Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)

Learn how to assist diverse children, youth, and families in everyday life contexts.

By majoring in HDFS, you will prepare yourself for a range of rewarding careers. You will combine coursework with practical, in-the-field experiences to gain an in-depth understanding of how children and youth develop, how families function effectively and manage stress, and how to improve the lives of children and families – keeping in mind the importance of cultural and economic context and diversity, broadly defined. Many of our students enrich their learning through multiple study abroad experiences, practicum and internships, and assisting in faculty research projects.

Minors and Credentials

We also offer several minors and credentials to enhance your education.


General Education and HDFS Core Requirements

All students in the Human Development and Family Studies major complete coursework satisfying the University's General Education requirements and core courses required for all HDFS majors.

Degree requirements

A minimum of 60 hours must be earned in courses taken on the UIUC campus, to include at least 40 hours earned in 300- or 400-level courses.

One of the unique features of our HDFS program is providing applied coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and research experiences to our students. These intensive educational programs are a hallmark of the human development and family studies major, distinguishing our students as being very well prepared for success in the professional workforce and graduate and professional study. We are committed to maintaining these enriched course offerings despite the extensive resources they require in the form of faculty time and expertise.

To help cover costs associated with these applied, experiential and research internship courses, all HDFS students pay an HDFS Applied Experience Fee, assessed for the fall and spring semester of the student's junior year. Junior and senior transfers will have the fee assessed their first fall and spring semester following admission to the HDFS major. The total Applied Experience Fee is $1,095 split between two semesters. For seniors who have not been accessed the fee and are graduating in December, the entire fee will be billed in the fall semester.