human development and family studies

Transition Center, 2 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

401.874.2150 (ph); 401.874.4020 (f)

Think Big, We Do.
Rhode Island Seal

make a BIG difference, across the lifespan.

Although we live in a high-speed world, one thing remains constant: the human life cycle. Tiny babies develop into energetic children, who become young adults, who have relationships and families, and move step by step toward old age. Each phase brings its own unique challenges, and that’s where the study of human development and family studies comes in.

At URI, Human Development and Family Studies (HDF) examines this amazing process of growth and development, emphasizing the impact of family and community on quality of life. Here you’ll gain the skills and tools to make a difference in people’s lives, working with them in early childhood or youth programs, at colleges and universities, through personal counseling or family therapy, or at senior centers and long-term care facilities.

The HDF program has been a life changing experience – it has given me a unique outlook on careers and life itself, through internships and practicum work. I never imagined working in family and community settings would be so rewarding and fulfilling.

– HDF Major
  • closeup of infant's feet
  • children playing in a toy boat at the child development center
  • young son smiling at his father
  • college students smiling
  • mother and father with two teenage sons
  • grandmother smiling with her young granddaughter
  • older adult sitting with a college student in the URI cafeteria
  • older adults in a classroom

Why HDF at URI?

children playing in the CDC

Whatever program you choose, you won’t have to go far for real world experience, with opportunities for observation and interaction at the department’s child development centers, couple and family therapy clinic, and gerontology outreach programs.

advisor counseling a student

Practical experience is an integral part of all HDF programs, so you’ll be able to learn first-hand about career options, and get a head start on your future. Whether you choose social work, teaching, counseling, or one of the many other options, you’ll be well prepared to take on the real world.

URI Providence campus

As an HDF student, you have the option to take classes and engage in fieldwork and practical experiences at URI’s Providence campus or in Kingston, whichever is more convenient for you.

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