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Human Development & Family Studies

Selected in 2002 and again in 2007 as the Most Outstanding Graduate Department on campus, we have a nationally recognized faculty whose research productivity was has been ranked in the top 5% of the 235 family studies programs across the country. Our department houses former journal editors as well as past presidents of the National Council of Family Relations.

We have a well-established mentoring program, which begins as soon as the student is accepted into HDFS. We actively prepare our students to become successful academic scholars both in terms of research and teaching. The range of careers for which we prepare our students is unparalleled. Since 2000, our program has placed more faculty into research extensive family studies departments than any other program in the U.S. We also prepare PhDs and master’s students for applied careers in administration, program evaluation, and program development. Our alumni have positions with universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, and Korea. We have developed an outstanding reputation as a place to study individual and family diversity and multiculturalism across the life course. Because we define diversity and multiculturalism broadly, our focus is on the multitude of ways that individuals and families may differ, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, family structure, nationality, geographic location, and sexual orientation.

Degrees offered

On-campus students selecting the MA or MS degree may specialize in family studies, child life, early childhood development, life span development, family mediation, human services program (emphasis in administration or policy), or a dual-degree program in HDFS and the School of Law. Online students may select an MA specializing in gerontology, youth development, or family and community services.

Our PhD degree prepares students for careers in research, college or university teaching, or leadership positions in public and private human service institutions.

Certificates offered

Contact information

314 Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
573-882-4035
Human Development & Family Science website