About Us

About Us

Our mission is to generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge about human development across the lifespan, in the context of family, culture, and society. Our goal is to use this knowledge to help resolve societal and developmental challenges faced by children, families, and our aging population, and to promote optimal development and opportunities for all.

Our department approaches human development and family studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Faculty members are engaged in research examining the development of basic human processes, like cognitive, social, and emotional skills, in the contexts of families, schools, culture, diversity, and other contexts, across the life span. A driving force behind this work is our commitment to the application of research findings to programs and policies that enhance the lives of individuals and families. Faculty research areas in our department cluster in the following areas: Risk, Resilience, and Developmental Psychopathology; Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention Science; Emotion, Regulation, and Relational Processes; and Adult Development and Aging. Consistent with HDFS’s basis in ecological theory, many faculty conduct research on cultural diversity, on gender and power dynamics in families, and on other forms of diversity. A commitment to methodological rigor and innovation underlies these themes. We strongly value outreach and the translation of research findings into evidence-based services to the community. We invite you to find out more about our Centers – the Early Childhood Center, the Prevention Research Center, the Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center, and the Center for Family and Couple Therapy. We have a strong partnership with CSU Extension, and participate in many Extension programs and activities. Our department is also strongly aligned with the new Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging.

We are very proud of our undergraduate program. We offer an undergraduate degree (B.S.) in HDFS that emphasizes the importance of experiential learning as well as a thorough grounding in theories and research in HDFS. Students can select from 5 degree concentrations including: Human Development and Family Studies; Early Childhood Professions; Pre-Health Professions; Prevention and Intervention Sciences; and Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions.

Students can also apply for the Early Childhood Education major which provides classes for licensure for pre-school through 3rd grade. Students interested in careers in adult development and aging may consider fulfilling the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor.

We are pleased to offer an on-line HDFS baccalaureate degree program. The HDFS online courses are designed to be comparable to their parallel resident instruction courses in HDFS, providing a high quality university education. The online Bachelor of Science degree in HDFS carries the full accreditation of Colorado State University, and is indistinguishable on student transcripts from the on-campus version of the degree.

It is also an exciting time for graduate education in HDFS. We offer a PhD in Applied Developmental Science. We also offer a master's degree in HDFS, with specialization in either Marriage and Family Therapy or Prevention Science. Students receive state-of-the-art training in human development theory from a lifespan and ecological perspective and develop the research skills to conduct both base and applied research on human development.

This is an exciting time to be part of HDFS! We invite you to explore our website and learn about what we do.