BA in Human Development and Family Science

The HDFS curriculum prepares students to effectively engage with families across the lifespan and in a variety of service settings and professions, from early childhood education and care to family law and policy advocacy.

This degree prepares its graduates to use family-centered and strengths-based approaches to support the health and well-being of individuals and families in diverse communities. Graduates will have a strong interdisciplinary foundation in the HDFS field and competencies in 10 areas as established by the National Council on Family Relations, including:

  • internal dynamics of relationships and families
  • human growth and development
  • family-and community-based program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • social policies and laws affecting families
  • family diversity
  • research methodology
  • professional ethics as related to the HDFS field

The HDFS curriculum prepares students to effectively engage with families across the lifespan and in a variety of service settings and professions, from early childhood education and care to family law and policy advocacy. We offer students 5 concentrations, including:

  • child development, education, and services
  • adolescent development and services
  • adult development and aging
  • family health and well-being
  • family research, policy, and advocacy

Our program prepares students to critically analyze complex family issues, advocate for families in schools, communities, and in the policy arena, and address social-structural factors contributing to and influencing family functioning, health, and well-being (e.g., poverty and wealth inequality, immigration and illegalization, family homelessness, incarceration, family violence, and discrimination and structural violence such as racism, nationalism, or heterosexism). Students are required to complete a 6-credit internship and integrate research training with service fieldwork. Such an experience is a critical component of HDFS student development and will further prepare our students for graduate education and diverse careers in the human development and family science field.

The HDFS program is a joint academic degree program sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Mason Core

Written Communication 6
Oral Communication 3
Information Technology and Ethics 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Literature 3
Arts 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Global Understanding 3
Natural Science 7
Synthesis 3
Total Credits 40

Additional Requirements for the BA

One PHIL or one RELI course: 3
 
 
Social and behavioral sciences course 1 3
Non-Western culture 3
Proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level (coursework or testing to determine proficiency) 0-9
Total Credits 9-18
1

This requirement is additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement.

Major Requirements

ECED 401 Developmental Pathways of Diverse Learners, Birth-Adolescence 3
or PSYC 313 Child Development
ECED 404 Engaging Families of Diverse Young Learners 3
or INTS 321 Parent-Child Relations (Mason Core)
HDFS 200 Individual and Family Development 3
HDFS 250 Family Financial Literacy and Resource Management 3
HDFS 300 Individual and Family Services Delivery 3
HDFS 400 Advanced Family Processes (Mason Core) 3
HDFS 401 Family Law and Public Policy 1 3
HDFS 498 Internship and Analysis in Human Development and Family Science 3
HDFS 499 Advanced Internship Analysis in Human Development and Family Science 3
SOCI 303 Methods and Logic of Inquiry 3
or PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology
Select one from the following: 3
Psychological Factors in Aging  
HHS 432
Healthy Aging  
Sociology of Aging  
Total Credits 33
1

Fulfills writing intensive requirement.

