Students majoring in human development and family studies have a genuine concern for children and families and seek the challenge of helping people learn, solve life problems and successfully interact with others. Students gain an understanding of the development of the family system and the dynamics of family relationships. Students concentrating in adolescent and youth development are interested in the growth and development of adolescents and youth within the family, peer and school contexts. A degree in HDFS with no concentration provides a flexible program for students interested in preparing for professional work or further study related to children and families through coursework only, with no internship required. This program of study is especially relevant for students who would like to pursue advanced coursework in preparation for professional degrees, such as medical school.

The major in human development and family studies provides an understanding of growth and development throughout the lifespan. Following are descriptions of the concentrations available to HDFS majors, including courses required in each concentration. There are also recommended elective courses to enhance the various programs of study. A list of these courses is available from the student’s departmental advisor.

Degree Options

A student majoring in human development and family studies graduates with a bachelor of science in human environmental sciences degree. Students may continue their education and pursue a Master of Science in human environmental sciences. Some students move to one of our collaborative doctoral programs in education or psychology.

All students with a major in human development and family studies must take the following courses as part of the University core requirements:

More InformationHours
University Core Requirements
BSC 114
BSC 115 or
Principles Of Biology I
and Laboratory Biology I
4
BSC 109 Intro Biology Non Maj II
HD 101Life Span Human Development3
PY 101Intro To Psychology3
Concentration
Select an existing concentration or propose a personalized concentration41-58
Total Hours51-68

In addition, please note that every student in the department of human development and family studies is required to select an existing concentration or propose his or her own personalized concentration. In the event that a student wishes to propose a personalized concentration of courses, he or she must make application following a prescribed process. Students interested in this option should contact the chairperson of the department.

Course requirements for students with no concentration

Hours
Required Courses
HD 101Life Span Human Development3
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
HD 262Marriage And Family3
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
PY 211 or Elem Statistical Methods3
BER 345 Educational Statistics
Select four of the following12
Adult Development
Admin Child Centers & Programs
Addiction and the Family
Interpersonal Relationships
Program Evaluation
Human Sexuality Sex Education
Children And Divorce
Approved HD course at the 300- or 400-level3
Select four of the following:12
Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Delinqency:Causes, Control, and Services
Indiv Family Resourc Mgt
Family & Consumer Law
Addiction: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery
Drug Awareness Education
Social Psychology
Dev Persp Young Child W/ Disab
Total Hours48

Concentrations

Concentration in Family Studies

The concentration in family studies provides an understanding of the development of the family system, the dynamics of family relationships and their bidirectional influence on family members. Students who earn a grade of C or better in each course in the program are eligible to apply for certification as a family life educator by the National Council on Family Relations. This concentration prepares students to plan and implement programs in parent education, relationship/marriage education and human sexuality education. Graduates work in a variety of settings, such as industry, family service agencies, mental health agencies, churches, nursing homes and schools. This concentration currently does not lead to certification. This concentration is also well-suited for students interested in pursuing government and military programs, a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, as well as other fields that serve children and families.

Each student completing the family studies concentration must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in both HD and UA coursework before enrolling in HD 497 Family Studies Internship. Most internship opportunities require a minimum cumulative and HD GPA of 2.5. Students should contact the internship coordinator for further information.

Hours
Required Courses
CSM 201Indiv Family Resourc Mgt3
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
HD 262Marriage And Family3
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
HD 462Interpersonal Relationships3
HD 472Program Evaluation3
HD 475Human Sexuality Sex Education3
HD 483Methods of Family Life Education3
HD 488Senior Seminar2
HD 497Family Studies Internship6
PY 211 or Elem Statistical Methods3
BER 345 Educational Statistics
Select one of the following:3
Family & Consumer Law
Children And Divorce
Total Hours44

Concentration in Adolescent and Youth Development

The adolescent and youth development concentration is planned for students who are interested in the growth and development of adolescents and youth within the family, peer, school contexts and community. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students for work in a variety of settings, including community-based programs, home-based programs and mental-health agencies. Additionally, this concentration provides the necessary background for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in adolescent and youth development. The curriculum consists of the HDFS core courses as well as specialty courses that highlight adolescent and youth issues.

