MAJOR: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SCIENCES
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The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) focuses on the study of human development, individuals in a family context, relationships, and well-being within the family and the broader social, economic, community, and governmental environment. Academic and research programs are organized into five streams:

  • Early Childhood
  • Human Development
  • Families and Personal Relationships
  • Families and Society
  • Human Development and Family Sciences Honors

Regardless of which stream you choose, all HDFS majors have the opportunity to enhance their education through research and observation. Because the HDFS program is housed in the College of Natural Sciences, all HDFS students will develop a strong foundation in math and science.

Students who study HDFS will be prepared for careers in human services, public policy, advanced research and graduate school.

Declare This Major

The entry-level requirements for current students include the following courses with a "C-" or better:

  • M 408C, M408K or 408N
  • PSY 301
  • HDF 304 (Family Relationships)
  • HDF 313/113L (Child Development with lab)
  • HDF 315L (Research Methods)

Applications are not required for any of the HDFS majors. Students will start as entry-level majors and, upon successful completion of the above requirements, will be eligible to declare the HDFS option of interest.

Current students who have not yet completed the entry-level requirements to join the HDFS major need to visit the Center for First-year Advising in WCH 1.106 to schedule advising appointments and to declare an entry-level major in Human Development and Family Sciences.

Current students who have already completed all entry-level requirements needed to declare Human Development and Family Sciences as a major, are invited to contact the School of Human Ecology Advising Center in GEA 37 to complete the process.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

For information on required courses, students can view the Human Development and Family Sciences degree plans for each track.

Specializations

Regardless of a student's track or course work, all diplomas read Human Development and Family Sciences. All tracks require students to take nine hours of approved support coursework outside of the major. It is recommended that these courses be geared toward the student's future career goals and objectives. All tracks also require a research and/or applied practicum, with some students opting to do both. Departmental Honors as well as special honors programs are available for HDFS majors.

Students choose between five tracks:

  • Option I: Early Childhood
  • Option II: Human Development
  • Option III: Families and Personal Relationships
  • Option IV: Families and Society
  • Option V: Human Development and Family Sciences Honors (Dean's Scholars)

Personality

An HDFS student is people-focused and has a strong appreciation for science. She/he recognizes the importance family and personal relationships play in individuals' lives and is fascinated by the complexity of human relationships.

Many HDFS students conduct research as undergraduates. Learn how you can get involved in the UT research community.

Skills

Students in the Human Development and Family Sciences major develop:

  • Knowledge and understanding about family dynamics and human development
  • Observation skills of children and families
  • Research methods
  • Excellent preparation for graduate training, health professions, and fields involving work with children, families, and adults