Concentration in Adolescent Development and Services (ADS)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 1 15
Socialization Processes: Family, Childhood, Personality in Cross-Cultural Perspective  
Family and Health Communication  
Delinquency  
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)  
EDEP 405
The Neuroscience of Learning and Cognition  
EDRD 301
Facilitating Literacy in School or Community Settings  
HDFS 301
The Hospitalized Child and Family  
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film  
Conflict, Trauma and Healing (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)  
Social Justice Education (Mason Core)  
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)  
Principles of Learning  
Adolescent Development  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Psychology of Intimate Relationships  
Sociology of Delinquency  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World  
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life  
Sociology of Deviance  
Youth Culture and Society  
SOCW 415
Child and Family Welfare  
Total Credits 15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Adult Development and Aging (ADA)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 1 15
Family and Health Communication  
Special Topics in Communication  
EDUC 203
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)  
GCH 480
Health Maintenance and Health Aspects of Aging  
HAP 301
Health Care Delivery in the United States  
HAP 403
Assisted Living/Senior Housing Management and Philosophy  
HAP 445
Introduction to Health Services Research  
HEAL 220
Dimensions of Mental Health  
HEAL 310
Drugs and Health  
HEAL 327
Women's Health  
HEAL 331
Men's Health  
HEAL 351
Relationship Health  
HEAL 372
Health Communication  
HHS 432
Healthy Aging  
Violence and Gender  
Conflict, Trauma and Healing (Mason Core)  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Women and Leadership  
Contemporary Health Issues  
Death, Dying, and Decision Making  
Psychology of Gender  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Psychological Factors in Aging  
Death, Dying, and Grieving  
Psychology of Intimate Relationships  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World  
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life  
Contemporary Gender Relations  
Sociology of Aging  
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability  
SOCW 435
Introduction to Gerontology  
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies  
Women and Work  
Total Credits 15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Child Development, Education, and Services (CDES)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 1 15
Socialization Processes: Family, Childhood, Personality in Cross-Cultural Perspective  
Family and Health Communication  
ECED 402
Foundations of Language and Literacy for Diverse Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Learners  
ECED 403
Inclusive Curriculum for Young Learners: Planning Instruction and Guidance  
ECED 405
Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education  
ECED 406
Medical and Developmental Aspects of Disabilities of Diverse Young Learners  
ECED 422
Developing Language, Literacy, and Communication of Diverse Infants and Toddlers  
ECED 423
Early Intervention for Infants Toddlers with Disabilities: Collaborative Consultative Approaches  
EDEP 405
The Neuroscience of Learning and Cognition  
EDRD 301
Facilitating Literacy in School or Community Settings  
HDFS 301
The Hospitalized Child and Family  
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film  
Conflict, Trauma and Healing (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)  
Social Psychology (Mason Core)  
Principles of Learning  
Cognitive Psychology  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Behavior Disorders of Childhood  
Sociology of Delinquency  
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life  
Youth Culture and Society  
SOCW 415
Child and Family Welfare  
Total Credits 15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Family Health and Well-Being (FHW)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 1 15
Family and Health Communication  
EDUC 203
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)  
GCH 300
Introduction to Public Health  
GCH 310
Health Behavior Theories  
GCH 332
Health and Disease  
GCH 350
Health Promotion and Education  
GCH 445
Social Determinants of Health  
HAP 301
Health Care Delivery in the United States  
HAP 445
Introduction to Health Services Research  
HEAL 110
Personal Health  
HEAL 220
Dimensions of Mental Health  
HEAL 230
Introduction to Health Behavior (Mason Core)  
HEAL 310
Drugs and Health  
HEAL 325
Health Aspects of Human Sexuality  
HEAL 327
Women's Health  
HEAL 331
Men's Health  
HEAL 351
Relationship Health  
HEAL 372
Health Communication  
Conflict, Trauma and Healing (Mason Core)  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Health Issues  
Death, Dying, and Decision Making  
NUTR 422
Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Death, Dying, and Grieving  
Psychology of Intimate Relationships  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World  
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life  
Social Inequality (Mason Core)  
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability  
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies  
Total Credits 15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Family Research, Policy, and Advocacy (FRPA)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 1 15
Introduction to Law and Society  
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)  
GCH 376
Health Ethics, Leadership, and Advocacy  
GOVT 301
Public Law and the Judicial Process  
GOVT 318
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process  
GOVT 353
Social Entrepreneurship  
GOVT 364
Public Policy Making  
GOVT 366
Public Policy Analysis  
GOVT 407
Law and Society  
GOVT 414
Politics of Race and Gender  
GOVT 427
Feminist Political Thought  
GOVT 445
Human Rights  
HAP 301
Health Care Delivery in the United States  
HAP 312
Healthcare Law  
HAP 442
Introduction to Health Care Politics and Policy  
HAP 445
Introduction to Health Services Research  
Argument and Advocacy  
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)  
Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation  
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)  
Women and Leadership  
Psychology of Gender  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Psychology of Intimate Relationships  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World  
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life  
Qualitative Research Methods  
Contemporary Gender Relations  
Social Inequality (Mason Core)  
SOCW 380
Changing Social Policies and Systems  
SOCW 400
Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services  
STAT 250
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)  
STAT 350
Introductory Statistics II  
Total Credits 15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Electives

Select 14-23 credits of electives 14-23
Total Credits 14-23
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