Department of Human Sciences

Human Development and Family Science


Human Development and Family Science at Ohio State is a multidisciplinary program specializing in the understanding of human development and behavior within personal social environments. Our program focuses particularly on this understanding in intimate and familial relationships.

You'll have the opportunity to learn many different perspectives in human development but all are united through an emphasis that people develop and adapt because of multiple interconnected factors (e.g. genes, family relationships, school, community, society) and can only be fully understood when their social contexts are considered.

In your studies you will learn about the origins of human development, behavior and learning as well as how to best foster human adaptation through prevention and intervention efforts for people and the social environments they live.

When you major in Human Development and Family Science you'll work with and learn from faculty members who are extremely productive scholars and valuable mentors. They are published in top journals, receive funding from national organizations for their research and help students do the same.


Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Science
A PhD in Human Development and Family Science deepens the knowledge of graduate students about the human condition and the internal and external factors that influence its development. Students also receive intensive training in research methods and statistics and in areas to help guide individual research interests.

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science
The undergraduate program in Human Development and Family Science prepares students for careers as professionals in human service, non-profit and public service professions. Through coursework and in-the-field opportunities students learn an in-depth understanding of human and family relationships across a lifespan. Specializations include: adolescent/at-risk youth, aging studies, family/community human services, intimacy/sexuality studies, pre-medicine or social policy and population studies.


Additional Program Options

Couples and Family Therapy Licensure
An optional curriculum for doctoral students accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. This scholar-clinician model places heavier emphasis on research and scholarship than clinical work, readying students to train others to become clinical researchers and scholars.

Minor in Human Development and Family Science
A great complement to any degree program, a minor in Human Development and Family Science is particularly helpful for students who plan for careers that help children, families or individuals.