Common questions from prospective students
Interested in pursuing a career in human development and family science? Below are some common questions students have asked us.
What type of careers can I pursue with this degree?
Human Development and Family Science graduates pursue careers in education and intervention programs, human services, social service, and mental health agencies, health care settings, human resources, the juvenile justice system, business sectors, government agencies, public policy fields, counseling centers, youth programs, schools, and parent and family services. Many students pursue post-baccalaureate degrees in social work, psychology, medicine, family law, counseling, marriage and family therapy, health care, and education, as well as child and family studies. Entry-level positions are readily available for Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) undergraduates with BS degree in human development and family science.
Can I have a minor or complete a dual or double major?
Yes. You can pursue a minor or several minors, or even double major (e.g., child and family policy studies minor, gerontology minor, mindfulness and contemplative studies minor, sociology, English, communications, psychology, etc.), in addition to your major. With careful and early planning, most minors and double majors can fit into the undergraduate curriculum in four years.
Can I use this program as a pre-health or pre-law major?
Yes. HDFS is a popular major for students interested in pre-med/health and pre-law. Many of our students plan for graduate education in health professions (i.e., medicine, nursing, physician assistance, pharmacy, or dentistry) and law (i.e. family law, elder law, child advocacy). To qualify, students looking toward medical school must meet with the Health Professions Advisory Committee. Our students are able to receive advising assistance from the Pre-Health Profession Advising and Pre-Law Advising Services available at SU.
What kind of classes would I be taking?
You will take liberal arts and elective courses, as well as HDFS program requirements with internationally recognized faculty. Program requirement courses include human development (e.g., development of children, midlife development and gerontology, youth and emerging adulthood, human sexuality), family science (e, g., family development, work and family, parenting, marriage, violence), research, internships, and cross-cultural studies.
Can I study abroad?
Yes. You can take advantage of many student abroad opportunities with over 100 SU programs in 60 countries. Information on study abroad is available at suabroad.syr.edu.
What sorts of graduate programs do students pursue after graduation?
Students who complete the BS degree in Child and Family Studies are prepared for admission to graduate programs in child and family studies, education, medical school, law school, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, psychology, clinical and applied psychology, early childhood education, elementary education, inclusive/special education, social work, marriage and family therapy, child studies, family studies, and other related fields.
What types of hands-on experiences and research do students get involved in?
HDFS students not only learn in the classroom, they also get firsthand experience in the community. Opportunities include a 180-hour community internship requirement and a variety of formal and informal research opportunities within the department and with other research centers. Students can also participate in numerous engagement and leadership opportunities. The Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School, a professionally run inclusive preschool located on campus, also provides exciting opportunities for research, teacher training, and community service.
Can I pursue credentials with this degree?
Yes. In our degree program, there are courses that are linked to credentialed professions like the following. Students are independently responsible for obtaining necessary information about eligibility requirements and are encouraged to contact the advisor as soon as possible to discuss the plan.
- Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS): Work with children and families, primarily in health care settings.
- Family Life Educator Provisional Certification (CFLE): Work with families to strengthen family experiences.
- Child Development Associate Credential (CDA): Work with pre-schoolers in early childhood care and education settings.
- Teaching Certificate: Earn NYSED certification as an early childhood educator through our 4+1 combined bachelor’s/master’s program