Human Development and Family Sciences

Undergraduate Program

Make a difference in the lifelong health of people and families.

 Corvallis   Ecampus   Bend

Examine human nature

In our nationally ranked human development and family sciences (HDFS) program, you’ll address human development across all ages and learn how to help improve the human condition.

Study human development to be part of a rewarding career that empowers individuals, families and communities to survive and thrive.

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As a human development and family sciences major at Oregon State, you’ll ...

  • Discover how lives and relationships develop within the context of family, school, work and society.
  • Learn about different stages of development, from infancy to adulthood.
  • Be equipped to understand and promote equity, inclusion and diversity.

Picture life as an HDFS student.

Sample schedule

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Oregon State’s human development and family sciences program is ranked No. 5 in the nation.
-College Factual

Human development and family sciences major options

Select an option that matches your interests and career goals, whether it’s working with children, the elderly or providing services for families and communities.


Sample of child development courses

  • Children and youth with disabilities
  • Families and poverty
  • Family, school and community collaboration

Career options in the human services field

Help a child develop the social and emotional skills to thrive. Provide comfort and care to an aging adult. Help a family work through trauma.  

HDFS is an important and expanding field, and there are numerous career opportunities. According to College Factual, human development, family sciences and human services careers are expected to grow 10% between 2016-2026.


Study human development and family sciences for careers in:

*These roles may require post-baccalaureate/graduate/professional education to qualify.

  • Adoption agency counselor
  • Activity director
  • Caseworker
  • Childcare coordinator
  • Crisis intervention worker
  • Early childhood policy advocate
  • Extension educator
  • Elementary educator
  • Elementary teacher*
  • Emergency relief worker
  • Family support worker
  • Foster care caseworker
  • Hospice worker
  • Housing service coordinator
  • International relief worker
  • Marriage and family counselor*
  • Parent educator
  • Preschool or childcare teacher
  • Senior advocate
  • Social caseworker
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Youth development specialist

Nyssa Cronin, ’20

“I chose to major in human development and family sciences because of my interest in understanding why people do the things they do, how people navigate different relationships within their life, and how or why communities struggle or thrive.”

Talk to our campus guide 541-737-7205