Human Development and Family Studies, BS

Family Life Studies, BS


Bachelor's Degree

Credits required:

50 credits

Cost per credit:


Next start date:

August 26, 2024

Improve Society by Helping Families and Individuals

A bachelor's degree in human development and family studies prepares you to serve individuals and families across their lifespan. This degree offers two emphases, and you have the option to earn a Gerontology Certificate of Proficiency online if it aligns with your career goals.

Human Development: Through hands-on experiences, you’ll engage with individuals and families to address their developmental needs.

Family and Community Service: This emphasis will have you participate in research and gain hands-on experience as you learn to work with families in their different stages.


The First Step is a Conversation. Talk to Sarah.

Sarah Tulane

Sarah Tulane, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Online Coordinator
(435) 797-7479

College: College of Education & Human Services

Department: Human Development and Family Studies

Find Your Fit

Take a few minutes to determine how a USU Online program can help you meet your education and career goals.

Learn from Experts in Human Development and Family Studies

Led by internationally recognized faculty researching population across the lifespan, our program immerses you in research projects focused on understanding human development and family relationships. This research directly contributes to improving the quality of life for individuals and families.

Dr. Ryan Seedall

Dr. Ryan Seedall

Associate Professor

"I am a marriage and family therapist because I believe in the power of relationships in helping bring about growth and healing. My research centers around the process of improving relationships. I especially enjoy finding ways to help improve couple interactions. I love working with students, helping them learn valuable skills while also helping them see strengths in themselves that they may not have realized."

Dr. Spencer Bradshaw

Dr. Spencer Bradshaw

Associate Professor

"In both teaching and researching about the neuropsychology of addiction and individual and family recovery, I have been blown away by the students and their eagerness to learn as well as their abilities when it comes to assisting with various research projects – including when their involvement is from a distance. I’m always excited to interact with and feel enriched by the HDFS online students at USU in both classroom and research settings."

Hear From Our Students

Our students apply what they learn and make an impact in their lives and those in their communities. They are the definition of hard work and persistence, often working or caring for others in addition to going to school.

I am in my last semester of my bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies and I have been able to show my children just how important your education is and that all the hard work is worth it. The flexibility and opportunities that online learning gives is unparalleled. I have been able to work full time to support my family while also being a full-time student.

Shara Lyman

The online program was the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about where I wanted to go with my career—it provided the flexibility I needed, both in scheduling and course selection. After my undergraduate studies, I received a Master of Public Health degree and am now a doctoral student. The skills I developed during my time in the online program helped prepare me for each step afterwards.

Rachel Byers

Career Outlook

Pursuing a degree in human development and family studies opens meaningful career pathways. You can enter the workforce upon graduation, or you can continue to graduate studies to further specialize your knowledge and skills in areas that are important to you. Read about one graduate’s experience in the program and what she’s done since graduating.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Research methodologies used in family and human development
  • Family finance planning
  • Parenting and child guidance principles and techniques
  • Career planning
  • Family intervetion principles and techniques*
  • Building familiy life educational programs and workshops*
  • Planning and implementing curricula for preschool-aged children*

*Emphasis or elective courses.

Our Students' Career Paths

  • Child development consultant
  • Child Protective Services
  • Early childhood education
  • Early intervention
  • Family life educator
  • Financial education and coaching
  • Gerontology programs and agencies
  • Nonprofit community agencies
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Youth development programs

Human Development & Family Studies Curriculum Preview

The program curriculum provides a well-rounded experience that offers ample opportunities to expand your understanding of key topics related to human development and family studies and develop in-demand industry skills. You will also participate in a practicum experience to tie in your course work with your working skills.

Review of parenting styles and child guidance philosophies with emphasis on principles and techniques. Child abuse will also be reviewed.
Students learn common methodologies used in current family and human development research. Emphasis is placed on becoming a knowledgeable and informed consumer of research.
Students learn similarities and differences in family patterns and functions in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, social class, and international development.
Overview of financial topics including financial goals, record keeping, budgeting, saving, insurance, taxes, use of credit, credit reports, mortgages, investments, retirement, fraud and financial planning.