HDFS Coursework & Careers

CDL Preschool Teacher with Student

In HDFS, you’ll study development across the entire lifespan particularly in the context of family life, from child and adolescent development, early childhood education, and child and family intervention to adult development, aging, and relationships. And, HDFS faculty and advisors will work closely with you to understand your interests and help develop your personal program, including valuable internship opportunities.

With growing issues such as the nation’s aging population, social pressures on young adults, and the rapidly changing profile of the American family, employment in HDFS fields is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2015). An HDFS education fully equips graduates to fill exciting positions sought after by agencies, foundations and service programs across a wide variety of fields, including psychology, education, business, health, research, social work, and counseling.

HDFS provides an excellent foundation for graduate and professional study, including pre-med and pre-health, and an interdisciplinary approach to development across the lifespan leading to the Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. The major also co-sponsors the graduate Minor and Certificate in Prevention Science.

Types of HDFS Careers:
Preschool Teachers
Home Health Aides
Higher Education Professionals
College Professor
Occupational Therapists
Social Workers
Mental Health Counselors
School Counselors
School Psychologists
Human Resources Specialists
Marriage & Family Therapists

See where our HDFS alumni are working 1-3 years post graduation, along with graduate and professional school programs.

Download curriculum checksheets; year entering major 2021-22 |2020-2021 | 2019-2020 | 2018-19 | 2017-18

HDFS curriculum is designed to incorporate six learning outcomes:

4k teacher plays with blocks with a young child.

  1. Lifespan Development: Knowledge of lifespan human development (intellectual and social/emotional development) including both normative development and individual differences, as it occurs in its real-world contexts.
  2. Family and cultural variation: Knowledge of family and community diversity.
  3. Internal Family Processes: Knowledge of internal family processes, including parenting and parent-child relations, couples and family relationships across generations, and family health and well being.
  4. External Family Processes: Ability to evaluate how children, adults, and families affect and are affected by policies, media, or other social institutions.
  5. Applied Practice: Knowledge about the effective and ethical practice of assessment, prevention, intervention or outreach for individuals and families.
  6. Research: Ability to understand, evaluate, and ethically conduct social science research.