educational, social, and cultural foundations of development and their implications for families. The emphasis on "culture" includes not only different societies, but also within-society cultural groups, such as racial/ethnic and social class groups. We are committed to interdisciplinary study, diversity, and internationalization. Department Mission: The Department of Human Development and Family Studies seeks to enhance the quality of life for individuals across the lifespan within their diverse and changing relationships, families, social networks, and communities in varying contexts through (1) exceptional research and scholarship, (2) outstanding teaching and mentoring to prepare the next generation of professionals, and (3) active community engagement and intervention.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Mark Fine (Chair)
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
  • Early Childhood - Master's
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
Department Address

248 Stone Building
Greensboro, NC 27412
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergraduate Director
Dr. Anne Fletcher
Undergrad Program Options
  • Birth through Kindergarten Licensure
  • Early Care & Education
  • Child, Adolescent, and Family Development
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Lifespan Development
  • Families & Close Relationships
  • Introduction to Birth through Kindergarten Education and Programs
  • Development of School-Age Children
  • Infant & Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adult Development
  • Assessment and Planning for Inclusive B-K Programs
  • Social Emotional Competence in Inclusive Settings
  • Families and Children in Global Perspective
  • Issues in Parenting
  • Issues Affecting Women and Families
  • Family Diversity
  • Infant & Toddler Program
  • Preschool/Kindergarten Curriculum
  • Young Childrens Learning Environments
  • Child Observations & Assessment
  • Research Methods
  • Supervised Teaching in Preschool Centers
  • Administration of Dependent Care Programs
  • Infants and Toddlers: Development, Learning, and Curriculum
  • Families in the Middle and Later Years
  • Current Family Theory & Research
  • Work & Family Linkages
  • Family in the Middle Years
  • Diversity in Inclusive Early Care and Education
  • Leadership in Early Education
  • Current Development Theory & Research
Undergrad Comments

This program includes the study of the development of individuals and families throughout the life span, seeking to improve their well-being through the creation, use, and dissemination of knowledge. Our goal is to provide the best opportunity in North Carolina for undergraduates to prepare for careers in child, adolescent, adult, aging, and family care services; in business and community consumer services for families; in teaching at the preschool level; and in cooperative extension and state agencies.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Esther Leerkes
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Contemporary Research in Human Development
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Research Methods in HDFS
  • Contemporary Research in Family Studies
  • Family Theory
  • Administration of Early Childcare and Education
  • Preschool-Kindergarten Learning in Inclusive Settings
  • Infant-Toddler Learning in Inclusive Settings
  • Advanced Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Policy
  • Leadership and Mentoring in Educating Young Children
  • Theory and Research in Early Childhood
  • Advanced Research Design in HDFS
  • Families in Middle and Later Life
  • Contemporary Family Life
  • Divorce, Remarriage, Cohabitation
  • Close Relationships
  • Family Conflict
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Psychobiology and Family Processes
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Intellectual Development in Young Children
  • Infant Development
  • Seminar in Adolescence
  • Child Development in Cultural Context
  • Cross-cultural Perspectives on Families
  • Children, Poverty, and Public Policy
  • Immigrant Families
  • Race, Class, and Culture
  • African-American Families
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • PBC in Leadership in Early Childhood Education (LECE)
  • PBC in Birth-Kindergarten Initial Teaching Licensure Program (BKILP)
  • M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies
  • M.Ed. in Birth-Kindergarten: Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development (BKISED)
  • Concentration in Educational Leadership and Advanced Teaching Licensure (ATL)
  • Concentration in Educational Leadership and Program Administration (LPA)
Masters Comments

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Level
The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Birth through Kindergarten (BK) Initial Licensure Program (BK:ILP) provides graduate-level training for students with a bachelor's degree in early childhood or a related field seeking an initial North Carolina B-K teaching license. The certificate program requires 20 semester hours and is offered jointly by the departments of Human Development and Family Studies and Specialized Education Services.

Master's Level
The M.S. program (thesis) prepares students to teach in junior/community colleges and to take leadership roles in developing and evaluating the effectiveness of community programs for children and families. The M.S. degree program also provides training toward the Ph.D. degree. The M.Ed. program prepares students for diverse roles in educational and community settings. The program calls for a minimum of 39 semester hours of course work and prepares graduates for diverse roles in educational and community settings.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Families in Transition Specialization
  • Unstructional Theory in Early Childhood Education Specialization
  • Sociocultural Context in HDFS Specialization
  • Development of Academic Achievement Dispositions in Children Specialization
  • Parenting Across the Lifecouse Specialization
  • Men in Families Specialization
  • Intervention and Prevention Strategies with Families Specialization
Doctoral Comments

The Ph.D. program can lead to careers in research, college or university teaching, or to leadership positions in federal or state agencies or in public and private institutions.

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.