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About HDFS

What is Human Development and Family Studies?

Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is the study of how people develop physically, emotionally and socially within the context of the family and society.  HDFS offers an interdisciplinary approach to individual and family development across the lifespan. Kent State's program focuses on child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, biological aspects of human development, family studies, intervention research, and developmental research methods.  Students in HDFS will learn about the stages of development from infancy to adulthood, how to promote healthy family development, diversity and many other skills!

Undergraduate Level

The baccalaureate degree program in Human Development and Family Studies provides students with an understanding of human development and family relationships across the lifespan. The HDFS curriculum prepares graduates for professional careers related to working with children, youth, adults and families in social and human service settings.

Core coursework focuses on lifespan development (from infancy through old age) and family issues and processes. All students complete an internship or practicum as part of their academic requirements.

Each student selects one of six available concentrations: Child & Youth Development, Family Life Education, Case Management for Individuals and Families, Human Service Technology (Salem Campus only), Gerontology, or Nursing Home Administration. These concentrations allow students to guide their career towards the area which most interests them, whether it is working with youth, the elderly, or providing services for families and communities.

Graduate Level

The graduate program in HDFS provides students with advanced knowledge in human development and family studies.  At the master's level, students will develop community research skills and will be prepared for leadership positions within social service agencies, teaching at junior and community colleges or to pursue doctoral level study.

Visit the graduate program page for more details about advanced degrees in Human Development and Family Studies.