Human Development and Family Science

Major Requirements

Major: Human Development & Family Science

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate: 120

University Degree Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of all requirements of the curriculum in which one is enrolled.
  2. Earn a minimum total of 120 credits in approved coursework.  Some academic programs exceed this minimum.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the general education requirements as specified by the university.
  4. A minimum institutional GPA of 2.00 based on work taken at NDSU.
  5. At least 30 credits must be NDSU resident credits.  Resident credits include credits registered and paid for at NDSU.
  6. At least 36 credits presented for graduation must be in courses numbered 300 or higher.
  7. Students presenting transfer credit must meet the NDSU residence credits and the minimum upper level credit. Of the 30 credits earned in residence, a minimum of 15 semester credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above, and 15 semester credits must be in the student’s curricula for their declared major.

For complete information, please refer to the Degree and Graduation Requirements section of this Bulletin.

University General Education Requirements

Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits39

 May be satisfied by completing courses in another General Education category.

 General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable.  Students should carefully review major requirements to determine if specific courses can also satisfy these general education categories.

  •  A list of university approved general education courses and administrative policies are available here.

Major Requirements

Human Development & Family Science Core Requirements
CSCI 114Computer Applications3
or TL 116 Business Software Applications
Select one of the following: 3
Business and Professional Writing
Writing in the Health Professions
Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
HDFS 230Life Span Development3
HDFS 242Couples, Marriages and Families3
HDFS 250Introduction to Research Methods in Human Development and Family Sciences3
HDFS 275Diversity and Multiculturalism in Individual and Family Life3
HDFS 353Children, Families and Public Policy3
HDFS 389Pre-Field Experience2
HDFS 390Career Development1
HDFS 496Field Experience 13
PSYC 111Introduction to Psychology3
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
STAT 330Introductory Statistics3
Option Selection
Select one option from the three listed below: Adult Development & Aging; Child & Adolescent Development; Family Science21
Minor Plan of Study
A minor plan of study is required outside of the HDFS department for all options.16
Total Credits73

Adult Development and Aging Option

HDFS 357Personal and Family Finance3
HDFS 360Adult Development and Aging3
HDFS 480Community Resources of Later Life3
HDFS 482Family Dynamics of Aging3
HDFS 300-400 LevelMajor Electives (can include up to 3 credits of HDFS 496 or HDFS 491)9
Total Credits21

Child and Adolescent Development Option

HDFS 320Prenatal, Infant and Toddler Development3
HDFS 330Child Development3
HDFS 340Adolescent Development3
Select one of the following:3
Observation and Assessment of Children
Best Practices, Play and Activities from Birth through Adolescence
HDFS 300-400 LevelMajor Electives (can include up to 3 credits of HDFS 496 or HDFS 491)9
Total Credits21

Family Science Option

HDFS 341Parent-Child Relations3
HDFS 357Personal and Family Finance3
HDFS 448Issues In Sexuality3
HDFS 462Methods of Family Life Education3
HDFS 300-400 LevelMajor Electives (can include up to 3 credits of HDFS 496 or HDFS 491)9
Total Credits21

In the semester prior to taking field experience credits, students are required to take HDFS 389 Pre-Field Experience. Note: HDFS 491 Senior Thesis may be completed as elective.

Degree Requirements and Notes

  • A grade of C or better is required for all HDFS courses, regardless of whether they are used for the major core, major electives, general education, or free electives.
  • A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required in major courses for graduation.
  • Courses taken Pass/Fail will not be used to satisfy any requirement other than total credits.

Accelerated Program in HDFS

  • A combined/accelerated program will allow high-achieving students to complete both a bachelor's and master's degree in HDFS in five years.
  • Only students with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and who have completed at least 60 credits are eligible to apply.  Interested students should speak with an HDFS advisor about how to proceed.
  • 15 credits at the master's level may be used to meet the requirements for a bachelor's degree.
  • The programs will map as follows:
    • BS-HDFS program with an option in Adult Development and Aging may enter the master's option Gerontology.
    • BS-HDFS program with an option in Child and Adolescent Development may enter the master's option in Youth Development.
    • BS-HDFS program with an option in Family Science may enter the master's option in Family Financial Planning

Minor Requirements

Minor: Human Development & Family Science

Required Credits: 18

Required Courses
HDFS 230Life Span Development3
HDFS 242Couples, Marriages and Families3
Elective Courses 1, 2
HDFSAny Level Elective12
Total Credits18

No more than 3 credits may be a field experience, practicum, or student teaching.


Note that HDFS 250 or an approved equivalent in another department is a required co-requisite or pre-requisite for all 300-400 level HDFS courses. HDFS 250 may be counted as an HDFS elective course for the minor.

Minor Requirements and Notes

  • A minimum of 8 credits must be taken at NDSU.