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University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignCollege of ACES
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Give to Human Development and Family Studies

Family Studies Concentration

Students in the family studies concentration focus on how families function, develop, and change in response to the challenges of modern life. Course work covers the latest research and theories about romantic relationships, parenthood, divorce, life in single-parent and step-families, gender, and how families can learn to manage conflicts. Positions taken by graduates of this concentration include family counselor, human resource specialist, caseworker, and family services coordinator; others have gone on to earn degrees in family law and marriage & family therapy using their family studies concentration as a strong foundation.

New! Working with their HDFS advisor and with a specialized internship, students graduating with the family studies concentration qualify for provisional certification as a family life educator through the National Council on Family Relations through their “abbreviated process ” 
Become Certified

Family Studies Concentration required courses:

In addition to taking required hours in the categories of General Education, College of ACES, and Human Development & Family Studies core (e.g., HDFS 101 Issues & Careers in HDFS, HDFS 220 Families in Global Perspective, HDFS 290 Intro to Research Methods), students in this concentration enroll in:

  • HDFS 425 - Critical Family Transitions
Three courses selected from:
  • HDFS 225 - Close Relationships
  • HDFS 420 - Family Diversity in the US
  • HDFS 421 - History of American Families
  • HDFS 426 - Family Conflict Management
  • HDFS 427 - Family Adaptation and Resilience
Diversity in HDFS (select one from)
  • HDFS 208 - Children & Families with Special Needs
  • HDFS 321 - Asian Families in America
  • HDFS 340 - Gender, Relationships Society
  • HDFS 341 - Asian American Youth
  • HDFS 379 - HDFS Study Abroad Experience
  • HDFS 422 - US Latina and Latino Families
Applied Human Development* (select one from)
  • HDFS 206 - Early Childhood Curriculum Development
  • HDFS 294 - Research Internship
  • HDFS 450 - Practicum in HDFS
  • HDFS 494 - Applied Research Methods
Human Development Elective (select one from)
  • HDFS 301 - Infancy and Early Childhood
  • HDFS 305 - Middle Childhood
  • HDFS 310 - Adult Development
  • HDFS 401 - Socialization and Development
  • HDFS 405 - Adolescent Development

* To help cover costs associated with these applied, experiential and research internship courses, all HDFS students pay a one-time HDFS Applied Experience Fee, assessed for the fall semester of the student's junior year. Junior and senior transfers will have the fee assessed for their first fall semester following admission to the HDFS major. The current Applied Experience Fee is $1,095.