Human Development & Family Sciences - University of Houston
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The University of Houston's Human Development & Family Sciences program provides a broad study of the intellectual, emotional, social and moral development of individuals and families. The curriculum focuses on contemporary families, parent education and early childhood education, among many other topics, and prepares graduates for such careers as Elementary School or Special Education Teacher, Human Services Administrator or Day Care Director.

About the Program

A bachelor degree in Human Development & Family Sciences (HDFS) provides a broadly based study of the intellectual, emotional, social, and moral development of individuals and families. HDFS graduates who earn a Bachelor of Art or Science have a variety of opportunities available to them. Many students go on to graduate school in the fields of Social Work, Psychology, Education, Medicine, and Law.

The HDFS curriculum fouses on:

  • Contemporary Families
  • Different periods of lifespan
  • Parent education
  • Delivery of human services
  • Early childhood education

The program includes coursework, a practicum and an internship. To view the most updated degree plan for this program please visit the Office of the Provost's Academic Map webpage. Select the red button (Select a College for Academic Maps) and select "Education." The HDFS degree plans will be under "Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences."

It typically takes students 4 years to complete this program if enrolled full-time (12 hours per semester).

Please see an HDFS Undergraduate Advisor for more information or apply for this major.

Graduates may pursue the following careers:

  • Elementary School or Special Education Teacher (through the UH Teacher Education Program)
  • Early Childhood Intervention Specialist
  • Human Services Administrator
  • Employment in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Day Care Director
  • Graduate School

Graduates may puruse the following certificates:

  • Students may also choose to take courses to prepare them for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certificate which prepares students to manage nonprofit organizations.
  • Undergraduates in the program can prepare to take the Early Childhood (EC) - 6th grade generalist teacher certification in the State of Texas through the UH Teacher Education Program

The following is a list of current HDFS faculty:

Dr. Toya Conston

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Dr. Julie Dunsmore

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Dr. Leslie A. Frankel

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Dr. Elizabeth Jelsma

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Dr. Erica Jordan

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Dr. Allison Master

Human Development & Family Sciences

Faculty Profile | Email

Financial Aid

All Human Development & Family Sciences program students are encouraged to apply for scholarships through UH and the UH College of Education. To learn more about the types of financial aid available to undergraduate students, visit the COE's Financial Aid and Scholarship page.

Application Process Overview

The following is an overview of the application process. For full instruction, visit the COE's Financial Aid and Scholarship page.

Step 1: Review

Review the list of scholarships  to familiarize yourself with the GPA requirements, areas of specialization and other criteria.

Step 2: Prepare

Prepare the following materials:

  1. A written narrative that tells reviewers what makes you a strong candidate for a COE scholarship. Be sure to take each scholarship's criteria into account as you write your essay.
  2. You will need to provide two professional references. If you're a current College of Education student, you'll need at least one COE faculty member. Please ensure you have each person's permission to list them as a reference.
  3. A professional resume.
  4. An unofficial transcript (You can download an unofficial transcript at  MyUH.
  5. Review each scholarship's criteria to learn about any additional required documents.

Step 3: Submit require documents via the online application system

NOTE: The application system is currently closed.

All application questions must be completed and all required documents must be submitted for the application to be considered complete.

To learn more about funding your education, contact the COE's Office of Undergraduate Studies at or call 713-743-5000.

Houston, Texas

Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and one of the nation's most diverse cities. This fact benefits our students and faculty both personally and professionally. Home to more than 100 different nationalities and where more than 60 different languages are spoken, Houston is the perfect environment to practice what you're learning in the classroom. The city also boasts more than 12,000 theater seats and 11,000 diverse restaurants featuring cuisines from around the globe (Don't know where to start? Just ask a Houstonian, and they're sure to bombard you with at least a dozen places to eat.) 

Houston is bustling with culture, energy and offers something for everyone inside and outside the classroom.

(Background photo: “Metropolis” by eflon is licensed under CC BY 2.0.)

Ready to Apply?

Are you ready to apply to the University of Houston Human Development & Family Sciences program? Yes? You can learn more about the application process by visiting the College of Education's Undergraduate Admissions page.

We recommend students speak with an advisor to discuss their plans. Student can visit the COE's Advisor page to learn more or go directly to the Navigate app to schedule an appointment.

If you need more information about the program, we are here to help. You can always contact the COE Office of Undergraduate Studies by phone at 713-743-5000 or by email.

Farish Hall

Contact Us

The Human Development & Family Sciences program is a member of UH's Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences department.

Program Director: Dr. Julie Dunsmore

UH College of Education
Stephen Power Farish Hall
3657 Cullen Blvd., Room 491
Houston, TX 77204-5023

Undergraduate: or 713-743-5000
Graduate: or 713-743-7676
General: or 713-743-5010

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