Human Development and Family Science
Options for Undergraduate Majors
The Adult Development and Aging option prepares students for careers that involve work with the aging population. Course work focuses on typical developmental trajectories of adults in later life with a particular emphasis on contextual influences.
The Child Development option students are prepared for careers involving direct and support services for children. They may focus course work on promoting child health and protection, or on understanding and meeting the needs of older children and adolescents.
The Child Development/Elementary Education option is a collaborative effort between NDSU and Valley City State University. Through this curriculum, offered on the NDSU campus, students are concurrently enrolled in both universities, culminating a bachelor's degree from NDSU in child 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 coursework 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 variety of backgrounds.
Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE) The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) provides certification for the profession of family life education. HDFS students who have taken designated courses and earned a baccalaureate degree may apply for Provisional Status as Certified Family Life Education.
The Family Science option with emphasis in Family Economics within the field of family science prepares students to work with individuals and families to manage their resources. The family science curriculum emphasizes the importance of resources such as time, money and information for families, and how families can learn to use these resources to maximize their quality of life. Students become prepared to work with families experiencing financial difficulties, or who have money to save and invest. Students also become informed of consumer rights and responsibilities to advocate for consumers, and learn how to work with low income families to create or extend human and financial resources. Coursework in this area helps students to understand the interaction between families, economic well-being, and public policy.
The Family Science option allows students to take a concentration of courses in human development, family science or family economics in preparation for careers in direct and support services for families. Each option offers the flexibility of a generalist program, but students may choose to focus on an area of specialization as well.
Family Science/Social Work option The HDFS department and Minot State University's Social Work Program have teamed up for a new collaborative degree program. Students can earn an HDFS degree from NDSU, Family Science option, and a B.S.W. in Social Work from Minot State University at the same time. All courses are taught on the NDSU campus, and the total degree credits required are only 133.
HDFS Minor Options
Gerontology Minor: A minor in Gerontology at NDSU provides a program of study for students interested in a variety of careers that involve work with the elderly population.
Human Development and Family Science Minor: Aids a student for a broad array of work opportunities in agencies and organizations devoted to the well-being of children and their families.
Graduate School Tracks
Students who intend to pursue graduate degrees need special coursework to prepare them for entry to advanced degree programs. Pursuing a higher degree will broaden students' career opportunities and typically results in the attainment of higher paying jobs than those who have a bachelor's degree. Students who intend to go to graduate school need a greater emphasis on research and writing than other students.
Graduate School Track information