BA in Human Development and Family Science (CHSS)

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.

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

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.

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: 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) 0-12
Total Credits 9-21

Major Requirements

HDFS 200 Individual and Family Development (Mason Core) 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 and Analysis in Human Development and Family Science 3
INTS 321 Parent-Child Relations (Mason Core) 3
PSYC 211 Developmental Psychology (Mason Core) 3
Select one from the following: 3
Methods and Logic of Inquiry
Research Methods in Psychology
Research for Social Change
Total Credits 30
Major Elective Choices 12
Elective choices follow career and professional interests. Elective courses are suggested by advisors and mentors and approved by the Academic Program Coordinator. See below for areas of focus.
Families and Individuals Across the Life Span
Family and Health Communication
Delinquency
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
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
EDUC 203
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)
EDRD 301
Facilitating Literacy in School or Community Settings
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
HDFS 301
The Hospitalized Child and Family
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
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)
Women and Leadership
Contemporary Health Issues
Social Justice Education (Mason Core)
Death, Dying, and Decision Making
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)
Social Psychology (Mason Core)
Principles of Learning
Adolescent Development
Cognitive Psychology
Psychology of Gender
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Behavior Disorders of Childhood
Psychological Factors in Aging
Death, Dying, and Grieving
Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Sociology of Delinquency
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Sociology of Deviance
Contemporary Gender Relations (Mason Core)
Sociology of Aging
Youth Culture and Society
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability
SOCW 415
Child and Family Welfare
SOCW 435
Introduction to Gerontology
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies
Women and Work
Family Advocacy
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
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
Research and Policy
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
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 (Mason Core)
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

Electives

Students choose additional elective courses. 17-29
Total Credits 17-29