Feb 25, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog

Human Development and Family Studies

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Department Head: Scot M. Allgood
Location: Family Life (FL) 203B
E-mail: scot.allgood@usu.edu
Phone: (435) 797-1551
FAX: (435) 797-3845
E-mail (undergraduate): laura.holley@usu.edu
E-mail (graduate): beth.fauth@usu.edu
Website: http://hdfs.usu.edu/

Associate Department Head:
Shelley Lindauer, Family Life (FL) 106A, (435) 797-1532, shelley.lindauer@usu.edu

Assistant Department Head:
Ryan Seedall, Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence (SCCE) 415, (435) 797-7433, ryan.seedall@usu.edu

Adele and Dale Young Child Development Laboratory Co-Directors:
Kelli Barker, Family Life (FL) 106A, (435) 797-1550, kelli.barker@usu.edu
Shelley Lindauer, Family Life (FL) 106A, (435) 797-1532, shelley.lindauer@usu.edu

Delores Dore’ Eccles Center for Early Care and Education Executive Director:
Lisa K. Boyce, Early Childhood Education and Research Center (ECERC) 314, (435) 797-2713, lisa.boyce@usu.edu

Family Financial Counseling Director:
Cindy R. Stokes, Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence (SCCE) 419, (435) 797-8997, cindy.s@aggiemail.usu.edu

Gerontology Certificate Program Coordinator:
Yin Liu, Family Life (FL) 215, (435) 797-4149, yin.liu@usu.edu

Graduate Coordinator:
Elizabeth B. Fauth, Family Life (FL) 222, (435) 797-1989, beth.fauth@usu.edu

Marriage and Family Therapy Program Director:
Dave Robinson, Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence (SCCE) 413, (435) 797-7431, dave.r@usu.edu

Undergraduate Academic Advisors:
Laura Holley, Family Life (FL) 205A, (435) 797-1530, laura.holley@usu.edu
Sarah S. Tulane, Family Life (FL) 220, (435) 797-7479, sarah.tulane@usu.edu, Family Life Studies (online)

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Development and Family Studies, and Master of Science (MS) in Human Development and Family Studies; BS in Family Life Studies (offered online only); Master of Human Development and Family Studies (MHDFS); Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Development and Family Studies

Graduate specializations: MS—Adolescence and Youth, Adult Development and Aging, Infancy, and Childhood, Marriage and Family Relationships, Marriage and Family Therapy

Gerontology Certificate Program: The Gerontology Certificate Program at Utah State University is administered through the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and is open to all majors. Students preparing for careers in the field of aging complete selected aging-related coursework, including a supervised field practicum in a gerontological setting. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for the Gerontology Certificate.

Full Details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes, and evidence of continuous improvement for these programs of study can be found at http://hdfs.usu.edu/about/assessment/assessment-plan

Undergraduate Programs


The Human Development and Family Studies Department offers undergraduate programs in Human Development and Family Studies, and Family Life Studies (online only). Undergraduate emphases: BS, BA in Human Development and Family Studies —Human Development Lifespan, Family and Community Services, Family Finance, Child Development; BS in Family Life Studies — Human Development, Family Relations.

All programs are designed to prepare students for successful careers serving individuals and families across the lifespan. Through coursework and applied experiences, majors study how human development and family relationships affect the individual and family.

Faculty members provide instruction and practicum supervision to prepare students to meet the needs of the people they will serve in their future careers. Students are then qualified to work in agencies and organizations serving individuals from infancy through later life, as well as families and consumers in many settings.

Students majoring in Human Development and Family Studies are required to complete a practicum experience, which is arranged with the department practicum coordinator. Types of practicum sites include state agencies, hospitals, preschools and child care centers, nursing homes, senior citizen centers, parenting programs, detention centers, crisis intervention programs, public schools, Head Start programs, and after-school programs, as well as financial institutions, credit counseling services, and housing services. Practicum experiences in the Child Development emphasis include the Adele and Dale Young Child Development Laboratory setting.

Majors in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and Family Life Studies (FLST) receive the necessary preparation for graduate study in a human development and family studies related field or employment.

In addition to preparation for advanced study or job opportunities, students receive increased knowledge and skills in topics which will enhance their personal and family lives.

Suggested Four-year Plans

Suggested semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward a bachelor’s degree are available in the Human Development and Family Studies Department.

These plans are intended to guide students in the selection of their courses. However, students should meet with their advisor to plan an individualized schedule tailored to their specific interests and needs.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (http://honors.usu.edu/) for more information.

