Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Development and Family Science


A Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science prepares students to work with children, families, adolescents, and adults in a variety of human service and community settings. In addition to studying at the Kingston Campus, HDF undergraduate majors can complete some or all of their degree program at the Feinstein Providence Campus, which offers a more urban environment.

Within the major, you will be able to choose among a variety of professional preparation concentrations and certificate options.

General Areas of Concentration

Counseling and Social Services:

The counseling interest area prepares students for future careers working with individuals and families in counseling and therapy settings. Discover more about this interest in the video below.

Child and Family Development

The child, family, and social services interest area prepares students for future careers helping individuals and families in social service settings. This interest area allows students to tailor courses to gain in-depth knowledge about a specific population (e.g., children, adolescents, older adults, individuals with disabilities, families, etc.), develop a specific set of skills that will help build lasting and powerful relationships with others (e.g., communication and teamwork skills), and acquire an understanding that people’s lives are impacted by the environments in which they live. Discover more about this interest in the video below.

Health and Aging Services

The aging and health interest area prepares students for future careers within various health-related and community settings. A unique skill set of HDF students is to understand what typical development should look like, which allows them to identify developmental concerns and intervene before health is significantly impacted. Discover more about this interest in the video below.

Specialized Concentrations

Certified Family Life Educator

A program of study focusing on understanding and supporting healthy family functioning. This concentration/certificate prepares students for careers in fields such as home visiting, parent advocacy, parent and family education and counseling, social services, and health promotion and prevention. Students pursuing this certificate should speak with Phyllis Penhallow about the required coursework and how to apply for a provisional Certificate from the National Council on Family Relations.

Accredited Financial Counselor

Certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is offered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). To apply, students take two required courses: HDF 418 Personal Finance and HDF 451 Financial Counseling and Debt Management, in addition to the following requirements: Register for AFC certification through AFCPE and pass the AFC certification exam; acquire 1,000 hours of relevant financial counseling/education experience; and sign and agree to abide by the AFC Code of Ethics. Students have three years to complete all requirements for AFC certification. To learn more, please contact Nilton Porto or Jing Xiao.

Check out this video on career opportunities in personal finance and the role of the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)