Undergraduate Programs in Human Development and Family Science

  • A little girl runs through the grass while playing.

    Shape the Future by Improving the Lives of Children, Youth, and Families

    Developmentally appropriate practices are key to helping children navigate the profound experience of maturing into a stable adult. Your mastery of these techniques will prepare you for a profession that provides ample career choices and plenty of personal growth.

    Only Program of Its Kind in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

    Our Human Development and Family Science, BS degree is the only one of its kind in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Its comprehensive curriculum will train you for a wide range of positions that address all aspects of child and family life, from early intervention to counseling at-risk adolescents. You can become an instructor in adult educational programs, a family caseworker, or a child life specialist. Community service agencies on the local, state, and national levels need your skills and dedication.

    Why Human Development and Family Science?

    The challenges of promoting mental and physical stability in family life are invigorating and fulfilling. Since advocates for children of all ages strive to create a safe and healthy future, your success in this field will have a major impact on evolving families and communities.

    You can specialize your degree by choosing one of three tracks:

    • Family Specialist
    • Infant/Toddler Mental Health
    • Family Life

    The World Needs Human Development and Family Science Majors

    Healthy, stable children and families are the foundation of society. When you assist the emotional, physical and cognitive development of young people, you are helping the world grow in positive ways. With your degree, you can guide children, adolescents, and their families through pivotal times so that they will enjoy a prosperous, fulfilling future.

    Outcomes with a Degree in Human Development and Family Science

    IUP’s curriculum is designed to give you broad knowledge of human development. You will be equipped to address a full gamut of child-related issues ranging from prenatal conditions to adolescent behavior. Your grasp of various family issues will also add depth to your credentials and to the breadth of your professional opportunities. 

    The course work is excellent preparation if you wish to eventually become a child psychologist, social worker, family therapist, or guidance counselor. 

    Your path to a master’s degree in early childhood education begins with this one-of-a-kind undergraduate program. Developmentally appropriate practices will be yours to explore as you learn about the physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional stages children experience. Real-life activities in IUP’s accredited child development lab will buoy your theoretical knowledge.

    The IUP Difference 

    Pennsylvania Child Care Director’s Certificate. If your goal is to become a director of a child care center, this degree is the perfect preparation. After you complete your coursework and have one year of experience in a child care center, you may apply for your PA Child Care Director’s Certificate (documenting your work and your education).

    Child Development Lab. Our child development lab is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). You will have the opportunity to work with children from infancy to age five.

    Comprehensive Preparation. Your degree leads you to many career possibilities because it trains you for a spectrum of family services, starting with prenatal and infant care, and continuing through early intervention and at-risk adolescent counseling. A strong focus on the family is integrated into coursework. It is also the only program of its kind in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

    Foundational Training. This program is ideal preparation if you wish to eventually become a child psychologist, social worker, family therapist, or guidance counselor. You may also start here if your goal to advance to a masters degree in early childhood development.