Human Development and Family Studies

Human Development and Family Studies

Why Major in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)?

Are you a people person? HDFS students learn to work with infants, children, teens, families, and the elderly to help them overcome life’s challenges. Are you passionate, committed, and engaged? HDFS students are prepared with the requisite knowledge and skills to secure positions in human services and related fields, as well as to successfully gain admission to graduate school programs.

Program Highlights

Penn State Altoona’s bachelor of science degree in HDFS prepares you to work in the growing and expanding human services field. It blends the theoretical underpinnings of human development across the life span with hands-on, applied practice in community settings. Through the program’s Human Services option, you will explore the human life span in terms of the biological, psychological, and social experiences of individuals and families. The HDFS program offers opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to actual human experiences to find practical solutions to the obstacles faced by individuals and families to promote well-being.

As an HDFS student, you will complete an internship at a human service agency or business locally, nationally or globally. You also will gain advanced study of individual development and family relationships, participate in courses that offer community-based experiences, and have the opportunity to study abroad.

As an HDFS graduate, you’ll be prepared to go directly into human service careers with significant experience in the field. Because of the high level of interaction with your HDFS professors, you will be able to establish close relationships with faculty, who can serve as professional references for your future career, as well as assist you with graduate school applications.