Why Human Development & Family Studies?

1. Multiple Career Pathways: HDFS is one degree with many different career pathways, where students are prepared to work in a variety of diverse settings (e.g. family and community-based social services, prevention, nonprofit administration, family and community intervention). HDFS is also excellent preparation for graduate study, particularly in fields like Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Psychology, and Early Intervention.

2. Emphasis on Prevention: The focus of the HDFS program is on strengths-based prevention, where graduates learn how to  equip and empower individuals and families to develop knowledge and skills to leverage their strengths to face their challenges through educational programming, outreach, and interventions.

3. Internationalization and Study Abroad Opportunities: The HDFS program recognizes no matter where you work, you will need to be prepared to work with individuals from around the world, so we infuse international content into our courses and offer short-term study abroad opportunities in Ireland and Italy over the summer.

4. Application: Coursework in HDFS emphasizes application and active learning across the curriculum.

5. Support for Career Exploration: The program provides guidance and support related to career exploration and development from the beginning of the program all the way through graduation through an introductory course that exposes students to the diverse career opportunities in HDFS all the way through to a professional development course that helps students transition from student to professional.

6. Practical Experience in Real World Settings: The HDFS program has strong community partnerships, including partners both on- and off-campus.  Before graduation, every student in HDFS completes a Practicum experience, where students gain hands-on experience working in the field and making professional network connection.

7. Combined Bachelor/Master’s degree Programs: Through HDFS, students have the opportunity to apply for and complete combined Bachelor/master’s degree programs in HDFS and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, where students can use graduate coursework to satisfy both their Bachelor degree and graduate degree requirements, reducing the time and expense to completing a Master’s degree in these fields.

8. Faculty Connections: HDFS has a two-pronged approach to advising, where students work closely with both their academic advisor and their assigned faculty advisor. Throughout their time in the program, students have frequent opportunities to connect with HDFS faculty to plan their coursework, explore career opportunities, and plan for life after graduation.

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