About Human Development & Family Studies

What makes a family work? How do children develop? What is a healthy marriage? What do teenagers need to succeed academically, personally, emotionally? These are some of the questions we strive to answer in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS).

HDFS is an interdisciplinary program focused on advancing and applying knowledge about individuals and families in a changing world. We offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, a Dual Objective Curriculum in Early Childhood Education, an undergraduate minor, the Master of Science degree with emphases in bothHuman Development and Family Studies and Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

We are more than just thinkers -- we are doers. The Department operates the Center for Children, Youth, and Families, which includes the Auburn University Early Learning Center and Birmingham's Harris Early Learning Center, both accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We also run the Auburn University Marriage and Family Therapy Center and the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Program. As well, our partnership with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System  allows us to share what we've learned with the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world.

HDFS Mission

The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Auburn University is to generate, disseminate, and apply scientific knowledge of human, family, and community development. We focus on understanding and supporting optimal development across the lifespan using multidisciplinary approaches and cutting edge methodologies. Our core areas include the intersections of individuals, families, and communities, with a special focus on relationships and the biopsychosocial underpinnings of healthy development and well-being. We are committed to creating and applying knowledge to prevention and intervention efforts with the goal of assisting individuals, families, and communities in reaching their full potential.

News & Announcements

  • Click here to follow HDFS on Facebook!
  • Congratulations to Hans Saint-Eloy Cadely and Kim Gregson, two of only six recent Auburn University graduates selected as winners of the Graduate School’s 2015-16 Distinguished Dissertation Awards. Full press release here.
  • HDFS professors Francesca Adler-Baeder and Donna Sollie were two of four NCFR members named fellows for 2015. Click here to access full press release.
  • Home-based child care, education in Alabama benefit from Auburn University-PNC Financial Services Group collaboration.
    A collaboration between Auburn University's Family Child Care Partnerships, or FCCP, program and PNC Financial Services Group is now in its third year, and is enhancing how more than 200 home-based child care providers nurture and educate more than 1,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers throughout Alabama. Read full story here.
  • HDFS program ranked #3 nationally in a survey conducted by Ohio State Professor Claire Kamp Dush. Read more
  • HDFS news archive

Links and Resources