Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Development and Family Studies Major, B.A.

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Department of Psychological Sciences  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): Online, In-Person, Hybrid  

About the Program

The major in Human Development and Family Studies provides students with in-depth knowledge about theory, research, and application in human development across the lifespan, with particular emphasis on the family as a developmental context. Through coursework and applied assignments, students make connections between theory, research, and practice. The major emphasizes developmentally appropriate and best practices in working with children, adolescents, adults, and their families to enhance positive developmental outcomes in a variety of career settings, including hospitals, counseling, child-care, schools and other social institutions.

Student Outcomes

  • Explain human development across the lifespan in contexts such as families, hospitals, counseling, child care, schools, and other social institutions. 
  • Examine and apply principles of cognitive development and learning in a variety of contexts. 
  • Examine and apply principles of social development in a variety of contexts to best support the development of individuals, couples and families. 
  • Explain and identify biological influences on development across the lifespan. 
  • Identify, critique, and apply developmental research methodologies to solve real world problems. 
  • Evaluate cultural and individual differences and their impact on development.
  • Identify and apply transferable workforce readiness skills to a variety of careers.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “D-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • HDFS majors must have a GPA of 2.00 in their major and an overall GPA of 2.00 to graduate. 
  • A minor is required for this program.  
  • All students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of upper-division in the HDFS major. 
  • In meeting the requirements for the HDFS major, transfer students must take a minimum of 15 semester hours of HDFS major coursework at MSU Denver, of which at least 9 must be upper-division credits. 
  • The Department of Psychological Sciences does not accept correspondence study courses toward the total number of semester hours required for a major or minor. 
  • Transfer students must have completed both semesters of a two-semester introductory psychology course for equivalence to exist. Three semester hours will count toward the major or minor; three semester hours will count as general electives (i.e., PSY8888) to graduate. If a student has taken only one semester of a two-semester introductory course and takes PSY 1001 at MSU Denver, the transfer introductory credits will not count toward the degree.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

Developmental Specialization Courses (Choose two): 6 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Core Courses 18 credits
Developmental Specialization Courses 6 credits
Applied Developmental Courses 9 credits
Interdisciplinary Applications 6 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 42-51 credits
Total for the Human Development and Family Studies Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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