Skip to main content

B.S. in Human Development & Family Science

Do you have a passion for working with children, families and adults to help them grow throughout the different stages of life?

Georgia Southern University’s Human Development & Family Science degree program takes a family-oriented approach to lifespan development. Designed to provide a strong background in the social and behavioral sciences related to child development, family development and the administration of programs for children and families. The Human Development & Family Science major gives you the tools you need to make an immediate and profound difference in the lives of others. A minor in Human Development & Family Science is also available if your major is in another discipline.

Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Science
: In person or online- see below
Credit Hours: 124

Program Highlights:

  • Ranked #1 in Southern Georgia and #2 in Georgia for Human Development Studies.
  • Ranked #2 Public Georgia School in Family, Consumer & Human Sciences

Georgia Southern’s curriculum consists of the study of child development from conception through adolescence, family development and economics, families in later life, parenting, administration of programs for children and families, and assessment of children and families. Our courses focus on all age groups, including: prenatal, infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, school age, adolescence, and adulthood.

The major requires 124 credit hours of work. Students can expect career outcomes including work in business and community services, teaching preschool, and working in child and family care services.

Georgia Southern also offers students hands-on learning at the Georgia Southern University Child Development Center. The center houses observation areas and laboratory facilities—which offers our students real world experiences and uniquely prepares them for their future careers.

Ready to Apply?


Or, you can:

Careers in Human Development & Family Science

Over 75 percent of our graduates have jobs waiting for them. With a major in Human Development & Family Science, you can begin a career that will allow you to make an immediate and profound difference in others’ lives, such as:

  • Adoption and foster care agencies
  • Assisted Living Activity Coordinators
  • Crisis and Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Preschool teacher
  • Parent educator
  • Youth development specialist

Recent graduates secured jobs at:

  • Boys & Girls club
  • Children’s homes
  • Children’s hospitals
  • Early intervention
  • Faith based children’s or youth ministries
  • Family and child casework
  • Juvenile services
  • Long-term care and assisted living facilities
  • Mental health organizations
  • Pre-K teachers; GA Department of Early Care & Learning (DECAL)
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Resource & referral agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Summer camps
  • Volunteer services coordinator
  • YMCA

Human Development & Family Science majors can choose among a variety of career pathways:

Family Services Career Pathway

Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus or Online
Credit Hours: 124

Currently offered on the Statesboro Campus and Fully Online, the Family Services pathway addresses issues that individuals, families and communities face across the lifespan, with a focus on empowerment and reinforcing existing strengths. The goal of this program is to prepare you for employment in a variety of settings, such as social work, legal and public policy, case management or direct service.

Learn more about the Family Services Pathway

Family Services Internship Opportunities

  • Social work agencies (adoption and foster care)
  • Parent educator
  • Crisis centers
  • Cooperative Extension
  • Assisted living centers

Child Development Career Pathway

Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 124

The Child Development career pathways prepares you to work professionally in diverse settings with young children — infants, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners — and their families to promote child and youth development. The Child Development curriculum focuses on putting developmental theory into practice and promoting optimal development of all young children including those with special needs in inclusive settings.

Learn more about the Child Development Pathway
Child Development Video

Child Development Internship Opportunities

  • Early intervention programs working with children with disabilities
  • After school/camp youth development programs
  • Child development centers
  • Childcare centers
  • Preschools
  • Head Start
  • 4-H programs

Get Hands-On Experience in Georgia Southern’s On-site Child Development Center

Georgia Southern offers you hands-on learning opportunities at the Georgia Southern University Child Development Center located on the Statesboro Campus. The center houses observation areas and laboratory facilities that offer you real world experiences working directly with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years to prepare you for your future career.

Accelerated Bachelors to Masters (ABM) Program

Students majoring in Human Development and Family Science may apply to the Accelerated Bachelors to Masters (ABM) program. The ABM program provides students with the opportunity to apply up to 12-credit hours of Master of Public Administration (MPA) coursework towards both their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Learn more about the ABM Program

The MPA is a professional graduate degree designed for management and administration within the public sector and nonprofit organizations. The MPA degree provides you with focused training to work in a leadership role, helping you master a broad set of skills including budgeting and finance, economic analysis, human resource management, policy analysis, information technology, resource development and grant writing, program evaluation and board governance.

Students interested in pursuing the ABM program should speak to their undergraduate advisor and/or HDFS faculty member, as well as the MPA program director prior to submitting an application.

MPA-ABM with Human Development and Family Science B.S.