Each student completing the adolescent and youth development concentration must have a grade point average of 2.0 or above in HD and UA coursework before enrolling in Adolescent Youth Devel Intern (HD 498). Many internship opportunities require a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Students should contact the internship coordinator for further information.

Hours
Required Courses
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
HD 462Interpersonal Relationships3
HD 472Program Evaluation3
HD 475Human Sexuality Sex Education3
HD 488Senior Seminar2
HD 498Adolescent Youth Devel Intern6
CJ 240 or Juvenile Delinquency3
SW 208 Juvenile Delinqency:Causes, Control, and Services
HHE 378Drug Awareness Education3
PY 372Social Psychology3
PY 211 or Elem Statistical Methods3
BER 345 Educational Statistics
Total Hours41

Concentration in Child Life

The child life concentration is planned for students who wish to study and work with children and youth in health care settings. The curriculum consists of a comprehensive foundation of courses related to the growth and development of the healthy child as well as children with illnesses. Through specific courses, students participate in laboratory and practicum experiences with children. These experiences, along with the theoretical information, provide a foundation necessary for working with hospitalized children and their families. This curriculum enables a student to become a candidate for the national certification exam administered by the Child Life Certifying Committee of the National Child Life Council. Students must make application to the child life program after completion of 60–90 hours with at least 12 hours of HD courses. Acceptance and retention in the program are determined by:

  • satisfactory recommendation by HD faculty committee
  • cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 and a GPA of 2.5 or above in HD courses (each student enrolled in the child life concentration must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in human development coursework before enrolling in HD 496 Child Life Internship)
Hours
Required Courses
BSC 215Human Anatomy & Physiology I4
BSC 216Human Anatomy & Physiology II4
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 203Medical Terminology2
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 321Concp Creat Exper Young Child3
HD 322Conc Creat Exper Yng Chld II3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
HD 422Admin Child Centers & Programs3
HD 426Hospitalized Child Youth3
HD 451Loss And Bereavement3
HD 472Program Evaluation3
HD 496Child Life Internship12
PHL 223Medical Ethics3
PY 211 or Elem Statistical Methods3
BER 345 Educational Statistics
Total Hours58

HDFS graduates often pursue graduate study at UA or other prominent universities, or they develop careers in various settings for children, youth and adults. Most importantly, HDFS graduates work in rewarding careers ultimately improving the quality of life for individuals and families.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Family Studies graduates find jobs as family relationships/parenting educators in businesses, mental health agencies and community or church-related programs. Child Life graduates work in hospitals, outpatient clinics and large pediatric practices. Adolescent and Youth graduates work in private clinics, human service organizations, community-sponsored programs or with youth groups in churches, synagogues and other privately funded organizations.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

teachers, administrators, community service providers, social services representative, travel agent , teen mom program director, child life specialist in a research hospital, adult or child daycare provider, consumer protection agent, business manager, writer/editor of children's books, parent counselor, hospice manager, State Department of Education staff member, women's protective agency, State Department of Human Resources staff member, State Department of Children's Affairs staff member and child/family advocate

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center

Sample Curriculum for the Human Development and Family Studies Major

Freshman Year

Hours
HD 101Life Span Human Development3
Select one of the following:3-6
English Composition
and English Composition
Advanced English Composition
HES 100Freshman Compass Human Env Sci3
Select one of the following: 4
Intro Biology Non Maj II
Principles Of Biology I
Computer Science (C) or foreign language (FL)3-4
Math (MA)3
PY 101Intro To Psychology3
History (HI) and social and behavioral sciences (SB)6
Total Hours28-32

Sophomore Year

Hours
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
Computer science (C) or foreign language (FL)3-4
Natural science (N)4
Humanities (HU) and fine arts (FA)12
Human development elective or concentration courses6
Total Hours31-32

Junior Year

Hours
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
PY 211 or Elem Statistical Methods3
BER 345 Educational Statistics
Human development electives6-9
Elective6
Concentration or minor12
Total Hours33-36

Senior Year

Hours
HES 310Issues Human Envir Sciences3
HD internship, if applicable. No additional credit hours are allowed to be taken in the same semester as a 12 credit hour internship. You are only allowed to take an additional 6 credit hours in the same semester as a 6 credit hour internship, totaling 12 credit hours.6-12
HD 472Program Evaluation3
HD 488Senior Seminar2
Concentration or minor6
Electives9
Total Hours29-35