Human Development and Family Studies

Degree requirements

Students in Individual and Family Development


Jobs in family and community services today are many and varied. Because families exist in every culture and every community, the skills held by family service professionals are greatly needed. The environments in which families exist are always changing.

As a result, use of new knowledge and technology must be combined with an ongoing concern for improving the lives of those in the community. As the worldwide population continues to grow, so will the need for family service workers. There will continue to be a need for family services professionals as long as there are people and families. The family and consumer sciences discipline offers a strong knowledge base for family services professionals.

There is a wide range of specializations available to new graduates once they enter the field, including:

  • Adult educator in community programs
  • After-school program director
  • Community-based organization activity coordinator
  • Homeless shelter director
  • Recreational specialist at youth club
  • Health and welfare aid
  • Family life educator
  • Youth program director
  • Senior citizen program director
  • Child-care center director
  • Elder care center director
  • Elderly independent living facilities director
  • Early childhood educator or consultant

The health and wellness of individuals and families is critical to society. The Human Development and Family Studies major will prepare family service professionals to make a difference in the lives of those around them.

Human Development and Family Studies minor

Degree requirements

The Human Development and Family Studies minor can enhance any major field of study. This minor prepares you to serve the needs of people at all stages of life development. Though studying individual and family life stages, you will gain better understanding of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs.

Relationships between family members, work, and culture are explored in the context of Christian values.

Apply to the major or minor

  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for admission to the major.
  • You may apply to the major after successful completion of any three Family and Consumer Sciences courses.
  • Apply online to this major or minor by the first Friday of Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Faculty Contact

Sharleen Kato

Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences; Chair of Human Development and Family Studies; Director of Global Engagement

Phone: 206-281-2197
Office: Lower Moyer Hall B11

Global Engagement Minor

We are all citizens of a global community. The interdisciplinary Global Engagement Minor (GEM) offer the opportunity for all majors to highlight their global awareness. Choose from dozens of courses in four categories that represent the majority of academic disciplines. The GEM includes an international experience, either through study abroad or local global learning.

The Global Engagement Minor (GEM) draws from many disciplines across the University to give students the awareness, knowledge and in some cases, the skills necessary to understand our complex and rapidly changing world. The minor focuses on the practical and theoretical issues arising from cross-cultural encounters both by examining conventional cultural products and also by investigating their broader political and social contexts. It recognizes that there is hardly any aspect of contemporary human existence that is not in some way affected by the increasing global interdependency of humanity. The Global Engagement minor is designed to integrate an international perspective into your education. The GEM can complement any major and most majors include some GEM courses.

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FCS success stories

Our graduates become scientists, designers, counselors, leaders, and educators in the apparel, interiors, and food and nutrition fields. Here are some of their stories.