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Human Development and Family Studies

A human development and family studies major smiles and sits at a table surrounded by children’s books and a globe.

A bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Michigan State University is approved by the National Council on Family Relations, which allows students to become certified family life educators. Graduates work in human service agencies serving children, youth and adults. 

The human development and family studies field is any organized effort to provide family members with information, skills, experiences or resources intended to strengthen, improve or enrich their family experience. The field uses collaboration, prevention, resources and educational opportunities to assist individuals and families throughout their lives, encouraging service in the areas of social need with a positive, holistic and family focus. 


Graduates in human development and family studies pursue careers in a range of industries, excelling in jobs that demand deep knowledge of sociology, families, teaching and ethics. 

Alumni work at: 

  • Michigan Department of Human Services
  • Community mental health offices
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • American Red Cross
  • American Cancer Society
  • Family Adoption Consultants

Alumni work as: 

  • Counselors
  • Support providers
  • Service providers
  • Behavior specialists
  • Military family liaisons
  • Human services agency directors

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