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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 applies important theories to complex, real-world issues affecting children and families. Using a social justice lens, students learn how to understand and work within diverse contexts that prepare them to apply and become certified family life educators after graduation. The human development and family studies program from Michigan State University is approved by the National Council on Family Relations. 

The human development and family studies field aims to provide family members with information, skills, experiences and resources intended to strengthen or improve 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 will be committed to improving the health and well-being of diverse individuals and families across the lifespan through research, teaching and professional practice. A bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies can lead to a wide range of career paths including business, counseling, couple and family therapy, healthcare, human services, policy and resource management. Also, human development and family studies graduates often attend graduate school where they study many different topics and disciplines.


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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