Master of Science in Human Development & Family Science

The mission of the Master of Science graduate program in HDFS is to produce knowledgeable, well-qualified graduates who are prepared to enter the professional workforce as informed, well-rounded specialists in at least one area of the lifespan and in the study of families, and who are prepared to undertake further graduate level education if desired.

The program aims to generate graduates who are well versed in relevant theories, research methods, and the conduct and dissemination of quality research so that they are able to understand the current body of literature in HDFS and are prepared to expand this knowledge base through research of their own.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for community and social services professionals are “projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 371,900 jobs.”

The program prepares students for a variety of careers such as administrators of child development or family services programs, licensed early childhood teacher, child development specialists, school age program coordinators, youth program specialists, community education instructors, parent educators, family financial planners, consumer advocates and family public policy advocates.

HDFS Course Requirements

Child Life Concentration

The Child Life Concentration is for Human Development & Family Science students interested in pursuing the healthcare career of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). A CCLS helps to minimize the stress and anxiety that children and their families experience in healthcare settings through developmentally appropriate education for medical procedures, coping support, and therapeutic play. Students in the Child Life Concentration will be able to apply their child development and family systems theoretical knowledge to prepare for the complex needs of hospitalized children and their families.

Learn more about this concentration.

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Laura Ainsworth, PhD, LCSW



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bachelor's in hdfs