Department of Human Development and Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers a major in HDFS, which provides an understanding of growth and development throughout the lifespan. The HDFS curriculum prepares graduates to work with children, adolescents and families in a variety of programs, including government, private, and corporate settings. HDFS majors are equipped with critical knowledge and transferable skills for maintaining currency in today's rapidly changing society. Along with a strong liberal arts education, students complete extensive coursework and practical experience in family systems. Students receive hands-on practice from faculty who have professional experience and outstanding academic credentials. Also, students have opportunities to participate with faculty in research programs focused on the student's field of study.

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The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers majors in early childhood education, addiction and recovery, and in human development and family studies (HDFS). In the HDFS major, four concentrations are offered: family life education and advocacy; adolescence and youth development, child life and child development practitioners. For non-majors, the department offers minors in addiction and recovery studies and human development and family studies.

In addition to selecting a major and concentration, a student may also select a minor to enhance his or her program of study and career opportunities. Other University of Alabama academic divisions offer many appropriate minors. Requirements for these minors are found in the sections of this catalog pertaining to those divisions. The student should select a concentration and/or minor in consultation with a departmental adviser to ensure that program requirements are fulfilled. The student should also consult the adviser before choosing elective courses. Students who plan to apply for graduate study should complete at least one elective course in undergraduate research methods and statistics.


Department Head
  • Carroll M. Tingle
  • Hernandez-Reif, Maria
Associate professors
  • Curtner-Smith, Mary Elizabeth
  • Scofield, Jason
  • Witte, Tricia
Assistant professors
  • Berryhill, Blake
  • Blitch, Kimberly
  • Burns-Nader, Sherwood
  • Casper, Deborah
  • Downs, Karly
  • Komara, Cecile
  • Totenhagen, Casey
Professors Emeriti
  • Hudson, Carmen
  • Enders, Linda
  • Jesse, Peggy
  • Ladewig, Becky
  • Stinnett, Nancy
  • Stinnett, Nick
  • Strickland, Martha S.


Life Span Human Development

An introductory survey of basic principles of human development across the life span. Developmental principles are studied within the framework of change and stability in the domains of the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development.HD 101 counts toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement of the UA Core.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr

The growth and development of the child from conception to three years of age are studied. Methods used in infant research, practical implications of research, and major theoretical issues and observational techniques are addressed. Three lecture hours, one laboratory hour per week. HD 202 and HD 205 cannot be taken in the same semester.

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