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The mission of the Human Development and Family Studies undergraduate program at the University of Houston is to advance rigorous scientific inquiry, provide transformative learning experiences, empower students to be change agents, and improve the lives of individuals and families across diverse contexts and cultures.

Program Values

Community Advocacy: Collaborating with community members as equitable partners to foster resilience among individuals and families and to advocating for public policies that facilitate the optimal development of diverse children, adults, families, and communities.

Academic Excellence & Student Success: Providing transformative and experiential learning opportunities for students that emphasize prevention, education, and community action to enhance quality of life for individuals throughout the lifespan and diverse families within their contexts.

Research & Application: Advancing the rigorous scientific study of individual and family development throughout the life course using an interdisciplinary, bioecological approach that results in the development and implementation of evidence-based practices.

Critical Thinking: Thinking critically about social norms related to individual and family development while valuing multicultural conceptualizations of human development and dynamic family systems to advance culturally competent education, prevention, and intervention.

Professional Growth: Cultivating ongoing professional development for faculty, staff, and students, nurturing the lifelong pursuit of knowledge, and continually elevating and adapting our program so that it remains rigorous and effective in preparing students to be positive change agents in the world.

Is this program for me?

A Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) provides a broadly based study of the intellectual, emotional, social, and moral development of individuals and families.

HDFS graduates have a variety of opportunities available to them. Many students go on to graduate school in the fields of Social Work, Psychology, Education, Medicine, and Law.

Since degree plans change periodically, students will follow the degree plan that is in place at the time in which they complete an official, signed degree plan. Following are the most current sample degree plans for HDFS majors:

It will typically take about 4 years to complete the program if students are enrolled full-time (12 hours).

What will I learn?

The HDFS curriculum focuses on:

  • Contemporary Families
  • Different periods of lifespan
  • Parent education
  • Delivery of human services
  • Early childhood education

The program includes coursework, a practicum and an internship.

What can I do with my degree?

Graduates may pursue the following careers:

  • Elementary School or Special Education Teacher (through the UH Teacher Education Program)
  • Early Childhood Intervention Specialist
  • Human Services Administrator
  • Employment in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Day Care Director
  • Graduate School

Graduates may pursue the following certificates:

Students may also choose to take courses to prepare them for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certificate which prepares students to manage nonprofit organizations.

Undergraduates in Human Development & Family Studies prepare for the following teacher certifications in the State of Texas through the UH Teacher Education Program:

  • Early Childhood (EC) - 6th grade generalist
  • Special Education EC -12

To apply for this major, make an appointment with the Human Development & Family Studies Undergraduate Advisor.