The baccalaureate (4-year) degree in HDFS at DuBois is a multidisciplinary program that examines the development of individuals and families across the life span. It enables students to prepare for professional, managerial, or scientific roles in health and human services professions, in public and nonprofit agencies, and in business and industry, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study. Students obtain a broad background in individual and family development across the life span. Courses emphasize biological, psychological, social/cultural, and economic aspects of development. Through course work and undergraduate internships or research projects, students develop skills relevant to career objectives, such as counseling, human assessment, program planning and evaluation, and research.
This degree focuses on the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge about development and family functioning across the life span for the purposes of enhancing personal and family development. Courses emphasize: (1) understanding the biological, psychological, and social development across the life span, and the structuring and functioning of families; (2) understanding basic theoretical and methodological issues; and (3) the development of applied skills in intervention and evaluation, prevention, and in the formulation of social policy. Students will select one of two options within the degree program: Lifespan Human Services or Developmental Science.
Lifespan Human Services Option
Within the Lifespan Human Services Option an approved internship field experience in a setting that serves children, youth, adults, or the aged is required. Typical employment settings include preschools, daycare centers, hospital programs for children, youth, and families, institutional and community mental health program for individuals and families, programs for abused or neglected children and adolescents, women’s resource centers, human resources programs, employee assistance programs, nursing homes, area agencies on aging and other community settings for older adults, and public welfare and family service agencies. Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include employment in the human services field, or graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, counseling, law, or social work.
Developmental Science Option
The Developmental Science Option places an emphasis on research design, methodology, and data collection, analysis, and presentation. Students in this option will develop and conduct an independent study, receive one-on-one mentorship from a faculty member in the HDFS department, and be encouraged to present their findings at a regional, national, or international conference. The Developmental Science option is designed to introduce students to scholarly activities, such as research facilitation and presentation. Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, counseling, law, or social work or working as a data analyst for human service agencies or other organizations.
An HDFS degree from Penn State DuBois opens the door to countless opportunities within the human services field. You can expect to learn how to work with families, children and youth, adults, and seniors, in all different settings. You will learn to use research, various therapeutic techniques, and hands-on experience within the helping relationship, and make positive changes in the lives of others. With knowledgeable and friendly faculty dedicated to the professional growth of our students, you will receive a personalized educational plan that fits your specific career goals.