Minor in Human Development and Family Science (CHSS)

Enhance your college experience with this 15-credit minor! Undergraduates at George Mason University have the option to declare a minor in Human Development & Family Science (HDFS)

Catalog Year: 2021-2022

This highly relevant and contemporary minor is a 15-credit interdisciplinary program designed especially for students who are interested in how individuals develop and how to improve the quality of life for families and communities. You’ll explore the psychological, social, cultural, and biological development of individuals from conception through adulthood and aging, within the contexts of their families, communities, and the broader society.

The minor is an excellent complement to many majors at Mason. Due to it being offered as a collaboration between the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), you’ll have the opportunity to learn from outstanding faculty from both colleges who are dedicated to teaching and involved in cutting-edge research.

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.

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 15

Core Course

HDFS 200 Individual and Family Development (Mason Core) 3
HDFS 400 Advanced Family Processes (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 6


Select at least one course from each of the two component areas (development and diversity) below 6
A third elective may be selected from any component or with permission of an HDFS advisor 3
Total Credits 9

To reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the HDFS minor, two courses must have prefixes from disciplines outside of your major area of study (e.g., for PSYC majors, two courses must come from CEHD prefixes: ATEP, ECED, EDUC, HEAL, PHED; for ECED majors, two courses must come from CHSS prefixes: ANTH, INTS, PSYC, SOCI).


Select at least one from the following:  
ECED 401
Developmental Pathways of Diverse Learners, Birth-Adolescence  
Human Growth and Development  
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film  
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)  
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)  
Child Development  
Adolescent Development  
Psychological Factors in Aging  
Youth Culture and Society (Mason Core)  


Select at least one from the following:  
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)  
ATEP 205
Cultural Competence  
ECED 405
Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education  
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)  
HEAL 350
Interventions for Populations and Communities at Risk  
HDFS 301
The Hospitalized Child and Family  
Construction of Differences: Race, Class, and Gender (Mason Core)  
Poverty, Wealth and Inequality in the US (Mason Core)  
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)  
Social Inequality (Mason Core)