Majors & Minors
Why Choose HDFS?
UD’s Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) offers three undergraduate programs to prepare our students to address the needs of children, adults and families across the lifespan.
By engaging in undergraduate research, observing and working in early childhood settings, social service agencies or non-profits organizations and participating in on-campus activities, our students develop a practical knowledge of how to succeed at real-life entities.
And our dedicated faculty members are eager to educate and support our 500 undergraduate and graduate students, helping them to become educators, professionals, advocates, social workers, researchers and leaders in their fields.
We are here to help you help others
Our programs are designed for students who want to make a career of helping people. Our graduates develop the knowledge and experience needed to make a difference in the lives of others.
Designed for both working professionals and full-time students, the Associate in Arts in Early Childhood Education gives students the skills and knowledge necessary for delivering high-quality early care and education for children from birth to age 5 in center-based and home-based settings.
B. S. Early Childhood Education with a dual certification in Early Childhood Special Education is designed for students who want to teach and care for young children in schools, child care, or inclusive settings. Our curriculum includes extensive practicum experience at UD’s Children’s Campus and local public schools.
Students in the Human Services program emerge prepared to manage community-based programs, implement public policies benefiting at-risk populations, assist people with disabilities, oversee health and wellness initiatives, provide early childhood intervention or empower people in any number of fields.
Students in the Human Relations Administration major will learn to facilitate critical workplace training and development, manage employee relationships, enhance staff motivation and navigate important legal aspects of workplace administration including diversity and inclusion.
Minors & Graduate Programs
In addition to three undergraduate majors, the department offers minors in Medical Social Services and Human Development and Family Sciences. Our graduate programs provide students the opportunity for in-depth exploration in the fields of early childhood education, human services and fields of study related to human development and family sciences.
Explore the top reasons to join Human Development and Family Sciences
- An advisement center is open every weekday for students seeking academic support. In addition, faculty advisors meet with juniors and seniors to discuss education and career goals.
- Students in each major complete field experiences in public schools, non-profit agencies, for-profit corporations or local community organizations for hands-on training. Early Childhood Education majors are engaged in field work as early as their first semester.
- Students can study abroad and complete internships/student teaching
- Graduates of our department are well regarded by employers, who know our students have the knowledge and experience needed to succeed.
- Graduates have opportunities to pursue master’s degrees either here at UD through a 4+1 program or through one of our partnership programs in Couple and Family Therapy or Social Work.
- If you are interested in transferring to HDFS from another major within UD or from another university, we’re happy to walk you through the transfer process.
UD's Human Services Department has been by my side every step of my college career. The department has supported my needs as a student and communicated regularly with me about requirements, opportunities and new programming. They have added study aboard trips, new concentrations and partnerships with graduate schools. I would encourage students who are looking for a career in social work, counseling, non-profit work, or something similar to pursue a major in Human Services!Samantha Leonard