Degree Requirements: 39 Credit Hours

The MPA-ABM with Human Development and Family Science B.S. is designed to allow students to enter the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program after completing 75 credit hours.  Students admitted into the MPA-ABM program may take up to 12 graduate credit hours within the undergraduate Human Development and Family Science degree program that will count toward the MPA.  There must be a minimum of 150 unique credit hours between the two programs.

Admission Requirements

 Students may be accepted into the MPA-ABM program if all of the criteria are met:

  1. Student must have earned a minimum of 75 credit hours and have completed an application for admission to the MPA-ABM program.
  2. Student must be a declared major in the Human Development and Family Science B.S.
  3. Student must have a minimum GPA of 3.25.
  4. Student must meet all of the other criteria for Regular Admission into the MPA program.  Provisional Admission will not be allowed.

Program of Study

Students in the MPA-ABM should take the following courses, preferably beginning with six credit hours during the spring semester of their junior year.  A total of nine credit hours will fall within the “Guided Major Electives” block of the Human Development and Family Science degree program.  Additionally, students will utilize either a free elective slot or elect to complete a nine (instead of 12) credit hour internship to account for the remaining three graduate credit hours.  Students should work with their academic advisor to determine the most appropriate pathway.

Course NameCredit Hours
PBAD 7130 Ethics for Public Service Organizations3
PBAD 7230 Budgeting in Public Service Organizations3
PBAD 7530 Research Methods for Public Service Organizations3
PBAD 7631 Foundations of Public Administration3
12 Hours

Students may declare a Minor in Public Administration and fulfill the minor requirements by completing an additional PBAD/NMLI course in the minor program.  The MPA-ABM courses substitute for courses in the minor program as follows:  PBAD 7130 for PBAD 4232, PBAD 7230 for PBAD 3431, PBAD 7530 for PBAD 4235, and PBAD 7631 for PBAD 2231.

Are you an HDFS student interested in pursuing the MPA-ABM?
Email our faculty directly:

Dr. Jennifer Zorovotich

Human Development & Family Science Minor

Some students may prefer to major in a different degree program, but minor in Human Development and Family Science. Our minor program includes the Area F courses:

  • Introduction to Family Science (HDFS 1131)
  • Child Development (HDFS 2135)

Additionally, students select three 3000 or 4000 level HDFS courses from the approved minor list.

Student Resources


Betty Lane Family and Consumer Science Scholarship

In 1949, Betty Lane graduated from Georgia College and State University. Lane then obtained two more degrees from the University of Georgia and Florida State University, finally earning her doctorate. Lane joined the Georgia Southern family in 1958 as an assistant professor and devoted herself to the university. She retired in 1986 as the chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in 1986. Nearly thirty-five years after her retirement, Dr. Lane still stays active on campus and is an avid supporter of student activities and scholarships. This scholarship in her honor is available to students majoring in Child and Family Development, Interior Design, or Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design.

Susie Frances Whitener Educational Scholarship

In 2012, Thomas and Jane Hamilton established a scholarship in memorial of Jane’s mother, Susie Francis Whitener. Whitener was a North Carolina native who had a passion for education and went on to obtain degrees from both Appalachian State Teachers College and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. During her career, Whitener held positions at Rutherfordton-Spindale High School in North Carolina, Mississippi State College for Women, Appalachian State Teachers College, Florida State University, and Georgia Southern College. Upon retirement, she was honored with the title of assistant professor emerita of Child Development at Georgia Southern College. This scholarship is available to students pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences.


Human Development & Family Science majors are encouraged to complete a capstone professional development opportunity in the form of a full-time professional internship. The internship typically occurs during the semester following completion of all coursework. Students are jointly supervised by a faculty internship supervisor and an experienced on-site supervisor at the internship location.

Available Internship Highlight

Camp Wheel-A-Way is held at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder, GA.

This camp is directly affiliated with The Kyle Pease Foundation- an organization that promotes inclusion through endurance sports. This camp is a vehicle for us to provide an adaptive camp experience filled with growth and fun to those ages 6-30 who have cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. We are looking to fill volunteer positions for this camp so we wanted to reach out to you in hopes that you would share this information with your colleagues and/or students. This is a great opportunity for students who are looking for experience with a medically fragile population. It will be held at Camp Twin Lakes’ “Camp WIll-A-Way” location in Winder, Georgia. As a volunteer, counselors will stay in the cabins with the campers and are expected to stay on camp for the duration of the weekend. Housing and meals are provided at camp!

