Best Bachelor's Degrees in Human Development & Family Studies

Apr 29, 2021

Human Development & Family Studies Degrees

A degree in human development and family studies teaches students about how people develop at different stages of their lives from birth to adolescence to adulthood. This includes the biological, psychological, and social aspects of development. Students learn about how people form relationships and interact in society. Human development and family studies degrees prepare students for careers in social work, childcare, or counseling.

The Top Bachelor's Programs in Human Development & Family Studies

1. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14476 76% 71% % Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

2. California State University-San Marcos

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7717 62% 54% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

3. Southern Virginia University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$17280 98% 31% 100% Yes Yes AP Credits

4. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15206 76% 71% % Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

5. University of Wisconsin-Stout

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9463 91% 60% 83% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

6. North Dakota State University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9619 94% 60% 90% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

7. Montclair State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13073 76% 67% 83% Yes Yes AP Credits

8. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$4208 96% 60% 61% Yes Yes AP Credits

9. California State University-East Bay

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7000 76% 50% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

10. Oregon State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11715 82% 67% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

11. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7403 82% 59% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

12. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11901 81% 70% 79% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

13. University of Nevada-Reno

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8184 88% 61% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

14. California State University-San Bernardino

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6952 69% 55% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

15. University of California-Davis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14495 39% 87% 66% Yes Yes AP Credits

16. Binghamton University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10201 41% 82% 75% Yes Yes AP Credits

17. University of Maine

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11438 90% 57% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

18. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13691 70% 86% 65% Yes Yes AP Credits

19. University of Rhode Island

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14566 75% 69% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

20. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8872 58% 68% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

21. Utah State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7659 91% 54% 86% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

22. Washington State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11841 76% 60% 89% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

23. Northern Illinois University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14610 48% 49% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

24. South Dakota State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9114 90% 56% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

25. Louisiana Tech University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9615 64% 60% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

26. Kansas State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10800 95% 65% 88% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

27. University of Connecticut

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$17226 49% 84% 75% Yes Yes AP Credits

28. Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11316 72% 61% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

29. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9028 70% 65% 90% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

30. Texas Tech University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9300 69% 61% 78% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

31. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15206 76% 71% % Yes Yes AP Credits

32. University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18879 84% 76% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

33. SUNY Oneonta

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8740 56% 76% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

34. Kent State University at Kent

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10602 86% 62% 96% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

35. University of Utah

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8615 62% 70% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

36. Sonoma State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7880 91% 62% 71% Yes Yes AP Credits

37. California State University-Monterey Bay

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7143 75% 63% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

38. Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13354 93% 56% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

39. The University of Alabama

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10780 83% 71% 79% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

40. University of Georgia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12080 45% 87% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

41. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10725 54% 88% 61% Yes Yes AP Credits

42. Indiana State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9236 90% 41% 92% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

43. Auburn University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11492 81% 79% 72% Yes Yes AP Credits

44. University of Arizona

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12379 85% 65% 91% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

45. Ohio State University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11084 54% 86% 79% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

What Kinds of Human Development & Family Studies Degrees Are There?

A degree in human development and family studies can be earned at the associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral levels. Students can also find certificates that focus on specific areas within this major. The degree level needed varies depending on the specific career you plan to pursue.

Associate Degrees in Human Development & Family Studies

An associate degree in human development and family studies prepares students to work in careers that make a difference in people's lives. This program services as an introduction to courses within this major such as infant/child, adolescence, and family development. This degree consists of 60 credits and can be completed at a community college in preparation to transfer to a four-year university. It is offered as an Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science degree that includes science-related courses that teach students about people's physical and mental development. This credential combines practical and academic experiences that prepare students to work in entry-level positions in human development and family services. This degree also teaches professional skills that are used for a variety of careers.

Bachelor's Degrees in Human Development & Family Studies

A bachelor's in human development and family studies allows students to continue their education and explore their areas of interest within the major. Students learn about the development and change people undergo at each stage of life. They then apply that knowledge to help develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that improve people's lives. This can include advocating for social policies and programs or developing new models to treat social, emotional, and behavioral problems. To obtain this degree requires the completion of 120 credits. This is usually a Bachelor of Science program that combines developmental, health and science-related courses. This degree serves as a credential that allows you to work in a variety of careers, but a master's degree may be required to hold more advanced positions including counselors and clinical social workers. Most universities have students complete an internship which helps them gain first-hand experience in the field.

