This degree prepares its graduates to use family-centered and strengths-based approaches to support the health and well-being of individuals and families in diverse communities. Graduates will have a strong interdisciplinary foundation in the HDFS field and competencies in 10 areas as established by the National Council on Family Relations, including:

  • internal dynamics of relationships and families
  • human growth and development
  • family-and community-based program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • social policies and laws affecting families
  • family diversity
  • research methodology
  • professional ethics as related to the HDFS field

The HDFS curriculum prepares students to effectively engage with families across the lifespan and in a variety of service settings and professions, from early childhood education and care to family law and policy advocacy. We offer students 5 concentrations, including:

  • child development, education, and services
  • adolescent development and services
  • adult development and aging
  • family health and well-being
  • family research, policy, and advocacy

Our program prepares students to critically analyze complex family issues, advocate for families in schools, communities, and in the policy arena, and address social-structural factors contributing to and influencing family functioning, health, and well-being (e.g., poverty and wealth inequality, immigration and illegalization, family homelessness, incarceration, family violence, and discrimination and structural violence such as racism, nationalism, or heterosexism). Students are required to complete a 6-credit internship and integrate research training with service fieldwork. Such an experience is a critical component of HDFS student development and will further prepare our students for graduate education and diverse careers in the human development and family science field.

The HDFS program is a joint academic degree program sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

Banner Code: E1-BA-HDFS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Mason Core

Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Information Technology and Ethics3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Global Understanding3
Natural Science7
Synthesis3
Total Credits40

Additional Requirements for the BA

One PHIL or one RELI course:3
Social and behavioral sciences course 13
Non-Western culture3
Proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level (coursework or testing to determine proficiency)0-9
Total Credits9-18
1

This requirement is additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement.

Major Requirements

ECED 401Developmental Pathways of Diverse Learners, Birth-Adolescence3
or PSYC 313 Child Development
ECED 404Engaging Families of Diverse Young Learners3
or INTS 321 Parent-Child Relations
HDFS 200Individual and Family Development3
HDFS 250Family Financial Literacy and Resource Management3
HDFS 300Individual and Family Services Delivery3
HDFS 400Advanced Family Processes (Mason Core)3
HDFS 401Family Law and Public Policy 13
HDFS 498Internship and Analysis in Human Development and Family Science3
HDFS 499Advanced Internship Analysis in Human Development and Family Science3
SOCI 303Methods and Logic of Inquiry3
or PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology
Select one from the following:3
Psychological Factors in Aging
Healthy Aging
Sociology of Aging
Total Credits33
1

Fulfills writing intensive requirement.

Concentration in Adolescent Development and Services (ADS)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 115
Socialization Processes: Family, Childhood, Personality in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Family and Health Communication
Delinquency
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
Brain, Behavior, and Neuroimaging in Children
The Neuroscience of Learning and Cognition
Facilitating Literacy in School or Community Settings
The Hospitalized Child and Family
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Introduction to Childhood Studies
Issues in Family Relationships
Contemporary Youth Studies
Social Justice Education
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)
Principles of Learning
Adolescent Development
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Social Control and Freedom
Sociology of Delinquency
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Sociology of Deviance
Youth Culture and Society
Child and Family Welfare
Psychology of Women
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Queer Studies
Total Credits15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Adult Development and Aging (ADA)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 115
Family and Health Communication
Special Topics in Communication
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)
Health Maintenance and Health Aspects of Aging
Health Care Delivery in the United States
Assisted Living/Senior Housing Management and Philosophy
Introduction to Health Services Research
Aging and Health Care Policy
Dimensions of Mental Health
Drugs and Health
Women's Health
Men's Health
Relationship Health
Health Communication
Healthy Aging
Violence and Gender
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Issues in Family Relationships
Women and Leadership
Contemporary Health Issues
Death, Dying, and Decision Making
Psychology of Gender
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Psychological Factors in Aging
Death, Dying, and Grieving
Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Contemporary Gender Relations
Sociology of Aging
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability
Introduction to Gerontology
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies
Women and Work
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Queer Studies
Total Credits15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Child Development, Education, and Services (CDES)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 115
Socialization Processes: Family, Childhood, Personality in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Family and Health Communication
Foundations of Language and Literacy for Diverse Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Learners
Inclusive Curriculum for Young Learners: Planning Instruction and Guidance
Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education
Medical and Developmental Aspects of Disabilities of Diverse Young Learners
Developing Language, Literacy, and Communication of Diverse Infants and Toddlers
Early Intervention for Infants Toddlers with Disabilities: Collaborative Consultative Approaches
Brain, Behavior, and Neuroimaging in Children
The Neuroscience of Learning and Cognition
Facilitating Literacy in School or Community Settings
The Hospitalized Child and Family
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Introduction to Childhood Studies
Issues in Family Relationships
Contemporary Youth Studies
Developmental Motor Patterns
Social Psychology (Mason Core)
Principles of Learning
Cognitive Psychology
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Behavior Disorders of Childhood
Sociology of Delinquency
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Youth Culture and Society
Child and Family Welfare
Total Credits15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Family Health and Well-Being (FHW)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 115
Family and Health Communication
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)
Introduction to Public Health
Health Behavior Theories
Health and Disease
Health Promotion and Education
Social Determinants of Health
Health Care Delivery in the United States
Introduction to Health Services Research
Personal Health
Dimensions of Mental Health
Introduction to Health Behavior (Mason Core)
Drugs and Health
Health Aspects of Human Sexuality
Women's Health
Men's Health
Relationship Health
Health Communication
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Issues in Family Relationships
Contemporary Health Issues
Death, Dying, and Decision Making
Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Death, Dying, and Grieving
Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Social Inequality (Mason Core)
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies
Psychology of Women
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Queer Studies
Total Credits15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Concentration in Family Research, Policy, and Advocacy (FRPA)

Select 15 credits from the following or in consultation with your advisor: 115
Introduction to Law and Society
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
Health Ethics, Leadership, and Advocacy
Public Law and the Judicial Process
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
Social Entrepreneurship
Public Policy Making
Public Policy Analysis
Law and Society
Politics of Race and Gender
Feminist Political Thought
Human Rights
Health Care Delivery in the United States
Healthcare Law
Introduction to Health Care Politics and Policy
Introduction to Health Services Research
Argument and Advocacy
Issues in Family Relationships
Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation
Social Justice and Human Rights
Women and Leadership
Psychology of Gender
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Qualitative Research Methods
Contemporary Gender Relations
Social Inequality (Mason Core)
Changing Social Policies and Systems
Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Introductory Statistics II
Total Credits15
1

Other courses of interest may be approved by the program coordinator.

Electives

Select 14-23 credits of electives14-23
Total Credits14-23