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Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science

The undergraduate program in Human Development and Family Science is the only program at Ohio State with a primary concentration on family and human development. You'll get a broad base of knowledge about how children, adults and families develop, undergraduate research opportunities and the personalized attention from faculty that makes a large university seem small.

A headshot of Tara Mick, with shoulder length brunette hair.
“HDFS is a great choice for those who wish to pursue a career in the helping fields. It is a flexible major that I could simultaneously track with pre-med and enjoy the extra content I was learning.”
- Tara Mick
BS student, Human Development and Family Science


Students who study Human Development and Family Studies at Ohio State learn the history, theories and latest research on child, family and human development across a lifespan.

Your base knowledge in Human Development and Family Science will be established in family development, early and middle childhood, adolescence and emerging adults as well as human sexuality. You'll also learn research methods vital to research-based inquiry and valuable to your career or continued education.

Throughout the program, you will be prepared for a professional career or to further your education with graduate study. Our curriculum themes give you the opportunity to meet your interests and professional goals.

Curriculum themes

  • Family/Community Human Services
  • Aging Studies
  • Adolescent and At-Risk Youth
  • Intimacy/Sexuality Studies
  • Social Policy and Population Studies
  • Pre-medicine
  • Integrated Studies

Faculty in Human Development and Family Science have long-standing relationships with several organizations that will give you a first-hand look at human development. Field experiences at the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, Star House and adult rehabilitation centers are just a few of the organizations students can see their future career in action.

Our minor in Human Development and Family Science also is a great complement to any Ohio State degree program. It is particularly helpful if you plan for a career working with children, families or individuals in helping professions.

Career Paths

Getting a degree in Human Development and Family Science prepares you for a variety of professions in the human services, law enforcement and corrections or student affairs sectors. Examples include:

  • Program coordinator
  • Caseworker
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer
  • Community corrections officer
  • Admissions counselor
  • Outreach coordinator
  • Prevention educator
  • Social service manager
  • University student services administrator
  • Academic advisor
  • Researcher

See more career paths


Get involved with the HDFS Undergraduate Student Organization. The organization offers HDFS students opportunities for networking, academic/professional development, and faculty connections.


Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
This program is direct admit; a minimum 2.0 GPA is required
Minimum Program Hours: 

Coursework: Sociology, psychology, family studies, research methods, human development
Course requirements: University requirements (47-53 hours), electives (27-33 hours), major requirements (39)
Academic opportunities: Internships, honors option, field experience, research practicum

View the Curriculum Sheet


Arya Ansari, PhD, Assistant Professor
Suzanne Bartle-Haring, PhD, Professor
Michael Betz, PhD, Associate Professor
Cynthia Buettner, PhD, Professor
Xin Feng, PhD, Associate Professor
Gene Folden, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor
Stephen Gavazzi, PhD, Professor
Arpana Inman, PhD, Professor
Sarah Lang, PhD, Assistant Professor
Keeley Pratt, PhD, Associate Professor
Kelly Purtell, PhD, Associate Professor
Natasha Slesnick, PhD, Professor
Anastasia Snyder, PhD, Associate Professor
Beverly Vandiver, PhD, Professor
Deanna Wilkinson, PhD, Associate Professor
Jen D. Wong, PhD, Associate Professor


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