Back to search results

Human Development and Family Science

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Education and Human Ecology

The human development and family science major is a great choice for a "people person." As the only major at Ohio State with a primary concentration on families and human development, you'll get broad knowledge of how children, adults and families develop, alongside undergraduate research opportunities and personalized attention from faculty.

This program prepares you for a professional career or further education. Our professional specializations give you the opportunity to create a degree program that meets your interests and professional goals. And if our pre-designed specializations don't meet your goals, you can customize your own.

Understanding how children and families develop is a valuable asset in many careers, from teaching children to working in social service settings with children and families to working with older adults.

Students in human development and family science complete course work in life span human development, family development, child development, middle childhood and adolescent development, advanced family development, sexuality across the life span, advanced writing, statistics, and professional development.

Areas of professional specialization:

  • Family/Community Human Services
  • Aging Studies
  • Adolescent and At-Risk Youth
  • Intimacy/Sexuality Studies
  • Social Policy and Population Studies
  • Pre-medicine
  • Integrated Studies

Family studies requires course work in human service organizations, developing helping skills, children and families under stress, and parenting. Students then select additional course work from the department or related areas such as sociology, psychology, education, social work, family resource management, women’s studies or health education along with the option to participate in supervised practice in a community agency (field work). Students are therefore able to create a unique program that reflects their career goals or plans for graduate study.

The Global Option in Education and Human Ecology is an option for students in good academic standing on any Ohio State campus. In this program, students develop their ability to communicate with and work alongside individuals from other cultures through education abroad programs and globally themed course work.

Students have the option to participate in various field work experiences in the areas of early and middle childhood education, child care and pre-kindergarten programs, and family and community services. 

The College of Education and Human Ecology Honors Program offers students rigorous course work and opportunities to work closely with faculty to design and complete a research project. Students in this program also have access to smaller classes, priority scheduling and unique housing opportunities.

The Human Development and Family Services Club enhances effective communication and collaboration between undergraduate students faculty through mentoring and advising. It helps new students acclimate to the major or minor, department, and the College of Education and Human Ecology. The club addresses academic concerns, promotes mutual support, and provides social and academic opportunities.

The Student Association for Family, Child and Lifespan Development is geared towards students with an interest in human development and family science. Additionally, students can be involved with the Ohio Student Education Association, Kappa Phi Kappa (a co-ed education fraternity) and over 50 community service organizations.

Getting a degree in human development and family science prepares you for a variety of professions in human services, student affairs, or law enforcement and corrections. Examples include program or outreach coordinator, caseworker, probation or parole officer, admissions counselor or academic advisor, social service manager, and researcher. 

The degree also sets you in competitive standing for a number of graduate and pre-professional programs including teaching, medicine or allied health.

On average, the starting salary for a human development and family science graduate ranges from $20,000 to $43,000, depending on the student's career field.