Human Development and Family Studies - BS, BA

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

About This Degree

Graduates are prepared for professions assisting individuals across the lifespan: early childhood care and education, community education, financial counseling/coaching, mental health, research, and human service settings.

What You Will Learn

Courses focus on current national and global issues confronting families and individuals across the lifespan.

Students work with internationally recognized faculty on important research projects that can help society better understand human development and family relationships with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for individuals and families. Students are required to complete a practicum experience, gaining applied work experience outside of the classroom.

Remote practicum options are available for online students. HDFS graduates are highly qualified professionals employed across the state and nation. Students are also well prepared for graduate school.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


Family and Community Services:

In this research-guided emphasis, students learn to work with families across the lifespan. They develop strong skills in family life education, ethics, professionalism, and program development.

Child Development:

This emphasis focuses on children's social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development and the environments that support optimal growth in these areas. The importance of relationships and early childhood education are also emphasized.

Family Finance:

This emphasis prepares students to be coaches/financial counselors and to help individuals and families make decisions relating to insurance, investing, credit, budgeting, and home ownership.

Human Development:

Students learn about addressing the developmental needs of individuals and families. Through applied experiences students engage with individuals, families, social agencies and organizations.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, students may pursue careers in the following areas:

Family and Community Services, Child Development, and Human Development Lifespan Emphases

  • Child care/preschool settings
  • Job coaching, career counseling
  • Head Start programs
  • Social services agencies
  • Drug treatment centers
  • Youth and adult residential care centers
  • Foster care
  • Youth centers
  • Crisis centers
  • Parent education programs
  • Senior citizen centers
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Federal, state, and local agencies serving families and children
  • Family Life Educator

Family Finance Emphasis

  • Consumer credit counseling services
  • Financial counselor or educator
  • Financial planner
  • Credit unions
  • Corporate employee assistance programs
  • Employee benefits counseling firms
  • College financial aid offices
  • Bank loan offices
  • Bankruptcy courts
  • Community housing programs
  • Personal banker
  • Mortgage loan officer
  • Credit counselor
  • Consumer relations coordinator
  • Credit investigator
  • Insurance broker



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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USU Locations


*This degree is available at various USU locations.

  • The Child Development emphasis is only available at the following locations: Logan, Brigham City, and Roosevelt (Uintah basin).
  • The Family Finance emphasis is available throughout the state of Utah.

**This degree is 100% available online. USU is a SARA-approved institution offering fully online programs nationwide; please visit USU's state authorizations for details.

  • The Family and Community Services emphasis is available online and throughout the state of Utah.
  • The Human Development emphasis is available online and throughout the state of Utah.


Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the Human Development and Family Studies program has additional requirements:

  • First-Year students: First-Year students admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as pre-majors.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students and USU students transferring from other majors qualify for the pre-major if they meet USU's general admissions requirements.
  • To be admitted to the major, students must complete at least 24 semester credits with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. These credits include specific HDFS prerequisite courses.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

A criminal background check, including fingerprinting, is required for everyone who completes an HDFS practicum.

Students in the department are required to complete a practicum experience.

Take The Next Step

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