The developmental and family science curriculum allows you to take an interdisciplinary approach to studying families and human development across the life span. You’ll receive a broad education in human development and family studies with the opportunity to specialize in one of the major’s optional concentrations in child development or family and community health. The major culminates in a capstone experience, which you can choose to be an internship, a research thesis or study abroad program. With a degree in this profession, you will be ready to pursue an advanced academic degree in graduate school or begin a career in child welfare, counseling, education, social work or public administration.
You may also choose to participate in one of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies’ (HDFS) interdisciplinary programs in gerontology, applied behavior analysis or public health.
- Aging/elder care activity director
- Autism or developmental specialists
- Childcare program director
- Community health educator
- Extension educator
- Family life educator
- Program development and evaluation
- Public policy and advocacy
- Volunteer coordinator
- Youth development worker
Potential Areas of Advanced Study
- Applied behavior analysis
- Public health
- Occupational therapy
- Human development and family studies
- Law or public policy
- Youth development
Examples of DVFS internship placements
- Autism centers
- Child and youth development programs
- Day camps
- Early childhood centers
- Community health programs
- Event planning and fundraising
- Health and wellness programs
- Retirement/senior living communities
- Social advocacy organizations
- Volunteer coordinator
- Design a required capstone experience linked to your interests from among three choices:
- Complete a substantial research project under the mentorship of a Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) faculty member. Guidance about the research project can be found in the capstone thesis research requirements.
- Fulfill a six-credit internship (fall, spring or summer) in a relevant organization. Internship placements are arranged through HDFS 45400.
- Participate in a study abroad experience relevant to HDFS. Experiences of at least six credits complete the requirement.
The student must propose their desired capstone experience to the faculty, then fill in the DVFS Capstone Experience Request form before meeting with their advisor.View Complete List of Courses Degree Requirements
Program Quick Facts
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The optional child development concentration focuses on the development of children from infancy through adolescence, covering physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional processes.
Family and Community Health
The optional family and community health concentration focuses on the role families play in illness and disability through the study of population health and family processes.
“I chose Purdue because of the warm, welcoming atmosphere on campus and after experiencing the College of HHS advisor’s commitment to the students when I came to visit in May. My advisor is always willing to listen to my ideas for my four-year plan and then point me in the right direction to get there.”— Amy
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Year at Purdue: Senior
Major: Developmental and Family Science
Why Purdue: I chose Purdue because of the warm, welcoming atmosphere on campus and after experiencing the College of HHS advisor’s commitment to the students when I came to visit in May. My advisor is always willing to listen to my ideas for my four-year plan and then point me in the right direction to get there.
Favorite Place at Purdue: I love the Union, during the week you can find me studying there, grabbing a bite to eat or getting coffee with a friend between classes and especially during finals week.
Advice for an Incoming Freshman: Your advisor is there to help guide you through college, but if you really want something and think you’re up to the task, do it. You might fail, or you might pull off an amazing feat you were “advised” not to undertake. You won’t know unless you have the will to try.
I’m on the Core Leadership Team for the HHS Success Mentors this year!