The Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program at the University of Utah provides students with an integrated knowledge and interdisciplinary understanding of family relationships and an individual’s development through life. In this field, you will learn the principles of human development, the key tasks that accompany each stage of development, and the intra-family processes that influence this development. With two emphasis areas to choose from—Child Life (BA/BS), and Early Childhood Education (BA/BS)—the program allows students to tailor their degree to fit their strengths and goals. Regardless of focus, the curriculum includes core classes in reserach methods, statistics, family economic status, consumer and community studies, lifespan human development, and modern family life. Students then choose electives in HDFS topics - such as family problems, family violence, parenting, or healthy communites. At the program’s end, enter the professional field prepared to make a difference in your community and in the lives of others, or continue your studies at the graduate level to further your knowledge and skills in the area of human development.
The Student Experience
The department offers several degree enrichment activities, such as study abroad programs or internships. If you want to get involved in your department or program, consider completing a research project through the Child and Family Development Center or iStar, or joining the Kappa Omicron Nu (KON) Honor Society for Family and Consumer Science students.
Graduates of the Human Development and Family Studies program can pursue careers as teachers, childcare specialists, social workers, public relations experts, or advocates for family and human rights. With additional education at the graduate level, students can find work in the fields of counseling, law, health, or administration. Consider becoming a school psychologist or counselor, a lawyer specializing in custody disputes, a nutrition specialists, or a principal or college professor.