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As a Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) major at Penn State, you’ll choose between two options: Life Span Human Services or Life Span Developmental Science.

Both options build upon a core set of HDFS courses that address basic individual and family development, research methods, and approaches to individual and family interventions.

Students who pursue the Life Span Developmental Science Option focus on the theory and research process upon which the HDFS field is grounded. A multi-semester research practicum that includes a research paper is an integral component of this option.

Coursework focuses on:

  • Understanding family and developmental theories

  • Learning contemporary methods of generating scientific knowledge about individual and family development


Life Span Human Services Option

Need help? Your HDFS adviser can help you select the option that meets your needs and matches your career goals.