Frequently Asked Questions - University of Houston
Skip to main content

How many hours are required for the HDFS major?

The current degree plan requires at least 120 hours regardless of minor or certification.

What are the degree options?

The program includes coursework, a practicum and an internship. To view the most updated degree plan for this program please visit the Office of the Provost's Academic Map webpage. Select the red button (Select a College for Academic Maps) and select "Education." The HDFS degree plans will be under "Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences."

Why would I wish to minor in HDFS?

A minor in HDFS provides students with the theoretical foundation needed for working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Students gain an appreciation for the impact of systematic influences upon people's lives.

How can I learn more about the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification?

Information about this certification for nonprofit administration (formerly known as American Humanics) can be found at the  Nonprofit Leadership Alliance UH Chapter website. Students who choose Nonprofit Leadership Alliance must complete 480 internship hours rather than the 300 hours otherwise required for the HDFS major. Additional workshops, non-credit classes and experimental skill building sessions are also required. For more information, please contact Melanie Barr Fitzpatrick.

Can I be certified to teach with this major?

Yes, students can choose to be certified to teach Early Childhood or Special Education through the UH Teacher Education Program at the College of Education. This alternative is not necessarily a part of the major but may be chosen in place of a minor.

What if I don't want to teach or be certified with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance?

Students who graduate with HDFS degrees go on to work in a variety of fields, including day care and social services positions that do not require these certifications. Some graduates work with Child Protective Services or as Probation Officers. HDFS graduates are prepared for a variety of graduate fields, particularly within Counseling, Early Childhood Intervention, Social Work, and Education. A relevant minor is often the “fast track” for students interested in these options. Appropriate minors vary depending on individual student interests, but Psychology, Nutrition, Health, and Modern Languages are popular choices.

How many hours are required for a minor in HDFS?

A minor in HDFS requires 15 semester hours.

How do I declare my major or minor with HDFS?

Students should fill out a general petition and request a degree plan be filled out for them. These may also be picked up in 491 Farish Hall.

What do I do when I need to be advised?

Prospective majors and students with declared majors should feel free to seek advising at any time (students with declared majors should seek advising at least once a year). If declared majors wish to be advised concerning which classes to take during a particular semester, they should request a degree plan update from the advisors well in advance. Many students make such requests at the same time, and accurate advising requires preparation. Prospective and current students should schedule an appointment with an HDFS Advisor online.

What do I do if I want to use courses I have taken at another university to count as courses on my HDFS degree plan?

If the transfer office concludes that the transfer courses are equivalent, the classes will automatically be counted on the degree plan by the advisors. If the courses transfer less specifically, students may petition to have courses reevaluated by the department. However, each department makes its own decisions. Thus, a student may petition a course classified as “HDFS ELECTIVE” with our department to count it as a specific HDFS course. If the course is a “HIST ELECTIVE” and the student feels the course is equivalent to a history course, that department would make the decision, not HDFS. At a minimum, departments need a course description and would prefer a syllabus in order to make a decision.

How do internships work?

Internships give HDFS students an opportunity to apply what they have learned throughout their studies in a realistic setting. These courses are the capstone to the degree and are reserved for seniors. Students must submit an application packet by the proper deadline in order to participate in the internship courses. There are three kinds of internships: 1.) Nonprofit Leadership Alliance internships (formerly American Humanics), 2.) The UH Teacher Education Program and 3.) HDFS internships. If a student enrolls in and completes either the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance internship or the Teacher Education Program,  the HDFS internship is waived. The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance internship involves 480 hours in a community organization and the HDFS internships include 300 hours. Please contact a Teacher Education Advisor to inquire about the hours required for the Teacher Certification Preparation Program.

Outside Farish Hall

Contact Us

The Human Development & Family Sciences program is a member of UH's Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences department.

Program Director: Dr. Julie Dunsmore

UH College of Education
Stephen Power Farish Hall
3657 Cullen Blvd., Room 491
Houston, TX 77204-5023

Undergraduate: or 713-743-5000
Graduate: or 713-743-7676
General: or 713-743-5010

  facebook-circle.png    x-social-circle.png