Master's Degrees in Human Development & Family Studies

A bachelor's degree is necessary to work in many entry-level positions, however, to work in advanced roles in the field, you need to obtain a master's degree. A Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies allows students to work in a variety of jobs including family counseling and social services. It can be pursued in preparation for a doctoral degree. Additionally, if you want to work in a clinical position, a master's degree is required. It typically takes two years to obtain this degree and the completion of anywhere between 30 and 60 courses depending on the requirements of the program selected. Students get to explore their interests further through research and completing a thesis.

Doctoral Degrees in Human Development & Family Studies

Obtaining a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies allows you to work in academic positions within the field including leadership positions. These roles can include teaching in higher education or leading organizations. This also includes careers in family science, social data analytics, government, and research institutes. A doctoral degree is a research-based degree that can include training through apprenticeship opportunities allowing students to take part in hands-on research. It can take between three and eight years to earn a doctoral degree. This varies depending on how much time students have to devote to their studies, the specific program, and the requirements that must be met.

Certificates in Human Development & Family Studies

Many universities offer certificates in human development and family studies which prepare students to work in the behavioral health and human service fields. Students learn about the skills needed to work in this field including how to interact with people in an empathetic, patient, and helpful way. Certificates can typically be completed in two or three semesters and consist of anywhere between 20 and 40 credits depending on the program selected. Many universities offer certificates that can be completed by students at the university or completed online. Students can typically find a certificate that specializes in the specific area of human development and family studies they want to pursue. This can include an undergraduate certificate in children, youth, or family services. This certificate teaches students about the social, psychological and biological aspects of development through the early stages of life into adulthood. Another option is an undergraduate certificate in adult development and aging services. This certificate teaches students about the biological and social development associated with aging and the elderly.

Human Development & Family Studies Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

Students can choose from different concentrations within the field of human development and family studies depending on the type of career they plan on pursuing. These can include:

  • Early child development/adolescence and youth development which prepares students to work with people in the beginning stages of life.
  • Family services or adult development and aging service which prepares them to work with people through adulthood and the changes people experience in later stages of life.
  • Pre-health professions which prepares them for graduate studies and work in a variety of health professions including physical therapist, child life specialist, or public health educator.
  • Prevention and intervention sciences which prepares students to work in careers such as counselors, student affairs professionals, and social service providers.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development & Family Studies

The course work in a human development and family studies degree helps you gain an understanding of different stages of life and family development through the course of someone's life.

Courses vary depending on concentration, but the curriculum typically includes courses on

  • Human Development through the Lifespan
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Family Law, Policy and Advocacy

Students should also expect to take courses in effective speech, ethics, sociology, and psychology. Curriculum may include seminars which focus on specific subject matter taught in a small class setting.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Human Development & Family Studies?

The length of time it takes to complete this degree depends on if a student takes a student takes classes full-time or part-time. It typically takes four years and the completion of 120 credits earn a bachelor's in human development and family studies. Some universities may offer accelerated programs which allow students to finish their degree in three years.

How to Choose a University and Program in Human Development & Family Studies

When selecting a college or university, students must consider a variety of factors. First, students should decide what type of degree they want to obtain and see which universities offer that program. This includes the curriculum, concentrations, and format offered. If a student knows they want to work in human development or with people at a certain stage of life, a degree in human development and family studies may be a good option. This allows students to take more courses in this area and have a more specialized degree within the human services field. Students should consider if the program is online, in person, or a hybrid of the two. In addition, they should look at the facilities and resources the university offers while studying there. When it comes closer to making a final decision, students can learn more information about the specific program by contacting the admissions department or even visiting the campus and taking a tour to see what it will be like to attend the university.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Human Development & Family Studies Degrees

In the U.S., colleges and universities receive accreditation from agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to gain accreditation, the process includes a review of the school's educational programs and services for students. An institution's accreditation impacts a student's eligibility for federal financial aid as well as course credit transferability. Students should look for the college or university to have earned either national or regional accreditation.

