University of Wisconsin

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

HDFS provides outstanding undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level education in family studies and human development across the life span. Among the top programs of its kind, HDFS offers an interdisciplinary approach to family relationships, child and adolescent development, early childhood education, adult development and aging, as well as child and family intervention, prevention, and policy studies. The program is served by a faculty of thirteen, four of whom hold integrated appointments with UW-Extension. All of the faculty are professionally active with strong records of national and international scholarship. Faculty conduct basic research to understand families and their members and applied research and outreach to enhance individual and family life. 

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Janean Dilworth-Bart
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • 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

1300 Linden Drive
School of Human Ecology 4199 Nancy Hall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Development of the Young Child
  • Development from Adolescence to Old Age
  • Research Methods in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Children's Play-Development and Role
  • Family and Community Influences on the Young Child
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Racial Ethnic Families in the U.S.
  • Development of Black Children and Their Families: Research and Policy
  • Family Stress and Coping
  • Couple Relationships
  • A Family Perspective in Policymaking
  • Internship
  • Interdisciplinary Issues in Early Childhood Intervention
  • Parent Education and Support Programs
  • Advanced Study of the Young Child
  • Developmental and Family Assessment
  • Proseminar: Child and Family Studies
  • Senior Honors Thesis
  • Senior Thesis
  • Independent Study
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

The Child Development Option provides course work and internships that prepare students to enter into a growing range of careers involving work with young children and their families. This option emphasizes that the development of young children can be understood only in a broad ecological context and that services for children must be adapted to a child's and a family's particular circumstances. The Family Studies Option provides opportunities to study family systems and human development across the lifespan. This option emphasizes that understanding human development and family systems is possibly only within a social context that includes historical change, social class, ethnicity, and public policy. 

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Janean Dilworth-Bart
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Proseminar: Child and Family Studies
  • Theory and Issues in Human Development
  • Social Development of Ethnic/Racial Minority Children
  • Culture and Human Development
  • Youth Development in Community and Policy Contexts
  • Infancy and the Family
  • Childhood and the Family
  • Adolescence and the Family
  • Aging and the Family
  • Social Ecology of Health Inequities
  • Social and Cognitive Development
  • Media, Children and Families
  • Research Education and Support Programs: Practicum
  • Incarceration and Family
  • Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods
  • Immigrant Families and Community
  • Biculturalism and Immigrant Families
  • Attachment Theory and Relationships
  • The Educational Role of the Family in Early Childhood Development
  • Parent-Child Relations Across the Life Course
  • Family Theory I (Survey)
  • Family Research Methodology
  • Family Life Course: Changes in Roles and Processes
  • Advanced Seminar in Family Stress and Coping
  • Work and Family
  • Analytical Approaches to Qualitative Methods
  • Family Policy
  • Community-Based Research
  • Bridging the Gap Between Research and Action
  • Prevention Science
  • Seminar: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life-Span Development
  • Research and Thesis
  • Independent Study
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Human Development & Family Studies
Masters Comments

Our Master of Science curriculum is designed to acquaint students with the field of human development and family studies and prepare them to do outreach, policy work, teaching and research.  All students take our HDFS Proseminar as an introduction to our faculty and their work, the structure of the graduate program and professional skills and issues.  The MS program requires two courses in human development and family theory.  Methodology core requirements include one course in statistics and one course in research methods.  Students complete their coursework by choosing courses from HDFS and other departments on campus.  Finally, all students are required to complete a research thesis and defend it at their final oral examination. 

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

The doctoral curriculum provides advanced training in human development and family studies. Whether they end up in academic or applied settings, we prepare our students for work that includes independent research, outreach and teaching. Doctoral students take a proseminar in HDFS, two courses in human development and family theory, and additional HDFS courses to fill out their major area of concentration. The methodology requirement includes advanced statistics and research methods. All students complete 10 credits in a minor concentration area. 

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. Janean Dilworth-Bart
CFLE Contact Email