B.S. Degree in Human Development and Family Studies


Do you enjoy working with people? Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives? Do you desire to help troubled adolescents? Have you considered advocating for children, families and individual rights? Have you considered nurturing children in a variety of settings? Perhaps you would like to solve conflicts within families or work with the elderly. Students in the Human Development and Family Studies program are prepared to work with a variety of populations and issues.

The program content draws from a variety of disciplines and gives you the background and experience to apply for a number of positions. Along with the professional core of courses, you may select a certification or specialization that broadens your knowledge of the field, one of the minors offered by the university, or you may also work with faculty to design your own concentration. A practicum allows you to work in an array of agencies, organizations, and businesses. Graduates are prepared for employment or advanced degrees in human services work, counseling, businesses or a school.

Preparing for UW-Stout

If you are planning to enroll in the Human Development and Family Studies program, a college preparatory background is recommended. Nothing substitutes for good communication skills. Courses in child development and family studies are helpful. Volunteer experiences are valuable opportunities to gain understanding of yourself and others.

Starting Out

Your college career begins with general education courses and a few courses in your program. General education courses include English composition, speech, sociology, and psychology. The program courses most frequently taken first deal with child development and family studies. The program director and advisers provide up-to-date advice about courses and careers. Help is also available through the Advisement Center, Career Services, and the Counseling Center.

As You Progress

UW-Stout’s multidisciplinary approach to education provides a broad perspective as well as specialized knowledge that strengthens your understanding of people and develops your creative approach in serving them.

The purpose of the program is to prepare you to work with individuals and/or families throughout the life cycle. The program includes coursework in human development, family studies, career development, public policy, professional skills and family research methods.

If you choose to include a concentration in your program, you may take courses from a wide variety of departments to prepare you to work with children, adolescents, families, or aging individuals. While at UW-Stout, you will gain specialized experience through completion of a senior practicum (capstone experience) in hospitals, human service agencies, adolescent group homes or senior citizen programs.

Expanding Your Horizons

As a student you will have the opportunity to participate in Stout Council on Family Relations, a professional organization for Human Development and Family Studies majors. This organization fosters professional development in an environment where you will meet students with interests similar to your own.

In addition, you may want to join other Human Development and Family Studies students on a study abroad program. While in the host country, you will be living, working, and studying in a stimulating atmosphere while receiving college credit. You will also receive a cultural experience that will prove invaluable.

Also, volunteer experiences serve as a catalyst for potential career goals and an opportunity to practice developing skills with others.

Early Positions

Graduates in Human Development and Family Studies are employed in a variety of settings including human service agencies, probation and correction offices, senior citizen centers, and in adolescent and community based group homes. Graduates who are willing, resourceful, flexible, and skilled in working with people have opportunities for exciting and meaningful careers.

Employers report the following skills in Human Development and Family Studies graduates:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Organization
  • Excellent decision making and problem solving
  • Professionalism
  • Communication

Program Video

Request More Information
Plan a Visit to UW-Stout
Transfer Information
Career Services
Online Degree Completion Option

NCFR CFLE-Approved Program

National Council on Family Relations

The B.S. Human Development and Family Studies undergraduate degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout has been reviewed by the National Council on Family Relations. It has been recognized as an NCFR CFLE-approved program offering coursework covering the content required for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Graduates of NCFR CFLE-approved programs qualify to apply for the CFLE designation via an Abbreviated Application process.