Texas Tech Integrates ‘Family Science’ Into Department Name

Texas Tech HDFS 2020

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is pleased to share that Texas Tech University's Department of Human Development and Family Studies is now Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS).

NCFR member Ann Mastergeorge, Ph.D., who serves as professor and department chair, said the term “family sciences” more accurately represents the research and teaching approach by the department.

“As a department, we are thrilled to institute a name that reflects ‘family sciences,’ since our field has evolved and advanced over the past three decades,” Mastergeorge said. “Our research, teaching and outreach and engagement activities also reflect the interdisciplinary perspectives embedded in our new departmental name. We look forward to the future impact and contributions of both our faculty and students in the arena of human development and family sciences.”

Read more about Texas Tech's Department of Human Development and Family Sciences.


Considering a Name Change for Your Program?

In 2014, NCFR formally adopted Family Science as the preferred term to identify the discipline. Since then, use of the term has been encouraged for department and program names. Family Science is a more accurate and understandable term for students and prospective employers. It denotes a rigor and reflects the underpinnings of research-informed practice, and as such, it carries with it a new higher level of credibility and regard.

In addition, the term provides a professional identity—that of Family Scientist—to program graduates. Many departments have changed their names over the years to incorporate Family Science, and the continuation of this national trend in turn helps to improve the overall standing of the discipline.

Does your college or university have a new program or new name? Let us know! Share your news items through our online form or contact Trip Sullivan, NCFR communications manager.

If your department is considering a name change, NCFR has sample documents and resources available for you that other schools have successfully used. Contact Allison Wickler for more information.