Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is a pre-professional major for undergraduate students who feel driven to improve the lives of children and families. HDFS prepares you for careers in what are often called "helping professions," including fields such as education, public health, social work, health services, nonprofit management, counseling services, and more.
You will gain a deep understanding of how children from different backgrounds and abilities develop over time in the context of families, schools and communities, and leave prepared to engage meaningfully with those communities. Through HDFS, you can graduate with a unique set of skills and experiences that will make you a highly sought-after candidate for graduate and licensure programs.
HDFS offers interdisciplinary strength
The development of young children, adolescents and their families is best understood from a broad interdisciplinary perspective – one that honors psychological, sociological, economic, medical, education, cultural and biological experiences.
You will have the opportunity to complete classes from HDFS, education (policy, innovation, and leadership), sociology, psychology, allied health, social work, and other disciplines. The degree prepares you to work in human service agencies serving children, youth and adults responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse society. We offer you opportunities to explore outside of the classroom through internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, and the many other opportunities available to you at Carolina.
The HDFS program offers two optional concentrations: Child and Family Health and Family Life Education.
The Child and Family Health concentration will provide you with knowledge about a variety of health issues and professions. Students will complete courses in allied health, sociology of health, child development, biology and related programs.
Family Life Education provides you with the information, skills, experiences, or resources needed to strengthen and improve or enrich the lives of children, youth, and families. Family Life Education focuses on prevention education with a focus on areas such as: sexuality education, resource management, parenting education, family policy, interpersonal relationships, and family stress management.
HDFS Honors Program
The Honors program/thesis offers you the opportunity to sharpen your skills of analysis, synthesis, and research. It also provides a means for outstanding students to graduate from the
University and the School of Education with honors. This may be particularly attractive and advantageous for those students interested in graduate and/or professional schools.
Our graduates pursue work in educational settings, nonprofit agencies, hospitals, and social services. They pursue graduate programs in teacher education, counseling, social work, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, child life, and medicine.
CSCFR is a registered student led organization that does community service, fundraising, and plans events for area children, youth, and families. Participation in CSCFR offers a place to network, participate in governance, and engage in community volunteering.