Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) prepares undergraduate students for a variety of exciting and challenging career opportunities including: preschool teaching; administering programs for young children, adolescents, and adults; parent education; mental health services; child advocacy; and cooperative extension. Senior HDFS interns have been placed in outstanding work settings throughout the United States such as Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, the Children's Television Workshop/Sesame Street, Walt Disney World, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Interns have also been placed in many local schools, counseling centers, social service agencies, court systems, and assisted living facilities for seniors. Our undergraduate students have also participated in international internships in Costa Rica, Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland, and New Zealand, to name a few. Many HDFS interns are hired by the placement site and move from HDFS directly into a satisfying professional career.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers the HDFS curriculum as well as the HDFE Dual Objective curriculum with Early Childhood Education. All majors take a core of courses in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences, as well as liberal arts and humanities. These courses provide graduates with a strong educational foundation and excellent career preparation that includes a senior-level internship.

Undergraduate Student Learning Objectives

Across the HDFS undergraduate program, students are prepared to apply theory and academic research to real-world needs in human development and family life. Professionalism and excellence in written and spoken communication is emphasized. Through completion of the HDFS degree, students will be able to:

  • Articulate how HDFS-related theory is relevant to the needs of individuals and families in the community
  • Craft a well-written paper utilizing APA format that integrates academic research to inform Family Life Education programing
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior in the field
  • Communicate through an online ePortfolio how their academic learning and field experiences have equipped them to accomplish their post-graduation goals

HDFS Major Concentrations

Undergraduate HDFS majors can select from among seven professional concentrations that are designed to best prepare students to be successful in meeting career objectives. These professional concentrations include: Infancy and Preschool; Child Life; Middle Childhood/Adolescence; Adult Programs; and Family Life Education.

The Minor in HDFS

A minor in HDFS is also offered and open to all Auburn University undergrads. Students take two core courses and 12 additional hours of HDFS courses to earn the minor and enhance career preparation.