Departmental Honors

Students who would like to experience greater academic depth within their major are encouraged to enroll in departmental honors. Through original, independent work, Honors students enjoy the benefits of close supervision and mentoring, as they work one-on-one with faculty in selected upper-division departmental courses. Honors students also complete a senior thesis, which provides another opportunity to collaborate with faculty on a problem that is significant, both personally and in the student’s discipline. Participating in departmental honors enhances students’ chances for obtaining fellowships and admission to graduate school. The minimum GPA for participation in departmental honors in HDFS is 3.30, with 3.5 in the HDFS major. Students may enter the Honors Program at almost any stage in their academic career until they are junior level. The campus-wide Honors Program offers a rich array of cultural and social activities, special classes, and the benefit of Honors early registration. Interested students should contact the Honors Program, Main 15, (435) 797-2715. Additional information can be found online at honors.usu.edu, or by contacting Yoon Lee (HDFS honors advisor) at yoon.lee@usu.edu or at (435) 797-1555

Additional Information

For more detailed information about the Human Development and Family Studies and Family Life Studies majors, see the current major requirements online or an advisor in the HDFS Advising Center (Family Life 205). 

Financial Support

In addition to the scholarships, assistantships, grants-in-aid, and work-study programs available through the University, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies also give scholarships and other types of support each year. Students should inquire at the Dean’s Office in Education 109, the departmental advising office in Family Life 205, or the Financial Aid Office in Student Center 106.

Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

Students may use either the GRE or MAT for application for all specializations in the MS degree, but the GRE is required for the PhD program. Additional assessment is required for admission to the MS marriage and family therapy specialization. An applicant’s MAT score, or the GRE verbal and quantitative scores, must be at or above the 40th percentile. Applications are expected to be completed by December 15th but may be considered throughout the year, with the exception of applications for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Specialization. MFT applications must be received by December 15th.

Degree Programs

The Human Development and Family Studies Department offers the following graduate programs: Master of Science (MS) in Human Development and Family Studies; Master of Human Development and Family Studies (MHDFS); Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Development and Family Studies. Graduate students receive a strong research and theoretical base in family relationships, and human development. In addition to the core courses required for each of the specializations, students have the opportunity to achieve their program goals with a wide range of other graduate courses in the department, as well as designated courses in related programs at USU. Graduate students also engage in independent study, practica, and other specialized professional experiences that help them to acquire specific skills.

The department provides advanced graduate education and training for students to (1) establish the professional competency necessary for employment in research, teaching, marriage and family therapy, extension, and administration; (2) develop skills necessary for agency administration in the field of family and child care services; (3) receive clinical training in marriage and family therapy; or (4) develop skills for supervisory responsibilities in child development laboratories, childcare facilities, and adolescent programs.

Background Check

Students are required to pass a background check prior to participation in a practicum experience (HDFS 6980  or HDFS 7980 ).


The MS degree has specializations in Adolescence and Youth, Adult Development and Aging, Infancy and Childhood, Marriage and Family Relationships, and Marriage and Family Therapy. Further information may be obtained from the department and by accessing the department’s homepage at http://hdfs.usu.edu.


The department has three major child development laboratories, other research labs, marriage and family therapy facilities, and housing and financial counseling facilities that are available for research and training in the graduate program. The department enjoys a long history of research activities with preschools, public schools, extension programs, and other agencies throughout the state, and has a program of gerontology research.

Recent faculty and graduate student research projects have been funded by the state Office of Child Care and the Office of Juvenile Justice, and by the national Office of Head Start, the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, Child Trends Inc., the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Institutes on Aging, and the Kellogg Foundation, among others.

Financial Assistance

Extensive teaching, research, and extension graduate assistantships are available for applicants for both the MS and PhD degrees. Attractive fellowships are available for strong PhD students with high GPA and high GRE scores. When an applicant’s folder is complete, it is reviewed by the Graduate Admissions and Finance Committee, which makes specific recommendations regarding admission and financial support. Assistantships and fellowships include waivers for out-of-state tuition. Doctoral students can also receive waivers for in-state tuition with a half-time teaching or research assistantship.

Career Opportunities

Recent recipients of advanced degrees have found employment in public schools, academic departments at colleges and universities, research centers, hospitals, Head Start, child care  programs, social services agencies, mental health agencies, private and clinical practice settings, extension services, financial institutions and agencies, and related agencies that teach about, study, or serve individuals, families, and consumers.

Additional Information and Updates

The department publishes a Graduate Student Handbook providing more details about graduate program admission and requirements. This handbook is available online at http://hdfs.usu.edu/programs/graduate/graduate-handbook ​

FACULTY - Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services  

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