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Home Academics Schools Department of Health and Human Sciences Human Development and Family Science Major

Human Development and Family Science Major

Explore the diversity of families and human development

Do you want to work with children, youth or older adults? Be a marriage and family counselor? Teach early childhood education? Teach in a community setting? Explore the world of human development and family sciences at Bridgewater College.

What to Expect

Your degree in human development and family science will prepare you for careers in a variety of human services settings.

Have an impact on issues affecting individuals, families and communities through experiential learning courses.


Coursework for the human development and family science major emphasizes diversity in families throughout the life cycle. Complete coursework in human development across the lifespan, as well as family sciences.

  • Courses focused on human development ranging from child, adolescent and adult development.
  • Family science courses like family resource management, family law & public policy and family life methodology.
  • Courses that could prepare students for a career in marriage and family counseling like interpersonal & marital relationships and parent & child relations.
  • A senior capstone course where students synthesize research in a particular area of family and consumer sciences to complete a research project.

Required Courses Meet the Faculty

CFLE-approved Academic Program - NCFR

Become a Certified Family Life Educator

The Department of Human Development & Family Science is proud to announce that our program has been approved to offer students the opportunity to become a Certified Family Life Educator (or CFLE). The CFLE credential, obtained through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), is a nationally recognized standard in Family Life Education and validates a professional’s experience and knowledge as a Family Life Educator. 


Your degree in human development and family science will prepare you for a variety of careers, including human services settings such as:

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  • Early childhood education
  • Foster care and after-school programs
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Non-profit work
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Retirement and adult care

Learn more about career paths, employment and advancement in the field from the professional organizations listed under Family and Consumer Sciences on the Career and Professional Resources page.

Student smiling during mock interview

Like many BC graduates, you might enter graduate schools such as:

  • College of Charleston
  • Chelsea College of Art & Design
  • University of Delaware
  • Delta State University
  • University of Florida
  • Georgia Southern University
  • James Madison University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland‑Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland‑Eastern Shore
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Shenandoah University
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
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As a human development and family science student, you could intern at:

  • Family Connections Program at Sentara RMH Medical Center
  • Harrisonburg Rockingham Department of Social Services Foster Care
  • Parent Education Program at the Office on Youth
  • Pathway Program for Expelled and Suspended Youth at the Office on Youth
  • People Places of Charlottesville (Therapeutic Foster Care)
  • Sunnyside Retirement Community
Student reading to group of young children

Child development laboratory

BC also offers a child development laboratory, giving you unique opportunities for real-life application of course concepts with 3, 4 and 5 year-old children. The child development laboratory is the only one of its kind in Virginia.

Learn More

If you wish to be licensed to teach family and consumer sciences, you must also be admitted to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (grades 6-12) or the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Donna Hoskins, Assistant Professor