Oklahoma State University

Department of Human Development & Family Science
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

HDFS is a leader in applied interdisciplinary scholarship focused on reducing risk and enhancing resilience within individuals and among families across cultures and generations. The distinguishing feature of HDFS is the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary integration of instruction, research and application between and among human development, family science, early childhood education, gerontology, and marriage and family therapy. Because integrative approaches are necessarily broad, the department's focus is on the many ways resilience may be discovered, developed, mastered, and maintained across human processes and contexts.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Sissy Osteen
Department Emphasis
  • 30% Child/Human Development
  • 15% Family Science
  • 30% Early Childhood Education
  • 20% Marriage & Family Therapy
  • 5% Gerontology
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Master's
  • 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 - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Master's
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

233 Human Sciences
Stillwater, OK 74078-6122
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Child & Family Services
  • Family & Consumer Sciences
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Lifespan Human Development
  • Developmental Disabilities across the Lifespan
  • Dying, Death, and Bereavement
  • Human Sexuality and the Family
  • Foundations in Early Childhood
  • Creative Expression, Play, and Motor Skills in Early Childhood
  • Infancy and Toddlerhood
  • Relationship Development and Marriage
  • Management of Human Service Programs
  • Professional Skills
  • Literature and Literacy
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Cognitive Development
  • Preparation for Kindergarten and Primary Teaching
  • Parenting
  • Children's Play
  • Infant and Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Family Dynamics
  • Research Methods
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • Family Life Education
  • Family Risk and Resilience
  • Fatherhood
  • Policy, Law, and Advocacy
  • Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Family Resource Management
  • The Family: A World Perspective
  • Dying, Death, and Bereavement
  • Research Practicum
  • Internship
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

The undergraduate program is developed from a foundation of human development and family science courses that focuses on an integration and application of knowledge to reduce risk and enhance resilience within individuals and among families across cultures and generations. Directed field experiences and internships are critical to the degree. Minors are also available in the department in Child Development; Individual and Family Services; or in Gerontology. The undergraduate degree is offered on both the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Karina Shreffler & Dr. Michael Criss
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Social and Emotional Development: Theory and Research
  • Developmental Contexts of Normative Behavior Problems
  • Family Theory
  • Issues in Family Science
  • Policy in HDFS
  • Parent Education
  • Developmental Assessment
  • Community and Family
  • Research Methods
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Research Perspectives in Gerontology
  • Theories of Aging
  • Aging and Families
  • Attachment in Later Life
  • Aging in the Medical Context
  • Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education History and Theory
  • Assessment and Observation in Early Childhood Education
  • Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • Theoretical Models of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Couples Treatment in MFT
  • Child & Adolescent Treatment in MFT
  • Psychopathology/Psychopharmacology
  • Coping with Family Crises
  • Human Sexuality
  • Professionalism and Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Child & Family Services
  • Development & Family Science
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Gerontology
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

The Department of Human Development & Family Science has a 60-year tradition of offering quality graduate programs to prepare students in the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge to enhance the quality of life for individuals and families. The masters of science degree prepares students for teaching, practice, advocacy and/or leadership in public-private arenas.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Advanced Research in Risk and Resilience
  • Risk and Resilience in Human Development
  • Advanced Family Theory
  • Seminar in Human Development
  • Seminar in Family Science
  • Graduate Seminar in Human Sciences
  • Advanced Research Methods in Human Development and Family Science
  • Research Practicum
  • Structural Equation Modeling for HDFS Applications
  • Advanced Statistical Procedures for HDFS
Doctoral Comments

The doctor of philosophy degree is awarded in Human Sciences with a specialization in Human Development & Family Science (HDFS). The objective of the program is to offer an integrated interdisciplinary combination of courses and research with a specialized focus on family relations and child/human development. Courses from both HDFS and other departments are selected to provide a flexible yet rigorous program suited to the professional needs of specialization with HDFS. The objectives of the Ph.D. program are to prepare competent researchers and educators who will make contributions to the scientific literature human development and family science. All doctoral students receive the opportunity to participate on faculty research.

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
Karina Shreffler, PhD
CFLE Contact Email