2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jan 20, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Development and Family Science, BS

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Eunjoo Jung, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Program Director, 144 H White Hall, 315-443-5778, ejung@syr.edu


Colleen Baish Cameron, D. Bruce Carter, Joseph P. Fanelli, Eunjoo Jung, Irene Kehres, Ambika Krishnakumar, Teresa MacDonald, Matthew Mulvaney, Kamala Ramadoss, Rachel Razza, Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, Merril Silverstein


Chandice Haste-Jackson, Internship Coordinator
Arlene Johnston, Office Coordinator
Kathy Rainone, Administrative Assistant


The Department of Human Development and Family Science is an interdisciplinary program that draws from the areas of psychology, sociology, and education. We focus on children’s, youth, and families’ well-being in the context of everyday life. Specifically, Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) concentrates on individuals’ social, emotional, and behavioral development in “real world” settings (e.g., families, schools, work, and hospitals) within the United States and internationally. HDFS graduates are prepared to pursue careers working with children and families in a variety of areas including education, social service, health services, counseling programs, child and youth programs, schools, parent and family services. HDFS provides numerous opportunities for diverse career paths and advanced degree options, and is a popular major for students interested in a pre-med or pre-health major.

Students enrolled in the B.S. in Human Development and Family Science not only learn in the classroom, they receive first-hand experience in the community as well. Students complete a 180-hour community practicum that allows them to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real life settings. As a result, students have a comprehensive understanding of children and families in theory and in practice.

The 124 credit B.S. degree program provides students with a broad foundation covering a range of issues focusing on the healthy development of children and families. In addition to liberal arts courses, students are expected to complete 15 credits of Program Requirements and 18-24 credits in a specialty track (decided on in the second semester of the sophomore year). Each track prepares students to work in specific settings:

  • Child Development students focus on development of typical and atypical children during childhood, their education, and service needs in other areas.
  • Youth and Family Development students learn to work in a variety of settings that focus on youth and family needs including social services, health, mental health and juvenile justice programs, counseling centers, parenting programs, recreation and athletic programs, afterschool programs and schools.
  • Child Life Specialist prepares students to help children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events. Providing emotional support for families, Child Life Specialists encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenges particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Additional requirements must be met to become Certified as a Child Life Specialist as designated by the Child Life Council. Please visit http://www.childlife.org/Certification/Getting%20Certified/index.cfm for information concerning additional requirements to become certified as a Child Life Specialist.

Intra-University Transfers

Human Development & Family Science (HDFS) accepts intra-university transfers into the Department on a rolling basis. Applicants outside of the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics (Falk College) who are making satisfactory progress and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above will be considered for admission to the HDFS Department. Applicants inside the Falk College who are making satisfactory progress and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above will be considered for admission to the HDFS Department.

To apply for the Intra-University Transfer, students must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Syracuse University.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain, discuss, and analyze principles of human development in families from diverse populations

2. Analyze and explain how research is utilized to understand human development and family processes across settings

3. Critically evaluate and assess practices across settings

4. Demonstrate competence in working ethically with persons across life span in diverse settings

College Requirements (1 credit)

Natural Science and Mathematics

Social Sciences (12 credits)

Humanities (12 credits)

Specialized Tracks

In the second semester of the sophomore year, students must choose one of the following specialized tracks:

Ethics Requirement

Students must complete an approved ethic course (3 credits) chosen from the following list of courses: PHI 191  OR PHI 192   OR HTW 415  .These course may be applied as a humanities (PHI 191 or PHI 192) or a general elective (HTW 415)

Electives to Reach 124 Degree Applicable Credits

Early Childhood Education Master’s Degree 4+1

Students who wish to be certified as early childhood educators (have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood special education (ECSE). After completing the child and family studies degree, qualified students may apply for graduate study in the School of Education at Syracuse University. Students enrolled in this degree program will receive a 25 percent reduction in their graduate tuition. Students desiring to pursue this option complete these specific liberal arts requirements:

  • two appropriate courses in college-level mathematics two sciences with laboratories (physical sciences recommended);
  • one humanities course that is not arts-related or history
  • one social science course that is not psychology or history
  • at least one class in history (which may count toward fulfilling liberal arts core requirements in the social sciences or humanities, depending on the course); and
  • an art history course (e.g. HOA or HOM course that would also meet a humanities requirement).

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) graduate program requires that undergraduate writing, mathematics, and laboratory sciences courses have grades averaging no less than a B- with no grade below a C. Other liberal arts course grades should be C or better.  Students are required to demonstrate competency in a foreign language either by successfully completing the first year of college study in a language (e.g. 101 at Syracuse University) or by providing official documentation of successful completion of Level III of foreign language in high school. Interested undergraduate students should contact the School of Education about taking  other courses that might help reduce the number of graduate credits for the program. 

Interested students should work closely with their academic advisors to meet these requirements.

Total Credits: 124

Degree Awarded: BS

SU Abroad

The College, in cooperation with the Syracuse University Abroad (SU Abroad), strongly encourages students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Study abroad options include semester, summer, and short-stay programs.

SU Abroad offers students the opportunity to participate in a program of study abroad in Santiago, Chile; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Strasbourg, France; Florence, Italy; Hong Kong, China; or Beijing, China. Syracuse University also builds strong overseas affiliations and partnerships, allowing students to be placed directly at other centers and universities.

No prior knowledge of a foreign language is required, with the exception of the Chile program, and students may choose from a variety of courses to fulfill requirements or elective credits for their program of study in the College. It is essential that students begin planning early for study abroad and work closely with their academic advisors.

For further information, contact the Office of Student Services in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics 300 MacNaughton Hall, 315-443-3144, or Syracuse University Abroad, 106 Walnut Place, 315-443-3471.

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