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This highly relevant and contemporary minor is a 15-credit interdisciplinary program designed especially for students who are interested in how individuals develop and how to improve the quality of life for families and communities. You’ll explore the psychological, social, cultural, and biological development of individuals from conception through adulthood and aging, within the contexts of their families, communities, and the broader society.

The minor is an excellent complement to many majors at Mason. And, because it is offered as a collaboration between the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), you’ll have the opportunity to learn from outstanding faculty from both colleges who are dedicated to teaching and involved in cutting-edge research.


Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor and students must complete all coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Banner Code: HDFS

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 15

Core Course

HDFS 200Individual and Family Development (Mason Core)3
HDFS 400Advanced Family Processes (Mason Core)3
Total Credits6


Select at least one course from each of the two component areas (development and diversity) below6
A third elective may be selected from any component or with permission of an HDFS advisor3
Total Credits9

To reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the HDFS minor, two courses must have prefixes from disciplines outside of your major area of study (e.g., for PSYC majors, two courses must come from CEHD prefixes: ATEP, ECED, EDUC, HEAL, PHED; for ECED majors, two courses must come from CHSS prefixes: ANTH, INTS, PSYC, SOCI).


Select at least one from the following:
Developmental Pathways of Diverse Learners, Birth-Adolescence
Human Growth and Development
Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film
Introduction to Childhood Studies (Mason Core)
Contemporary Youth Studies (Mason Core)
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)
Child Development
Adolescent Development
Psychological Factors in Aging
Youth Culture and Society


Select at least one from the following:
ANTH 315
Cultural Competence
Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education
Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)
Interventions for Populations and Communities at Risk
Construction of Differences: Race, Class, and Gender (Mason Core)
Poverty, Wealth and Inequality in the US (Mason Core)
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Social Inequality (Mason Core)