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Human Development and Family Studies

The goal of the human development and family studies program is to provide an interdisciplinary approach to study and work with individuals and families. This program draws from theory and research that examines the process of human development across the lifespan and the dynamic interaction of family members.

Students pursuing the B.S. in human development and family studies gain knowledge and experience in the science of human growth and development, human interaction and family relationships.

Graduates work in careers that promote healthy development and positive family functioning across the lifespan, such as: a social services case worker, provider at residential treatment center, youth organization worker, program director for youth, family or senior citizen center.

Meet Letcher, faculty in human development and family studies.

Program Objectives

All graduates of the HDFS major will share a common base of knowledge, skills and experiences:

  • Knowledge and understanding of
    • Developmental stages and processes across the lifespan.
    • Family dynamic processes.
    • The multi-directional influences of social contexts and the development of individuals, couples and families.
    • The interpersonal skills required for an effective helping relationship.
  • Skill and ability to
    • Interpret and evaluate current information regarding human and family development.
    • Use human development and family theories to understand and explain individual growth and family interaction.
    • Plan and evaluate intervention strategies designed to enhance the development of individuals, couples and families.
  • Experiences in
    • The ranges of settings that human development and family studies professionals inhabit.
    • Supervised work in a professional setting.

For questions about this major, please contact HDFS adviser, Carla Anderson.


  • Brookings campus

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