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Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate HDFS degree prepares students for careers in the helping profession. Core coursework focuses on lifespan development and family issues and processes.  Students will acquire knowledge in child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, biological aspects of human development, family studies, intervention research, and developmental research methods.

As a Human Development and Family Studies major, students have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about physical, cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions of human development from infancy to old age.
  • Learn about the influences of family, school, work, and community on human development.
  • Recognize the unique strengths and needs of diverse populations of individuals and families.
  • Apply knowledge of human development and family relationships through involvement with diverse populations.
  • Become prepared to contribute to quality of life and well being of individuals and families across the lifespan.
  • Engage in research and writing pertaining to developmental, ecological, and family research.
  • Identify opportunities for advanced training and employment in HDFS and related professions.
This degree provides students with the flexibility to cater their coursework towards their unique interests within the helping profession, whether it is working with youth, the elderly, or families.  An internship and/or practicum experience is required for each concentration, which allows students to gain 'real world' application of their skills. This experience also helps students network with area agencies and build professional, collaborative relationships, which assists in acquiring and maintaining a job after graduation.

Each student selects one of six available concentrations: Child and Youth Development, Family Life Education, Case Management for Individuals and Families, Human Services Technology (only available at the Salem Campus), Gerontology, or Nursing Home Administration.  Students can also earn a minor in Nonprofit Studies or Gerontology.