Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Human Development and Family Studies

Penn State Altoona (HFSAL)
Penn State Harrisburg (HFSCA)
University College (HFSCC): Penn State Brandywine, Penn State DuBois, Penn State Fayette, Penn State Mont Alto, Penn State Shenango, Penn State Worthington-Scranton, Penn State York
College of Health and Human Development (HD FS)
World Campus

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

PROFESSOR DOUGLAS M. TETI, Head of the Department

This major is a multidisciplinary program that examines the development of individuals and families across the life span. It enables students to prepare for professional, managerial, or scientific roles in health and human services professions, in public and nonprofit agencies, and in business and industry, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study. Students obtain a broad background in individual and family development across the life span. Courses emphasize biological, psychological, social/cultural, and economic aspects of development. Through course work and undergraduate internships or research projects, students develop skills relevant to career objectives, such as counseling, human assessment, program planning and evaluation, and research.

Two options are available within the major: (1) Life Span Human Services option and (2) Life Span Developmental Science option. The introductory paragraph to each of the options includes a brief list of career opportunities. More extensive descriptions of career opportunities in both public and private sectors are available for the program.

LIFE SPAN HUMAN SERVICES OPTION: This option focuses on the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge about development and family functioning across the life span for the purposes of enhancing personal and family development. Courses emphasize: (1) understanding the biological, psychological, and social development across the life span, and the structuring and functioning of families; (2) understanding basic theoretical and methodological issues; and (3) the development of applied skills in intervention and evaluation, prevention, and in the formulation of social policy. An approved field experience in a setting that serves children, youth, adults, or the aged is required for this option. Typical employment settings include preschools, daycare centers, hospital programs for children, youth, and families, institutional and community mental health programs for individuals and families, programs for abused or neglected children and adolescents, women's resource centers, human resources programs, employee assistance programs, nursing homes, area agencies on aging and other community settings for older adults, and public welfare and family service agencies. Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, or sociology, or advanced professional training in psychology, law, behavioral health, counseling or social work.

LIFE SPAN DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE OPTION: This option focuses on the understanding of contemporary methodological approaches to the acquisition of scientific knowledge about individual development over the life span and about family development. This option provides preparation for advanced training in careers in developmental or family research, teaching at a college or university, or for professional careers that require graduate training. Courses within this option emphasize a thorough understanding of the theory and methods of developmental and family theory and research. An approved, multi-semester research practicum is an integral component of this option. Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, or sociology, or advanced professional training in psychology, law, behavioral health, social work, or in other programs related to services for individuals and families.

For the B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(3-4 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selections, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 3-5 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 73-76 credits
(This includes 3-4 credits of General Education GQ courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 30-31 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (18 credits)[1]
HD FS 129 GS(3), HD FS 301(3), HD FS 311(3), HD FS 312W(3), HD FS 315 US(3)[93], HD FS 418(3) (Sem: 3-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (12-13 credits)[1]
Select 6 credits from HD FS 229 GS(3), HD FS 239 GS(3), HD FS 249 GS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
STAT 200 GQ(4) or EDPSY 101 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-4)
Select 3 credits of United States Cultures (US)[92] (Sem: 4-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 43-45 credits

LIFE SPAN HUMAN SERVICES OPTION: (43-45 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (9 credits)[1]
HD FS 411(3), HD FS 414(3), HD FS 455(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (22-24 credits)[1]
Select 3 credits from HD FS 428(3), HD FS 429(3), HD FS 433(3) or HD FS 445(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6 credits from 300- or 400-level HD FS courses (Sem: 5-8)
Select 13-15 credits from (a) or (b)
(a) Approved field practice in a human service setting: HD FS 490(2), HD FS 495A(9), HD FS 495B(3) (Sem: 5-8)
(b) Approved group project or field practice in human service setting: HD FS 401(3), HD FS 402(4), HD FS 495C(6-8) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (12 credits)
Select 12 credits (minimum of 6 credits at the 400 level) in consultation with adviser from University-wide offerings that develop competency in the option (a grade of C or better is required in any HD FS course taken to satisfy this requirement) (Sem: 5-8)

LIFE SPAN DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE OPTION: 45 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (6 credits)[1]
HD FS 494(6) or HD FS 494H(6) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (21 credits)[1]
Select 6 credits from HD FS 428(3), HD FS 429(3), HD FS 433(3), HD FS 445(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 15 credits (minimum of 9 credits at the 400-level) from HD FS courses (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (18 credits)
Select 18 credits (minimum of 9 credits at the 400 level) in consultation with adviser from University-wide offerings that develop competency in option (a grade of C or better is required in any HD FS course taken to satisfy this requirement) (Sem: 5-8)


[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
[92] This course is in addition to the 6 credits of United States Cultures and International Cultures.
[93] This course fulfills the University's United States Cultures requirement.

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 2006

Blue Sheet Item #: 34-02-111

Review Date: 10/11/05

HH