Virginia Tech

Department of Human Development and Family Science
Last Updated

The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Science is to understand and improve the lives of people of all ages in relationships, families, organizations, and communities.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Cynthia L. Smith (director)
Department Emphasis
  • 25% Adult Development & Aging
  • 25% Child/Human Development
  • 25% Family Studies
  • 25% Marriage and Family Therapy
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Doctoral
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Doctoral
Department Address

366 Wallace Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0416
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Services
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Human Development I & II
  • Infancy & Early Childhood
  • Middle Childhood & Adolescence
  • Issues in Aging
  • Education of Exceptional Learners
  • Human Sexuality
  • Family Relationships
  • Appalachian Communities
  • Curriculum/Program Planning
  • Family Law & Public Policy
  • Gender & Family Diversity
  • Field Study
  • Independent Study
  • Undergraduate Research
Undergrad Comments

The undergraduate program option prepares students for a wide variety of careers and graduate school programs relating to individuals, families, and communities. The program provides both a theoretical and  experiential grounding in child and adult development, family and relationship dynamics, professional skills and therapeutic communication techniques, and macro subjects including needs assessment, grantsmanship and program design. All students complete field study experiences in agencies and organizations that match their career interests. 

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Cynthia L. Smith
Graduate Courses Offered
  • The Family, Law, & Public Policy
  • Adult Development & Aging I (Individual Development)
  • Adult Development & Aging II (Interpersonal Issues)
  • Legislation and Policy in Human Development
  • Life Span Development
  • Human Development Theory: Literature and Applications
  • Social & Emotional Development in Children
  • Developmental Transitions & Adaptation
  • Development of Marriage & Family Research & Theory
  • Professional Practices in Human Development
  • Marriage & Family Relationships
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Research
  • Perspectives on Human Sexuality
  • Legislation and Policy in Human Development
  • Research Methods
  • Program Development and Evaluation in Human Development
  • Grant Development and Administration in Human Development
  • Internship in Human Development
  • Current Topics in Human Dev
  • Couples TherapyMFT Techniques
  • Special Topics in MFT
  • Prof Development Seminar
  • Theory Construction in Human Development
  • Practicum
  • Independent Study
  • Parent-Child Interaction
  • Special Study
  • Research & Theses
  • Parent-Child Interaction
  • Process in Relationships
  • Social Epidemiology and Health Inequities
  • Advanced Systems Theory & Family Therapy
  • Advanced Traditional Models In Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Clinical Marriage & Family Therapy I, II, III, & IV
  • Advanced Contemporary Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Clinical Supervision of Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Advanced Professional Seminar in Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Current Topics in Advanced Research Methods
  • Research & Dissertation
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Family Studies
Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Adult Development & Aging
  • Child & Adolescent Development
  • Family Studies
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Doctoral Comments

The Ph.D. program can lead to careers in research, college and university teaching, leadership positions in public and private institutions, medical schools, mental health agencies, therapy training centers, and private practice.

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.