Why Study Human Development and Family Studies?
The Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) field offers its professionals a chance to work with a variety of all age clients and their families in different service settings. The HDFS courses prepare you for future work with members of families, helping them through systems and enhancing their relationships through experiential learning in the community while providing a foundation of knowledge for your career.
If you’d like to work in a field where you get to help families in the community, then HDFS is the field for you!
Why choose Purdue Northwest?
The HDFS Degree at PNW has 2 options to choose from:
- Early Childhood Specialization: for those students who want to learn about and work with children, ages 0-8 & their families.
- Individual and Family Services: for those students who want to learn about and work with adolescents, adults or in all-age fields/settings along with their families.
Regardless which specialization you choose, you will receive theoretical knowledge of human development throughout the entire lifespan.
HDFS majors also sign up for Field Experiences and Practicums so students can have experiences in the community working with families. We also have research opportunities for majors, working alongside HDFS Faculty members. The HDFS Student Group also offers students a chance to network and complete service projects for families in the community.
Dr. Megan Murphy
Professor, Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program
Dr. Megan Murphy led a discussion during the Spring Semester of 2017 with Graduate and Undergraduate PNW students at the Hammond campus after the screening of “None of Us are Free Until All of Us are Free”, an NFCR plenary given by Alicia Garza co-founder of Black Lives Matter. The discussion focused not only on the material in the screening but participants reflected upon their own lives and how they are affected by racial matters, prejudice and bias. This discussion is part of a Diversity Series being offered by the HDFS Faculty.
Popular careers with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies include:
- Case Worker
- Child Care Worker
- Early Childhood Teacher
- Early Intervention Specialist
- Special Needs Center Specialist
- Developmental Specialist
- Youth Worker
- Assisted Living/Nursing Home Social Activity Director
- Family/Parent Educator
You Might Also Be Interested In:
Where do our alums work?
- Early Childhood Classrooms
- Child Protective Services
- Family Service Centers
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment Programs
- Special Needs Services
- Human Service Agencies
- Shelters for Families
- Mental Health Services
- Retirement Communities
- Assisted Living & Nursing Homes
- A completed online application
- Three letters of recommendation. All of those letters must be from professional references (e.g., past or current employers, volunteer work supervisors, college or university faculty instructors or internship supervisors). The people who will provide references may complete them online as part of your electronic application materials or they may fill out the recommendation forms (see instructions on how to apply for link) and send them directly back to: HDFS MS, Department of Behavioral Sciences, 2200 169th Street, Hammond, IN 46323-2094.
- Two official transcripts from all previous college and university course work you have completed sent directly to: HDFS MS, Department of Behavioral Sciences, 2200 169th Street, Hammond, IN. 46323-2094.
- A written statement of purpose (approximately 500 words) that addresses the following:
- Why are you interested in this program?
- In what ways have your experiences prepared you for graduate study in HDFS?
- What are your long-term career/academic goals?
- How do you think this degree will assist you in obtaining these goals?
- Common Core (27 credit hours)
- 9 credit hours of Electives Courses
HDFS Student Group
The purpose of the HDFS Student Group is to promote the field/major of Human Development & Family Studies, network with other students while providing ideas for professional opportunities/expansion/development, working on service projects to aid the community & partnering with other student groups and organizations.
Interested in joining? Please contact Patty Rodda, Faculty Advisor at email@example.com
There are many research opportunities and topics for Human Development and Family Studies Undergraduate students to explore here at PNW. Please contact Dr. Su-Jeong Wee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in research or have any questions.
- Working with Parents
- Intro to Human Development
- Intro to Early Childhood
- Sexuality & Intimacy in Family Life
- Planning Time and Money in Families