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Academic Majors


Human Development and Family Science/Elementary Education

The human development and family science/elementary education dual degree program is designed to provide additional knowledge in all aspects of child development to prepare elementary teachers to be advocates for young children and extend their knowledge about how children learn, what they learn, and the techniques that facilitate such learning.

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The Program

Through this curriculum, students are concurrently enrolled in the human development and family science (HDFS) major (child development option) through North Dakota State University and the elementary education major through Valley City State University (VCSU). The culmination of these requirements leads to a bachelor’s degree from NDSU (human development and family science major/child development option) as well as a bachelor’s degree from VCSU (elementary education major).

Under a cooperative agreement, students remain on the NDSU campus to complete all coursework for the dual degree. The courses specific to the elementary education major (VCSU) are offered on the NDSU campus by VCSU faculty. 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 with coursework in child development, family issues and cross-cultural diversity.

Children are very diverse in all aspects of their development— physical, cognitive, social and emotional. It is more accurate to view “normal” development as a range of possible outcomes rather than a single life course. Ultimately, these developmental factors have a strong influence on children’s performance and behavior in school. A degree in HDFS will help future teachers understand development and its diversity, making them more effective teachers and helping them work with children from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Selective Admission

Admission to the dual degree program consists of two separate university applications:

  1. Application for admission to NDSU for the human development and family science/elementary education dual degree prior to beginning the program, and
  2. Application for admission to VCSU and admission to the teacher education program, which occurs at the end of the sophomore year.

During or immediately following the introductory professional education course, students must meet additional requirements to be admitted into teacher education:

  1. Sophomore standing or better with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75,
  2. Satisfactory academic performance in English 110 and 120 (grades of C or higher) and successful completion of a speech screening test,
  3. Achievement of minimum scores on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), and
  4. Qualification for teacher certification in the state of North Dakota upon VCSU program completion, as outlined in the latest issue of the Educator’s Professional Certificate Regulation booklet published by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is the culmination of the teaching program. Students have the opportunity to apply skills acquired in college courses under the supervision of an experienced educator.


Upon completing this program, students are eligible for certification to teach grades 1 through 6. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Office of Student Financial Services at NDSU makes available grants, loans, scholarships and work-study employment. Scholarships also are available through the College of Human Development and Education.

The Facilities

Facilities for the dual degree program are housed in Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall and the Family Life Center. Included in these buildings are classrooms, conference rooms and a child development center serving young children and their families. The department also operates the NDSU Family Therapy Center.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Students may enhance their involvement by participating in groups such as the HDFS Club, the North Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children, the North Dakota Family and Consumer Sciences Association and the North Dakota Education Association.

Community Setting

The Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area offers a conducive setting for study. Students have the opportunity to work in a number of community institutions serving children and families.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
   HD&E 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
   English Upper Level Writing Course3
Quantitative Reasoning
  MATH 104 - Finite Mathematics3
Science & Technology
  GEOL 105 - Physical Geology or
    GEOL 106 - The Earth Through Time

  Biology General Education Course3
  Chemistry or Physics General Education Course 3
  Co-Requisite Lab1
Humanities & Fine Arts
  HIST 103 - U.S. to 1877 or
   HIST 104 - U.S. Since 1877

  Humanities and Fine Arts Elective3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology 3
  PSYC 250 - Developmental Psychology3
  HDFS 242 - Couples, Marriages and Families3
Cultural Diversity
  HDFS 475 - Children and Families Across Cultures3
Global Perspective
  GEOL 105 - Physical Geology or
   GEOL 106 - The Earth Through Time

College/Department Requirements Credits
HD&E 320 - Professional Issues 1
Total 1
Major Requirements Credits
CSCI 114 -Microcomputer Packages or 
  CSCI 116 -Business Use of Computers

3 or 4
GEOG 111 -Survey of Geography 2
HDFS 110 - Introduction to Human Development and
   Family Science

HDFS 135 - Family Science 3
HDFS 250 - Introduction to Research Methods in HDFS 3
HDFS 330 -Child Development 3
HDFS 475 -Children and Families Across Cultures 3
MATH 277 -Math for Elementary Teachers I 3
MATH 278 -Math for Elementary Teachers II 2
HDFS Electives 9
Total 34
Professional Education Requirements Credits
EDUC 210 -Creative Activities 2
EDUC 240 - Educating Exceptional Students 2
EDUC 250 -Introduction to Education 3
EDUC 283 - Understanding Cultural Diversity 2
EDUC 300 - Educational Technology 2
EDUC 315 -Math in the Elementary School 2
EDUC 320 -Social Studies in the Elementary School 3
EDUC 321 -Foundations of Reading Instruction 3
EDUC 322 -Methods of Language Arts Instruction 3
EDUC 323 - Reading in Elementary School 2
EDUC 330 -Children's Literature 3
EDUC 350, HDFS 496 - Elementary School Practicum and
  Classroom Management, Field Experience

EDUC 352 -Culturally Diverse Practicum 1
EDUC 355 -Science Methods/Elementary Teachers 3
EDUC 400 - Educational Psychology 2
EDUC 450 - Trends in Assessment & Education Issues 2
EDUC 490 - Student Teaching 10
HDFS 496 - Field Experience 1
Directed Electives 6
Curriculum Total 130

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall
Room 155

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall is located in the center of campus on Centennial Boulevard and is connected to the east end of the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Family Life Center (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Dani Kvanvig-Bohnsack, Academic Advisor
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Dept #2600, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-9849


Department of Human Development and Family Science
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Dept #2615, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8268

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 3:04:52 PM