The dates are March 22-24. The deadline to apply is March 1st, 2024. I have attached both the camp flyer as well as the application link below. If you or anyone else have any questions, please feel free to contact us at this email:

Camp Wheel-A-Way March 22, Register with QR code, text in main body

Current Job Options

Recent Internship Locations

Recent Internship Locations

  • Sallie Zetterower Elementary School – Public PreK
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire
  • Choices of the Heart
  • Make A Wish Georgia
  • Division of Family and Child Services – Chatham County
  • Frazer Center Child Development Program
  • The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development
  • Omega Elementary School – Public PreK
  • Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer
  • Giving Children A Chance of Georgia [GCAC]
  • Aurora Day Camp- Sunrise Association
  • Calvary Day School – School Counselor Office
  • Child Development Center at Georgia Southern University
  • Circle of Hope
  • St. Joseph’s Candler Hospital Social Work Acute Rehab & Transitional Care Units
  • The Lodge at Bethany – Resident Engagement
  • Camp Kudzu
  • Igniting Hope Georgia
  • Greene/Morgan County Department of Family and Children Services
  • Bulloch County Department of Family and Children Services
  • Jay’s Hope Foundation
  • Child Advocacy Services SEGA
  • Connection Church Statesboro GA
  • Hand in Hand International adoption agency
  • The Alzheimer’s Association – Georgia Chapter
  • The Sunshine House, CAC
  • Kate’s Club
  • The Family Center Nashville TN
  • Ruth Byck Adult Day Care Center
  • Southern Manor Senior Living
  • The Living Vine Christian Maternity Home
  • Savannah/Chatham CASA
  • The Teal House
  • Union Mission
  • United Way Effingham
  • Stepping Stone Child Advocacy and Sexual Assault Center [Dublin, GA]
  • Willow Pond Senior Care
  • Georgia Division of Aging Services
  • Ronald McDonald House of Columbia
  • Southeast Bulloch High School – Public PreK Classroom
  • St Andrews Montessori School
  • The Institute of Human Services (Honolulu, HI)
  • KinderCare
  • Deliver the Dream (Florida)
  • Camp Twin Lakes [Rutledge, GA]
  • Regancy Southern Care Hospice
  • Splash in the Boro – Youth & Family Programming
  • St. Joe Hospitality Resort – Children’s Programming (Florida)
  • The Suzuki School at Ponce City Market
  • Hospice Care Options [Macon, GA]
  • Bryan County Cooperative Extension Office – 4-H Programming
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Georgia- Macon, Ga
  • Angel Eyes Supervised Visitation
  • Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc.
  • Telfair County Elementary School – School Counselor’s Office
  • Hearts and Hands Clinic
  • Chicago Autism and Behavioral Specialists [CABS] Savannah, GA
  • Douglas County Task Force
  • Family Promise of the Coastal Empire
  • Coastal Georgia Babies Can’t Wait
  • Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County
  • Spectrum Behavioral Associates Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic and Center for Social Skills Development [Acworth, GA]
  • The NASCAR Foundation, Daytona Beach, FL
  • Bulloch County Cooperative Extension – 4-H Programs
  • Mattie Lively Elementary Preschool Intervention Program – Autism Classroom
  • Gwinnett County Juvenile Courts
  • Bulloch County Board of Ed – Parent Liaisons Office
  • Clayton County Cooperative Extension – FACS Programming
  • Safe Haven
  • ACLU Ga
  • Extra Special People [Watkinsville, GA]
  • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
  • Camp Sunshine
  • Day League (DeKalb Rape Crisis Center)
  • Rincon Elementary – Preschool Intervention Program
  • Tattnall County Cooperative Extension/4-H
  • Rincon Elementary School
  • Ochsner Hospital for Children
  • Hospice Savannah/ Full Circle
  • Light Of Hope ABA
  • CURE Childhood Cancer
  • Southern Crescent Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center
  • Bethany Christian Services – Columbus
  • Impact Counseling & Consulting [Conyers, GA]
  • Village Autism – Tucker, GA
  • Make-A-Wish-Savannah
  • Camp RAD
  • Severns Valley Baptist Church [TN]
  • Action Pact- Reidsville, GA
  • The Lily Pad SANE Center [Albany, GA]
  • CASA SOWEGA [Cordele, GA]
General Resources

Recent News

For more news, see our School News Page

Do You Have Questions? Contact Us!

Beth Myers

IAB Building Office 3057
Phone: 912-478-6996

Follow Us

Related Programs

Last updated: 2/8/2024