Students should then look to see if their college or university has programmatic accreditation. For human services and development degrees, accreditation is provided by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. The CSHSE accredits associate, bachelor, and master's degrees in human services educational programs in the United States. The National Association for the Education of Young Children also provides accreditation. The Early Childhood Program Accreditation is given to childhood educational degrees after undergoing a review by a national commission composed of recognized experts.

Human Development & Family Studies Licensure & Certification

Depending on what career you choose within the field of human development and family studies, you may need a license to practice. This is also determined by the state in which you are located as they all have different requirements. For instance, if you plan on working as a marriage and family therapist, a bachelor's degree in a subject area such as human development and family studies is a good starting point. In general, the requirements to obtain a license include having a master's degree, completing an exam, and a certain number of hours of supervised work experience.

While it is not necessarily required to have received certification to work in many careers in human development and family studies, it helps you establish a professional career. The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences offers several different types of certifications including CFCS: Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences, CFCS-HDFS: Certified in Human Development and Family Studies and CFCS-HNFS: Certified in Hospitality, Nutrition, and Food Science. These credentials can help further your career in the area of study you are focusing on.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development & Family Studies?

A human development and family studies bachelor's degree includes careers in counseling, therapy, and family life educators, and prepares graduates for careers with community, social service, and educational institutions. Some careers paths for those with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, or a degree in human development, are social and human service assistants, social workers, marriage and family therapist, or school psychologist. You can also work in a human development career as a mental health counselor or a public health professional. Alternatively, you may be able to work in human resources which helps hire, train, and provide services to employees. Typically, if someone wants to work in HR, they complete a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or liberal arts. However, a degree in human development and family studies can be a path to this career. This is because the field covers adult behavioral and psychological progression as well as how people interact with others and society.

How to Become a Childcare Worker

Childcare workers work to provide care to infants and children. They typically work in childcare centers or at private households. Childcare workers make sure work to make sure children are taken care of which includes feeding, cleaning, dressing, and supervising playtime. In order to work in this position, a high school diploma is typically the main requirement. This career is a good starting point for someone who wants to work with children as they continue their education. Childcare workers who work in certain programs including Head Start and Early Head Start need to meet specific education requirements and have certain certifications. To meet the qualifications for a license, an individual must undergo a background check, show record of immunizations, and as well as complete training. The requirements vary depending on state and employer, but the Council for Professional Recognition offers a commonly accepted credential, Child Development Associate. The Child Development Associate (CDA) requires the completion of experience in the field, coursework and supervised work experience interacting with children. This certification needs to be renewed every three years to ensure the individual is fit to continue to work with children. Earning an associate's or bachelor's degree helps you to advance your career and hold higher positions such as childcare center director or own a childhood care or educational facility.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of childcare workers is expected to grow slower than average and only increase 2 percent from 2019 to 2029. As of May 2019, they reported the median hourly wage for childcare workers was $11.65.

How to Become a Social and Human Service Assistant

Social and human service assistants provide client services work with other professionals to help connect a client's community with services and resources to help them. These entry-level positions can include working in areas such as social work, rehabilitation, and psychology. Many social and human service assistants work for state and local governments, for-profit social service agencies, and nonprofits. Employers typically require some additional education along with a high school diploma. Advancement to case management or social worker positions requires a bachelor's or master's degree in areas such as human services, counseling, rehabilitation, or social work.

The employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow faster than average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects it will grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029. Rising demand for social services and the aging population are factors that contribute to the increased demand for people in this occupation. As of May 2019, the median annual wage for social and human service assistants was $35,060.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Human Development & Family Studies Degrees

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in human development and family studies should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to find out if they qualify for any federal aid. There are many scholarships available depending on the area of focus, experience, and degree level. The National Organization for Human Services offers several awards, scholarships, and grants to students studying human services and development. Another organization that offers scholarships is the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The AAFCS offers scholarships to undergraduate students pursuing a degree in fields including human/child development, education, and health management.

Professional Organization in Human Development & Family Studies

Professional organizations allow people in the human development and family studies field to connect with one another and work together to develop ways to improve people's lives. One organization includes the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The AAFCS works to provide educational programs to families and influence public policy to help improve people's lives. Another organization is the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development. The ISSBD has members in over 60 countries who work in support of their mission to promote scientific research in human development.

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