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Human Development and Family Studies (B.S.)

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Gain knowledge and experience in the science of human growth and development.

A B.S. in human development and family studies (HDFS) prepares students for careers that promote healthy development and family functioning. HDFS is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws from theory and research to examine the process of human development across the lifespan, the dynamic interaction of family members, as well as the influence of social environments. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to educate individuals and families, and create community-based programs that solve real-world challenges.

A four-year degree in HDFS is also a strong foundation for graduate study in the areas of developmental sciences, counseling, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, social work and speech-language pathology, among others.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Work well with other people.
  • Are interested in the complexity of human relationships.
  • Want to make a difference in people's lives.
  • Have strong communication skills
  • Are involved in your community

Career Opportunities

  • Prevention specialist
  • Social services case worker
  • Program director for youth, family or senior citizen center
  • Family and child advocate
  • Graduate school

Recent Employers

  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Rural Health
  • SDSU Extension
  • Sanford Health
  • KVC Kansas

Internship Opportunities

  • Youth clubs and agencies
  • Assisted living and nursing home facilities
  • Department of Social Services
  • Mental health agencies
  • Adjustment training centers

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The exploratory studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the exploratory studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using their student email and password. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.