Human Development and Family Studies


Teacher demonstrating to students using stuffed animals.

The Human Development and Family Studies degree is available online. This degree gives students the opportunity for knowledge and skills that prepare them for careers serving individuals and families across the lifespan. Courses are designed to help students deal with current issues confronting families and children in the nation and the world. Our online students have the option to complete certification options, such as our department-housed Gerontology Certificate and coursework that will lead towards the National Council on Family Relations Certified Family Life Educator designation.

Students are required to complete a practicum experience. There are multiple options for students to complete the practicum. Options include career preparation by working with agencies that provide hands-on experience, seeking out community teaching opportunities, or completing a research project. We work with students to complete the practicum experience from all geographic locations, and remote options for completing the practicum are also available. Our students are employed across the state and nation when they graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Students are also well prepared for graduate school.


Family and Community Services

Students learn to work with families across the lifespan. They develop strong skills in family life education, ethics, professionalism, and family processes. 

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Human Development Lifespan

Students learn about addressing the developmental needs of individuals and families. Through applied experiences students engage with individuals, families, social agencies and organizations.

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Contact Information

Sarah Tulane

Sarah Tulane

Clinical Associate Professor - Online Coordinator

Phone: 435-797-7479
Office Location: FL 220
Schedule an Appointment

Career and Employment Resources

  • National Council on Family Relations:
  • Examples of Career and Employment Settings:
  • Family Life Educator (teach community classes—parenting, abuse, finance, life skills)
  • Caseworker (elderly, low-income families, at-risk youth and families, teen parents, unemployed, foster or adoption agencies)
  • Program Director/Coordinator (after-school programs, senior citizen centers, community education, youth programs)
  • Advocate (at-risk youth, families, elderly, victims)
  • Crisis Intervention (work with abuse, neglect, domestic violence, sexual assault, natural disasters)
  • Adoption Agencies
  • Child Protective Services
  • Youth Development Programs
  • Drug Treatment Centers
  • Gerontology Programs/Agencies
  • Nonprofit Community Agencies
  • Residential Treatment Programs
  • Child Care Centers Family Service Agencies
  • Government Agencies
  • Recreation Centers
  • Crisis Centers
  • Child Development Consultant (helps families to improve social and psychological functioning)
  • Preschool Teacher (Head Start, Montessori)
Admission Requirement

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the Human Development and Family Studies program has additional requirements:

Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as pre-majors.

Transfer Students: Transfer students and USU students transferring from other majors qualify for the pre-major if they meet USU's general admissions requirements.

To be admitted to the major students must complete the following:
1. 24 semester credits
2. Overall cumulative 2.0 GPA
 HDFS 1500, HDFS 2000, HDFS 2400, and STAT 1040/1045 with a C grade or better

International students have additional admissions requirements.