Human Development and Family Studies, B.A.Ed.

School of Education

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Peabody Hall, CB# 3500

(919) 966-1346

Helyne Frederick, Program Director

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Dean

Jeff Greene, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies

Jill Hamm, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development

Anne Bryan, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

Diana Lys, Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Accreditation

David Churchill, Assistant Dean for Finance and Operations

Leslie Deslis, Assistant Dean for Development

Audrey Fulton, Director of Advising and Undergraduate Student Engagement

Human development and family studies (HDFS) is a pre-professional major for undergraduate students interested in careers that will improve the lives of children and families across the variety of contexts and cultures in which families live, learn, and work. These careers are called "helping professions" and might include education, public health, social work, health services, counseling services, and more. This program results in a bachelor of arts degree in education.

The HDFS program does not result in teaching licensure but may be used to apply to a teaching license program at the postbaccalaureate or graduate level.

Admission to the human development and family studies major is required and offered every semester. Admission is based on, but not limited to, a 2.5 grade point average, good academic standing, expressed interest in the helping professions, and space available. For more information, please visit the School of Education Web site.

Admitted students must earn a grade of C or better for each course counting to fulfill a degree requirement within the HDFS major. If a student earns a grade of C- or lower in a course, it will not satisfy a degree requirement within the HDFS major. The student will need to repeat that course or an equivalent. If a course is repeated, the student can only count the credit hours once when calculating the number of credit hours toward degree.

In the event that a student fails the internship or is dismissed for violating the School of Education, site placement, or the University Code of Ethics, they will be referred to the School of Education Appeals Committee.

If a student intends to declare a major in HDFS and has already declared (or intends to declare) a minor in education, only six credit hours can double count for the education minor and the HDFS major.

Students are subject to the requirements in place when they are admitted to the School of Education; consequently, the requirements for approved programs described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted to the school during the 2018–2019 academic year.

Department Programs



Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the human development and family studies program, students should be able to:

  • Apply theories and knowledge about lifespan human development from many perspectives—psychological, sociological, educational, and cultural
  • Demonstrate awareness of professional behaviors and ethical considerations needed to serve children, youth, and families
  • Assess individual and family experiences from diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives, such as race, ethnicity, sexual identities, ability, socioeconomic status, immigrant status, and urban versus rural settings
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop resources and initiatives using appropriate strategies and technologies to support the well-being of children, families, schools, and communities through presentations, research, and service learning


In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (course and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a C or better in all courses for the HDFS major (core and additional requirements).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
EDUC 181Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies3
EDUC 401Introduction to Early Childhood Development: Birth to Eight3
or EDUC 532 Introduction to Development and Learning
EDUC 403Families, Schools, and Community Services3
or EDUC 410 Promotive Youth Services in Community and School Environments
EDUC 405Parenting and Family Life Education3
EDUC 408Research Methods in Human Development (must be taken prior to EDUC 583)3
EDUC 583Planning the Internship Experience 3
EDUC 698Internship in Human Development and Family Studies 9
Three EDUC courses chosen from:9
Autism in Our Communities: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
Leadership in Educational/Nonprofit Settings
Politics, Policymaking, and America's Schools
Equity, Leadership, and You
Helping Youth Thrive in K-12 Schools
Mexican American and Chicana/o Experience in Education
Politics of Reading
Schools, Cultures, and Communities I: Youth
Schools, Cultures, and Communities II: Schools
Learning on the Edge: Theories of Experiential Education
Human Abilities and Online Learning
Ethics and Education: From Global Problems to Classroom Dilemmas
Screen Education: Representations of Education in Popular Culture
Exceptionality Across the Life Span
Education in American Society
Social Justice in Education
Children's Literature in Elementary and Middle Schools
Foundations of Special Education
Additional Requirements
Three additional courses chosen from the following list:9
Introduction to African American and Diaspora Studies
African American History since 1865
Law and Society
Comparative Studies in Culture, Gender, and Global Forces
The Peoples of Africa
Gender and Culture
Human Growth and Development
Anthropological Perspectives on Cultural Diversity
Political Ecology
Language Minority Students: Issues for Practitioners
Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
and Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
Introduction to Gender and Communication H
Cultural Diversity
Family Communication H
Making and Manipulating "Race" in the United States
Reading Children's Literature
The Illustrated Book: History of Illustration in Children's Texts
Adapted Physical Education
Health and Human Rights
Youth and Technology in Libraries
Introduction to Language H
Language Acquisition and Development
The Latino Experience in the United States
Revisiting Real Numbers and Algebra
Introduction to Human Nutrition
Educational Problems and Policy Solutions H
Health and Human Rights
Statistical Principles of Psychological Research H
Biopsychology H
Learning H
Abnormal Psychology H
Child Development H
Social Psychology H
Poverty and Development
The Development of Black Children
Family as a Context for Development
The Study of Adolescent Issues and Development
Popularity, Friendship, and Peer Relations
Race and Ethnic Relations
Sex and Gender in Society
Family and Society
Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
Sociology of Education, Experiential Education
Family and Society, Junior/Senior Section
Sociology of Education
Race, Class, and Gender
United States Poverty and Public Policy
Health and Society
Human Rights
Foundations of Social Welfare and Social Work
Introductory Audiology I
Introduction to Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Introduction to Women's Studies
Total Hours45

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Special Opportunities in Education

Honors in the School of Education

During the spring semester of the junior year, an honors student in the School of Education participates in the first of a two-course sequence. This first course is an honors thesis class to begin the thesis preparation and writing process. During the fall semester of the senior year (the non-HDFS internship semester), the student takes the second course in the honors class sequence. Across the two courses the student completes an honors thesis. In the fall semester there is an oral examination to defend the thesis. The program is limited to students with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 at the start of the spring semester of the junior year. That is, students who wish to undertake a senior honors thesis project must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher in order to begin the project, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.300 or higher through graduation.