University of Connecticut

Department of Human Development & Family Sciences
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) focuses its research, teaching, and public engagement on a multidisciplinary understanding of 1) healthy development and wellbeing of individuals and families over the lifespan, 2) interactions and processes within families, and 3) individuals and families in societal and cultural contexts. We are committed to excellence in research, teaching, and public engagement through our core values of individualized mentoring, innovation and leadership, diversity and equity, and applied/translational science. Undergraduate students receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in HDFS. The HDFS major is offered at the main campus in Storrs and at regional campuses in Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury.

Graduate students can earn a Ph.D. and/or a Master’s Degree in HDFS.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Eva S. Lefkowitz
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Department Address

348 Mansfield Road, U-2058
Storrs, CT 06269-1058
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergraduate Director
Dr. Kari Adamsons
Undergrad Program Options
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Adulthood, Aging, and Gerontology
  • Couples, Parents, and Families
  • Health, Wellbeing, and Prevention
  • Diversity and Culture
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Close Relationships Across the Lifespan
  • Individual and Family Development
  • Diversity Issues in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Research Methods in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Human Development
  • Family Interaction Processes
  • Baseball and Society: Politics, Economics, Race and Gender
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • Human Development: Adulthood and Aging
  • Early and Middle Childhood Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Social and Community Influence on Children in the United States
  • Introduction to Programs for Young Children
  • Integrated Curriculum Methods and Materials
  • Emergent Literacy and Language Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Professional Development and Advocacy in Early Childhood
  • Developmental Approaches to Intergroup Relations and Victimization
  • Programs for Young Children: Introductory Laboratory
  • Observing Infant and Toddler Development
  • Observing Early Childhood Development
  • Aging in American Society
  • Gender and Aging
  • Disabilities: A Lifespan Perspective
  • Biotechnology, Disability and the Family
  • Death, Dying, and Bereavement
  • Men and Masculinities
  • Latinos: Sexuality and Gender
  • Issues in Human Sexuality
  • Parent-Child Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Parenthood and Parenting
  • Risk and Resilience in Individuals and Families
  • Individual and Family Interventions
  • Family Resource Management
  • Family Life Education
  • Abuse and Violence in Families
  • Low Income Families
  • The Family-School Partnership
  • Families and Work
  • Latino Health and Health Care
  • Legal Aspects of Family Life
  • Public Policy and the Family
  • Child Welfare, Law and Social Policy
  • Comparative Family Policy
  • Living with Chronic or Life-threatening Illness
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

Integrating classroom and service-learning education with opportunities for research and required professional experience, HDFS serves as a major educational and training facility for students interested in careers related to human service delivery. A distinctive feature of the undergraduate curriculum is the program of internships where students have the opportunity to sharpen professional skills and to see the relevance of their academic work to the "real world" of individuals and families.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Preston A. Britner
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Parent-Child Relations In Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Prevention, Intervention, and Policy Approaches in Family Studies
  • Patterns and Dynamics of Family Interaction
  • Theories of Family Development
  • Lifespan Human Development Models and Concepts
  • Qualitative Research Methods in HDFS
  • Research Methods in HDFS I & II
  • Human Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Seminar on Adolescent Development
  • Parent Education
  • Seminar in Parent-Child Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Close Relationships
  • Methods and Materials of Family Life Education
  • Aging: Personality and Social Intervention
  • Aging and the Family
  • Adaptation and Development in Adulthood
  • Gender Role Transitions and Conflicts over the Lifespan
  • Diverse Families: Adaptation
  • Culture, Health and Human Development
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • Early and Middle Childhood Dev
  • Policy, Law, & Child Welfare
  • Living with Chronic Illness
  • Human Attachment Across the Lifespan
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Adulthood, Aging, and Gerontology
  • Couples, Parents, and Families
  • Health, Wellbeing, and Prevention
  • Diversity and Culture
Masters Comments

Graduate study leading to a Master’s of the Arts degree in Human Development and Family Sciences is available at the University of Connecticut. Students are provided with advanced training in the theories and research methods necessary to pursue a scientific understanding of family members and family systems. Students interested in working in the fields like family life education, parent education, prevention and health promotion, or program evaluation would also apply to the M.A. program. M.A. applicants should contact faculty in their interest-area to learn about opportunities. M.A.-only students are not guaranteed support through departmental assistantships but are offered these opportunities whenever possible.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Adulthood, Aging, and Gerontology
  • Couples, Parents, and Families
  • Health, Wellbeing, and Prevention
  • Diversity and Culture
Doctoral Comments

The HDFS program at UConn is one of a select number of programs in the U.S. that offer Doctoral studies in Human Development and Family Sciences. Qualified applicants to the Ph.D. program may enter with either a B.A./B.S. or M.A./M.S. degree in a related profession or discipline including but not limited to: nursing, education, psychology, sociology, rehabilitation, counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, parent education, public health and health psychology, early intervention services, and positive youth development. Students design programs of study that will advance their skills in intervention, as well as program evaluation, policy studies, and research methods. All students accepted for doctoral studies receive support (including tuition waivers, stipends, and access to health insurance) through fellowships or graduate assistantships.

Upon completion of the Ph.D. program, many graduates enter post-doctoral fellowships or traditional academic positions. Others are employed by non-profit agencies, state and federal government agencies, health/hospital research, and human services research or policy positions.

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
Beth Russell
CFLE Contact Email