Equity. Integrity. Community. Intentionality.

HDFS Faculty and Graduate students study early development

What is Human Development and Family Studies?

Human Development and Family Studies prepares students to understand early child development, adolescent changes, family relationships, and cultural influences as foundational to creating impactful prevention and intervention practices.

Students are taught and mentored by faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized experts.

Graduates are prepared to work in organizations serving children, adolescents, adults, and families through advocacy, strategic interventions, education practices, policy reform, and research. They graduate with leadership and research skills to improve the quality of life particularly for those managing significant challenges.

Faculty and their students study the impact of parent-infant relationships, race issues, identity development and renegotiation, aging, developmental disparities, gun violence, refugee welfare, leadership in early childhood, and family dynamics across the lifespan.

learn about our programs

Child plays with building blocks

Bachelor of Science (B.s.)

Two degrees:


Early Childhood Development
and Education, B.S.

With two concentrations:

HDFS masters student

Master of Science (m.S.)

The Master of Science thesis program in Human Development and Family Studies prepares graduates for research positions and for advanced research study at the doctoral level.

Student teachers playing with young children

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Students pursuing a Master of Education can choose from two concentrations:

HDFS PhD Students

Doctor of philosophy (ph.D.)

Child Care Education Program's teacher, right, interacts with her students

Post-baccalaureate Certificate (P.B.C.)

Two post-baccalaureate certificate programs are available:

Student with children at Child Education Center


The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers an undergraduate minor as well as a doctoral minor.

Facts and Figures


Best Human Development and Family Studies colleges in North Carolina since 2021 by Universities.com 


projected growth in preschool teacher jobs


Best Online Bachelor’s in Human and Family Development Programs by BestColleges.com