Department of Human Development and Family Science
The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) is to provide a comprehensive, integrated knowledge of families and individuals across the life span that will equip students for careers in the helping professions and to enter graduate programs. The curriculum emphasizes practical application, acknowledging individuals and families as developing and changing entities within a larger societal context.
Human Development and Family Science Major
At the undergraduate level, the department offers a curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree through Five options: adult development and aging; child and adolescent development; family science; child development/elementary education; and family science/social work. Human Development and Family Science majors are prepared to work in a variety of areas related to children and families. Employment opportunities include parent and family life educators, extension agents, child protection service professionals, financial counselors, nursing home activity directors, credit specialists, directors of child care licensing, and hospital child life specialists.
Coursework provides students with an ecological approach to the study of human development and families with emphasis on the interactions of individuals, families, and the broader environmental context. Allowing students to select electives within the department to specialize in careers of interest provides flexibility.
Note: All credits in Human Development and Family Science must have grades of 'C' or better to be accepted for all the Human Development and Family Science programs at NDSU.
Adult Development and Aging Option
The Adult Development & Aging option prepares students for careers involving direct and support services for adults of various ages. A minor outside the department is required.
Child and Adolescent Development Option
This option prepares students for careers involving direct and support services for children and adolescents. A minor outside the department is required.
Family Science Option
This option allows students to take a concentration of courses in family science or family economics in preparation for careers in direct and support services for families. A minor outside the department is required.
Note: The field experience requirement gives students the opportunity to work in a professional placement during their undergraduate program. This requirement enables students to apply their coursework to a professional position as they prepare to move into important careers with children and families.
Child Development/Elementary Education Dual Degree Program
The Child Development/Elementary Education option is a collaborative effort between NDSU and Valley City State University (VCSU). Through this curriculum, offered on the NDSU campus, students are concurrently enrolled in both universities, culminating in a bachelor’s degree from NDSU in Human Development and Family Science (Child Development option) as well as a bachelor’s degree from VCSU in Elementary Education. Students are certified to teach Elementary Education in public schools and may, with additional course work and an additional student teaching experience, be certified to teach kindergarten as well. The HDFS degree complements and strengthens the Elementary Education curriculum and helps future teachers understand development and its diversity, making them more effective teachers and helping them work with children from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Family Science/Social Work Dual Degree Program
The dual-degree program in Social Work and Human Development/Family Science is a collaborative effort between NDSU and Minot State University (MiSU). Under a cooperative agreement, students remain on the NDSU campus to complete all coursework, with MiSU courses that are specific to the social work major offered on the NDSU campus by MiSU faculty or offered through interactive video. The culmination of these requirements leads to a bachelor's degree from NDSU (Human Development and Family Science major, Family Science option) as well as a bachelor of Social Work degree from MiSU, with graduates eligible for North Dakota licensure as social workers. The curriculum combines coursework in human development and family process with coursework in social work to offer students an integrated knowledge of children, adolescents, adults, and families across the lifespan that will equip them for careers in the helping professions as well as to address the needs and aspirations of people living in a changing world.
Human Development and Family Science Minor
The Human Development and Family Science minor is especially appropriate for students majoring in the social or behavioral sciences and other students planning careers that involve work with people. Of the 18 credits required for the minor, at least nine credits must be upper division, and no more than three credits may be in field experience, practicum, or student teaching. Some HDFS courses also apply to interdisciplinary minors in Women and Gender Studies, Wellness, and Gerontology.
Family Therapy Center: The Family Therapy Center is located on the NDSU campus. The center is an accredited training program administered through the Department of Human Development and Family Science at NDSU. NDSU faculty members who are clinical members and approved supervisors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy supervise advanced clinical students.
Center for Child Development (CCD): The Center for Child Development is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, which provides opportunities for NDSU students to observe, do research, and participate in a high quality program for young children and their families.