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Human Development and Family Studies - B.S. PDFDownload to print

College of Education, Health and Human Services

School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences

405 White Hall
Tel: 330-672-2294


The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies comprises six concentrations: Case Management for Individuals and Families, Child and Youth Development, Family Life Education, Gerontology, Nursing Home Administration and Human Services Technology.

The Case Management for Individuals and Families concentration provides training in needs assessment and the utilization of available public and private resources. Graduates are eligible for securing positions in a wide array of social service agencies.

The Child and Youth Development concentration prepares students for working with children and adolescents in non-school settings such as residential treatment, group care, community youth services, foster care and after-school programs. Graduates are able to design and deliver developmentally appropriate programs, preparing children and youth for productive adulthood by emphasizing skills and competency development. The curriculum prepares students for provisional national certification as child and youth care professionals.

The Family Life Education concentration prepares graduates to develop and implement family life programs in a variety of education and human service settings. Graduates are eligible to apply to be Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE), a credential granted by the National Council on Family Relations.

The Gerontology concentration prepares graduates for professional positions in the diverse field of aging, including health and wellness, community-based social services, retirement communities, adult-care centers and nursing homes. The curriculum provides students with a solid understanding of typical age-related changes and how these changes affect a person physiologically, psychologically and socially. According to the U.S. Census, 20 percent of the total population will be 65 or older by 2030. Because of the increasing number of older persons and the fact that people are generally living longer, there is a growing need for people to work in the field of aging.

The Nursing Home Administration concentration qualifies students for employment as administrators in long-term care settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and congregate living settings. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the national exam offered through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards and the state exam offered by the Ohio Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) through the Ohio Department of Health. Graduates of the Program perform well on both exams due to the interdisciplinary coursework and high quality practicum sites offered in KSU’s program.

Minors in Human Development and Family Studies, Gerontology and Nonprofit Studies are also offered. These allow students to develop expertise in either lifespan development and family relationships (HDFS), aging (GERO) or nonprofit management (NPST) while completing requirements in their selected major.

Both the four-year concentrations and minors provide strong interdisciplinary knowledge base, research skills and preparation for graduate study in a wide variety of disciplines, such as human development and family studies, sociology, public administration, social work, counseling and gerontology.

The Human Services Technology concentration is for associate degree holders and is offered at the Ashtabula and Salem campuses. This program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in a variety of human service agencies, including child and family welfare agencies, mental health centers, developmental disability facilities, and substance abuse treatment centers.

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections for 2008-2018 include a 47 percent increase in the number of jobs in individual and family services and a 23 percent increase in aging related jobs.

Students graduating with a degree in HDFS are not eligible for social work licensure, but may find employment in social work type jobs. HDFS graduates find employment in a variety of human services setting such as children’s services, early head start, residential youth centers, after-school programs, domestic violence shelters, homeless services, mandatory family support services, retirement communities, nursing homes and many more.


Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the College of Education, Health, and Human Services as freshmen must have been fully admitted to the university. Admission to the college does not guarantee admission to a major and/or admission to professional coursework for a selective admission program.

Students must declare a pre-major in human development and family studies until they have earned minimum 2.500 cumulative GPA in the following courses: ENG 11011, ENG 21011, PSYC 11762, SOC 12050, HDFS 14027, HDFS 24011 and HDFS 24012. A minimum 3.000 cumulative GPA must be earned in the three HDFS courses; HDFS 14027, 24011 and 24012. The purpose of the pre-major in human development and family studies requirement is to ensure that majors have adequate preparation necessary to successfully complete upper-division human development and family studies courses, including a senior-level practicum, which provides students with professional training in the field of human/social services.

General Admission for Transfer Students: Generally, a transfer applicant who has taken 12 or more semester hours with a college cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted. An applicant who has taken fewer than 12 semester hours will be evaluated on both collegiate and high school records. For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for transfer students.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 121 credit hours, minimum 39 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.250 major GPA and 2.000 cumulative GPA.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

There are many Study Abroad/Away Opportunities, for more information contact the Office of Global Education.

Program Fee



The Nursing Home Administration concentration: National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB)