Human Development and Family Sciences at UT

Human Development and Family Sciences at UT

What is Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS)?

HDFS analyzes relationships amongst individuals in a psychological, sociological, and biopsychosocial context. This interdisciplinary major is quite unique at UT, as it utilizes the fundamentals of science to explore health and dysfunction within family units. HDFS aims to improve lives of individuals, families, and communities by applying research of people from different backgrounds and experiences.


Facts about HDFS at UT

  • It is in the College of Natural Sciences

  • It is an award-winning program repeatedly featured as one of the Top 5 HDFS programs in the U.S.

  • It houses 535 undergraduate students (as of 2016-2017)


What are my options as a HDFS major?

  • BSA in HDFS

  • BS in :

    • Option I: Early Childhood

    • Option 2: Human Development

    • Option 3: Families & Personal Relationships

    • Option 4: Families and Society

    • Option 5: Honors in HDFS

    • Option 6: Honors in Advanced HDFS

For descriptions of each option click here

For degree plans of each option click here


What are some of the classes like?

The classes listed below (or their honors counterparts) are required for all HDFS majors

  • HDF 301: Family Relationships

    This class teaches fundamental concepts and research associated with human relationships. If you want to see if you would like the HDFS major, this is the class to take.
  • HDF 313: Child Development

    This class discusses language, social, motor, cognitive, and emotional development in families. Psychology 301 is a prerequisite for this class.
  • HDF 113L: Child Development Laboratory

    This class is very different than what would be expected in a typical science laboratory class. One and a half hours a week, students observe children at the University Child and Family Laboratory. Connections are made with the complementary HDF 313 class.
  • HDF 315L: Research Methods in HDFS

    This class teaches the methods of research commonly utilized in HDFS, including experimental and observational approaches. An acceptable statistics class (such as SDS 302) is a prerequisite for this class.


What jobs can I get with a major in HDFS?

The occupations listed below are just some of the possible careers for HDFS majors,

Many other occupations can be pursued by getting a master’s or doctorate degree.

  • Pre-Health Professions

  • Graduate School/Research

  • Teaching

  • Child Support Worker

  • Patient Advocate

  • Victim Advocate

  • Recreation Therapist

  • Counselor

  • Community Organizer

  • Life Coach

  • Social Service Caseworker

  • Volunteer Coordinator

  • Youth Organizer

  • Program Director


What type of research is conducted in HDFS?

Research within the field of HDFS studies the dynamics among relationships in society. Research may delve into fields anywhere from neuroendocrinology to economics in analyzing various relationships. At UT, groundbreaking research in HDFS has and is being conducted to learn more about the human condition. For more detailed descriptions of research in HDFS at UT, click here. Research in HDFS is commonly conducted through longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, and often examines secondary data sets. First-hand research within HDFS may gather data through field studies or experiments. HDFS research is all-encompassing, as it may use qualitative and or quantitative approaches to address relationship outcomes.

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