BS in Human Development and Family Science with Emphasis in Family and Lifespan Development

Degree Program Description

In the Family and Lifespan Development emphasis, students become familiar with theory and research about families and individuals across the lifespan. Coursework focuses on bio-psycho-social development, family functioning, and interpersonal relationships in relevant settings such as at home, in child care, at school, and in the work place. Diversity is emphasized through examining multicultural families and diverse family structures and processes, and variations in individual development and relationships associated with such factors as gender, race, ethnicity, social class and health status. Opportunities are available for the practical application of theory and research in working with individuals, families, schools, and communities.

Major Program Requirements

Students must complete all university requirements, including general education, in addition to the degree requirements below, and must achieve a grade of C (2.0) in all HDFS courses taken to meet degree requirements.

A. Requirements in Related Areas
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
or COMMUN 3571 Group Decision Making Processes
or COMMUN 3575 Business and Professional Communication
FINPLN 2183Personal and Family Finance3
or FINPLN 4380W Assessing the American Dream - Writing Intensive
NEP 1034Introduction to Human Nutrition3
or SOC_WK 1115 Social Welfare and Social Work
PHIL 1100The Difference Between Right and Wrong: An Introduction to Ethics3
or PHIL 1150 Introductory Bioethics
or PHIL 2440 Medical Ethics
PSYCH 1000General Psychology3
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology3
or RU_SOC 1000 Rural Sociology
B. Requirements in H D FS
H_D_FS 1600Foundations of Family Science 13
H_D_FS 2200Research Methods in Human Development and Family Science 23
H_D_FS 2300Multicultural Study of Children and Families3
H_D_FS 2400WPrinciples of Human Development - Writing Intensive3-4
or H_D_FS 2400 Principles of Human Development
H_D_FS 2450Human Sexuality Across the Life Span3
H_D_FS 3050Child Development: Birth to 3 (Infant/Toddler)3
H_D_FS 3150WChild Development 4-8 (Early Childhood) - Writing Intensive3
H_D_FS 3430Adolescence and Young Adulthood3
H_D_FS 3440Adulthood and Aging3
H_D_FS 3500Infant-Toddler Practicum3-6
or H_D_FS 3700 Preschool Practicum
or H_D_FS 3730 Field Training Practicum
H_D_FS 4610Stress and Resilience in Families3
or H_D_FS 4700 Children and Families in Poverty
H_D_FS 4620Family Interaction3
H_D_FS 4640Interpersonal Relationships3
H_D_FS 4970WFamilies and Lifespan Development Capstone - Writing Intensive 34
H_D_FS 4993Internship in Human Development and Family Science3-6
C. HDFS Related Electives
Select 21 credits from the following:21
H_D_FS 1610Intimate Relationships and Marriage3
H_D_FS 3085Problems in Human Development and Family Science1-3
or H_D_FS 4085 Problems in Human Development and Family Science
H_D_FS 3090Research Experience in Human Development and Family Science1-6
H_D_FS 3500Infant-Toddler Practicum (if not taken as a required course - see requirements in HDFS above)6
H_D_FS 3600Partnering with Parents and Families3
H_D_FS 3700Preschool Practicum (if not taken as a required course - see requirements in HDFS above)6
H_D_FS 3730Field Training Practicum (if not taken as a required course - see requirements in HDFS above)3
H_D_FS 3800Children's Play3
H_D_FS 4001Topics in Human Development and Family Science1-6
H_D_FS 4090Advanced Research in Human Development and Family Science1-6
H_D_FS 4200Latino/a Youth and Families3
H_D_FS 4300Black Families3
H_D_FS 4420Environmental Influences on Lifespan Cognition3
H_D_FS 4610Stress and Resilience in Families (if not taken as a required course - see requirements in HDFS above)3
H_D_FS 4630The Process of Divorce3
H_D_FS 4680Family Communication3
H_D_FS 4700Children and Families in Poverty (if not taken as a required course - see requirements in HDFS above)3
H_D_FS 4720Child and Family Advocacy3
H_D_FS 4740Parent-Child Relations Over the Life Course3

In addition, students may select advisor-approved 3000+ level HDFS courses not listed above and not used elsewhere to meet degree requirements, to fulfill HDFS Related Electives requirements. Students may also select up to 6 hours of 3000+ level, advisor approved courses from related disciplines such as Anthropology, Black Studies, Communication Studies, Educational, School and Counseling Psychology, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies (0-6 credits).  The student must obtain HDFS academic advisor approval prior to enrolling in these courses.

Students may plan a program of study which will help prepare them for earning the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential from the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).  Consultation with the student’s academic advisor is recommended to determine the current requirements for this credential.  

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003H_D_FS 2400W4
General Elective 1HDFS Related Elective 3
H_D_FS 16003Humanities3
NEP 10343Math Pathway3
PSYCH 10003SOCIOL 10003
General Education Science3 
 16 16
Second Year
COMMUN 12003H_D_FS 22003
H_D_FS 23003H_D_FS 3150W3
H_D_FS 30503H_D_FS 34303
PHIL 1100 or 24403HDFS Related Elective3
General Elective3American History or Government3
 15 15
Third Year
H_D_FS 34403H_D_FS 24503
H_D_FS 37303H_D_FS 4610 or 47003
HDFS Related Elective3H D FS Related Elective3
FINPLN 21833HDFS Related Elective3
General Elective3General Education Science3-5
 15 15-17
Fourth Year
H_D_FS 46203H_D_FS 4970W4
H_D_FS 46403H D FS Related Elective3
H_D_FS 49933-6General Elective 3
H D FS Related Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3 
 15-18 13
Total Credits: 120-125

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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