Back to top

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 majors focus particularly on this understanding in intimate and family relationships.

As a student, you'll have opportunities 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 their social environments.

Our faculty members are extremely productive scholars and valuable mentors to students. They publish in top journals, receive research funding from national organizations and help students do the same.

HDFS Graduate 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.

Master's Training in Couple and Family Therapy
The master's in human development prepares students with clinical training and education in the Couple and Family Therapy area of study. Successful completion of the degree allows students to sit for the national Marriage and Family Therapy exam and obtain the first level of licensure in the State of Ohio.

HDFS Undergraduate Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science
The human development major for undergraduate students prepares you for a career in human service, non-profit and public service. Coursework and field opportunities provide 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.

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Development and Education 
This online associate degree program helps you develop the skills necessary to provide a high-quality education to children in pre-school and childcare settings. You'll learn the latest best practices in childhood development and education preparing you for a career as an educator who understands the development of the whole child.

Other Programs

Couples and Family Therapy Specialization
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.

Obesity Sciences – Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization
In this 13-credit hour specialization, learn about obesity sciences from experts within multiple disciplines throughout the university to address this epidemic from biological, psychological, social and relational perspectives.

Quantitative Research Methods
Get advanced training in data analysis and quantitative research to elevate your graduate-level research programs. You are exposed to cross-disciplinary methodologies and research paradigms and complete an independent, advanced quantitative research project resulting in a paper suitable for submission for publication.

Applied Developmental Science in Education (ADS)
Applied Developmental Science (ADS) is a multidisciplinary field of social-science research that seeks to integrate basic science and developmental theory with applied science on practices, policies and programs. The specialization is complementary to students’ experiences in their focal discipline, as it is designed to help students explore linkages among developmental research and practice and policy applications.

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.