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Stephen F. Austin State University

Human Development and Family Studies

Human Development and Family Studies

The human development and family studies program at Stephen F. Austin State University is designed to attract students, enhance university visibility and prepare students to compete in the 21st century. The broad focus of the HDFS program allows graduates to start careers in a variety of fields and positions. Career opportunities for an HDFS graduate include adoption agencies, youth programs, child welfare, patient advocacy, hospitals, marriage and family enrichment programs, nursing homes, and corporate child care. HDFS graduates can work with children and families at all stages of life because our classes cover topics from child development to gerontology. SFA's HDFS program provides an in-depth understanding of growth, change,and development in children, adults and the family while integrating a lifespan, multicontextual and family systems approach. Graduates will find this theoretical knowledge essential for their professional careers in a service-oriented profession.

The HDFS program is uniquely designed to meet the needs of our diverse student population. It's the only fully online program offered through SFA! Students can pursue this degree from the convenience of their current location. While we are an online program, we still require our students to engage in service learning and complete a 200-hour practicum. For students on campus, we provide experiences such as a speaker series, professional development through career exploration field trips, and volunteer services. Our online students also can choose to participate in these activities through distance-learning technology.

To learn more about our four-year program, view our human sciences experiential major matrix brochure.

Want to complete your bachelor's degree online through the HDFS program?

Learn how you can transfer to a fully online bachelor's degree program that will teach you how to work with families across the lifespan, from early childhood to older adult. Email Dr. Rachel Jumper, human development and family studies program coordinator, at

View our transfer guide.

HDFS Slideshow