Michigan State University

Department of Human Development & Family Studies
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

Human Development and Family Studies fosters an understanding of human development and interpersonal relationships through a multidisciplinary and ecological lens, inclusive of biological, psychological, sociological, socio-cultural, and international perspectives. The program recognizes and addresses the central role of diversity and interdependence among families and communities in the process of human development, and promotes basic and applied research, as well as practice, in the service of individuals, families, and society.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Amy Bonomi
Department Emphasis
  • 40% Human Development
  • 30% Family Studies
  • 30% Couple & Family Therapy
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Master's
  • Community - 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
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

7 Human Ecology Bldg.
552 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824-1030
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Child Development
  • Early Care & Education
  • Human Development and Family Studies
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • The Individual, Marriage, and the Family
  • Child Development
  • Practicum I: Child Observations in Classroom Environments
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Children, Youth, and Family
  • Lifespan Human Development in the Family
  • Personal Finance
  • Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies
  • Understanding and Adapting for Developmental Differences in ECE
  • Interaction Process with Children in Groups
  • Interaction Process with Children in Groups-Laboratory
  • Curriculum for Children (W)
  • Curriculum for Children- Laboratory
  • Infant Development and Program Planning
  • Principles of Family Studies (W)
  • Practicum III: Capstone Experience (W)
  • Parenting
  • Assessment of the Young Child
  • Student Teaching in an Early Childhood Program
  • Ethnic Minority Families in America
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Family
  • Human Sexuality
  • Management of Human Service Programs
  • Child and Family Policy
  • Special Needs Children and Their Families
  • Family Resource Management
  • Current Issues in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Evaluation of Human Service Programs
  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs
  • Research and Quantitative Methods in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Independent Study
  • Honor Independent Study
  • Internship
  • Topics in Human Develoment and Family Studies
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

The Child Development program option combines the study of child development with preparation for implementing developmentally appropriate practices in preschool and early elementary school settings. The Human Development and Family Studies degree program option is designed to prepare professionals to work in community agencies and organizations which foster human development from an ecological perspective.The HDFS undergraduate degree is CFLE approved.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Andrea Wittenborn
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Family Ecosystems
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Child Development: Ecological Perspectives
  • Adolescence in the Family: Ecological Perspectives
  • Adulthood and Aging in the Family: Ecological Perspectives
  • Parenthood and Parent Education
  • Advance Practice in Infant and Toddler Early Childhood Programming
  • Advanced Curricular Adaptions in Diverse Early Childhood Environments
  • Advanced Teaching Practicum in an Early Childhood Program
  • Infant Development: The contexts of Family, Community, and Culture
  • Prevention, Intervention and Educational Programs in Early Childhood
  • Assessment of the Young Child
  • Families with Special Needs Children: An Ecological Perspective
  • Social-Emotional Development Birth to Eight Years: Biology, Relationships, and Culture
  • Language and Literacy Development from Infancy to Formal Schooling
  • Survey of Couple and Family Therapy Theories
  • Clinical and Prevention Practice in Couple Therapy and Theory
  • African American Families
  • Foundations of Family Study
  • Theories of the Family
  • Youth Policy and Positive Youth Development
  • Community Youth Development
  • Youth Cultures and the Culture of Youth
  • Foundations of Youth Development
  • Foundations and Principles of Family Community Services
  • Resilience in Families
  • Family Policy
  • Research Methods in Family and Child Ecology
  • Quantitative Methods in Family and Child Ecology
  • Diverse Families and Communities: Interventions and Strategies
  • Seminar in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Laboratory and Field Experience
  • Families in Poverty
  • Child Development Across Cultures
  • Family and Individual Assessment
  • Family, Couple and Individual Assessment
  • Contemporary Scholarship in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Advanced Couple and Family Therapy Theories
  • Evidence-based Couple and Family Therapy Intervention Programs
  • Contemporary Couple and Family Therapy Theories
  • Outcome Research: What Works in Couple and Family Therapy Theories
  • Quantitative Observational Methods for Studying Behavior and Development
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Advanced Research Methods in Couple and Family Therapy
  • Internship
  • Sex Therapy
  • Couple and Family Therapy Supervision
  • Master's Independent Study
  • Doctoral Independent Study
  • Master's Thesis Research
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Child Development
  • Family and Community Services (online)
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Youth Development (online)
Masters Comments

M.S. Child Development: prepares professionals for leadership roles in teaching, administration, and other fields related to children and families, as well as advanced graduate study; M.S. Human Development and Family Studies: focuses on theory and research as well as the preparation of professionals for family life education, community programs, and advanced graduate study; The Youth Development and Family Community Services online master's degrees are offered through a collaborative, multi-institutional system. The YD program is focused on positive development of youth in their families, communities, and society. The FCS program is focused on work with individuals and families in a community content, with emphasis on leadership and management of the family and community services programs.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Child Development Concentration
  • Human Development and Family Diversity Concentration
  • Couple and Family Therapy Concentration
Doctoral Comments

Human Development and Family Studies: emphasizes human development and family dynamics across the life course. Families and individuals are studied in the context of multiple systems, including schools, communities, and health care systems. Emphasis is placed on resilience and positive development, and diversity is a core value of the program. Three concentrations within the Ph.D. HDFS program prepare professionals for academic research careers, advocacy and other administrative and/or clinical roles: Child Development; Human Development and Family Diversity; Couple and Family Therapy (COAMFTE approved curriculum).

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. Amanda Guinot-Talbot
CFLE Contact Email