Human Development and Family Science

The field of human development and family science is dedicated to enhancing the relationships among individuals, families, communities and the environments in which they function. The educational and professional field of human development and family science take leadership in improving individual, family, and community well-being; impacting the development, delivery, and evaluation of consumer goods and services; influencing the creation of policy; and shaping societal change, thereby enhancing the human condition.

Students in Human Development and Family Science take foundation courses in content areas based upon the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) standards. In addition, students take restricted supporting courses in the program.

There are three options available:

There are also three minors available that are related to the major:


Child Development Option

The child development option emphasizes the development, education, and well-being of young children within the context of family, school, and community.  Throughout the program, students are actively engaged in a variety of settings that include children, their families, and other early childhood professionals.  Coursework and field experience provide multiple opportunities for applied understanding of children's growth and development, building family and community relationships, conducting observations and assessments, understanding developmentally appropriate practices, and promoting the well-being of young children and their families.

The child development option will appeal to students with professional interests including parent education, early intervention, resource and referral, advocacy, and childcare teaching and program administration.  Graduates will be highly qualified for careers in a wide variety of settings including early care and education, early intervention and preschool special education settings, child-focused programs, community agencies, state or federal agencies, and nonprofit settings that support children and families.  The child development option provides a strong background for admission to graduate programs in early childhood education, child development, child and family studies, social work, counseling, and other related behavioral and social science disciplines.  Students are required to take 21 or more credits in a directed elective pathway, minor, or certificate.

Students must receive a grade of "C" or higher in all required courses as outlined in the major.

Freshman YearCredits
FallSpring
EDEC 160 - Early Childhood Development3  
US 101US - First Year Seminar3  
WRIT 101W - College Writing I3  
University Core and Electives3  
ECE/CS Directed Electives3  
Choose one of the following:  3
NASX 105D - Introduction to Native American Studies
NASX 205D - Native Americans in Contemporary Society
NASX 232D - MT Indians: Cultures, Histories, Current Issues
SOCI 101IS - Introduction to Sociology  3
University Core Q/IN/IH/IA  3
ECE/CS Directed Electives  6
Year Total: 15 15
Sophomore YearCredits
FallSpring
EDEC 108 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education2  
EDEC 288 - Signing for Early Childhood Educators3  
HDFS 263 - Relationships and Fam Systems3  
NUTR 221CS - Basic Human Nutrition3  
University Core and Electives3  
EDEC 253 - Nutrition & Physical Activity in Early Childhood  3
EDEC 260 - Administration of Early Childhood Programs  3
HDFS 237 - Managing Work and Family  3
University Core Q/IN/IH/IA  3
ECE/CS Directed Electives  3
Year Total: 14 15
Junior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDEC 350 - Play and Learning in Early Childhood3  
EDSP 306 - Exceptional Learners3  
EDSP 307 - Exceptional Learners Lab1  
HDFS 371 - Research Methods in HHD3  
ECE/CS Directed Electives6  
EDEC 385 - Integrated Curriculum Early Childhood Education  3
EDEC 498 - EC Internship  1
HDFS 359 - Theories and Skills for the Human Services  3
HDFS 460 - Parenting  3
ECE/CS Directed Electives  6
Year Total: 16 16
Senior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDEC 430 - Social and Emotional Development in the Young Child3  
EDEC 496 - 4  
EDSP 458 - Assessment and Intervention4  
Choose one of the following3  
HDFS 455R - Program Planning and Administration in Family & Consumer Sciences
HDFS 465R - Family Law & Public Policy
HDFS 494 - Seminar/Workshop1  
EDEC 450 - Literacy in the EC Classroom  3
EDEC 498 - EC Internship  3
HDFS 459 - Reaching the Hurt Child  3
ECE/CS Directed Electives  5
Year Total: 15 14
Total Program Credits: 120

Directed Electives (21 credits)

Select directed elective courses from the list below.  Select courses that will best compliment your professional goals in early childhood development.  Courses may be counted only once on your program of study.  Check prerequisites to all courses.

ANTY 101DAnthropology and the Human Experience3
ANTY 225ISCulture, Language, and Society3
ANTY 473Language & Culture3
CHMY 102CSApplying Chemistry to Society3
CHTH 205Drugs and Society3
CHTH 210Foundations in Community Health3
CHTH 317Health Behavior Theories3
CHTH 435Human Response To Stress3
EDEC 491Special Topics3
EDEC 491-001
EDU 204IAArts & Lifelong Learning3
EDU 211DMulticultural Education3
EDU 222ISEduc Psych & Child Development3
EDU 331Lit and Literacy for Children3
EDU 370Integrating Tech into Educ2
HDFS 101ISIndiv and Fam Dev: Lifespan3
HDFS 237Managing Work and Family3
HDFS 260Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development3
HDFS 261Adult Development and Aging3
HDFS 271Statistical Measures of Well-Being3
HDFS 457Family Life Education3
HDFS 464Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver3
HDFS 465RFamily Law & Public Policy3
HSTA 101IHAmerican History I4
HSTA 102IHAmerican History II4
HTH 220Human Sexuality3
HTH 455The Ethic of Care3
LING 210IHIntro to Language/Linguistics3
LING 238Structure and Function of Language3
LING 338Language and English Education3
LSCI 121Digital Information Literacy: Library Research Skills2
NASX 232DMT Indians: Cultures, Histories, Current Issues3
PSYX 100ISIntro to Psychology4
PSYX 230Developmental Psychology3
PSYX 235DContemporary Issues in Human Sexuality3
PSYX 333Psychology of Aging3
PSYX 335Psychology of Gender3
PSYX 340Abnormal Psychology3
PSYX 360Social Psychology3
PSYX 370Psychology of Learning3
PSYX 375Behavior Modification3
PSYX 383Health Psychology3
PSYX 477Science of Psych Well-Being3
SOCI 150DSocial Difference3
SOCI 201DSocial Problems3
SOCI 303Society and the Individual3
SOCI 307Soc of Childhood & Adolescence3
SOCI 332Sociology of the Family3
SOCI 333Sociology of Education3
SOCI 414Family Violence3
STAT 216QIntroduction to Statistics3
WRIT 201College Writing II3
WRIT 221Intermediate Tech Writing3

Family and Consumer Sciences Education Option

The family and consumer sciences education (FCS Ed) option prepares effective educators who empower individuals and families to manage challenges of living and working in a diverse, global society. Since education is a people-centered profession, the program focuses on characteristics of various learners, learning principles, and different applications of the teaching-learning process.

The FCS Ed program is a versatile major due to the preparation of the student as both an educator and a family and consumer scientist. Teachers in this area are in high demand across the state and the nation because they are qualified to teach many different subject areas, including nutrition and foods, interior design, child and human development, financial literacy, clothing and textiles, and more. MSU's family and consumer science education students have nearly a 100% pass rate on the Praxis exam (required of all teachers) and 100% job placement after they graduate.

This program is a good fit for individuals who want to make a positive difference, have strong communication and leadership skills, and work well with other people, especially adolescents.

Career Opportunities

A wide variety of career opportunities in the field are possible. Graduates are employed in both traditional and nontraditional teaching settings primarily including:

  • Family & Consumer Sciences Classroom Teacher (grades 5-12 licensed in Montana)

  • Youth Services Specialist

  • Extension Educator


Completion of the family and consumer sciences education option prepares undergraduate students to pursue graduate degrees in a variety of areas including human development and family science, curriculum and instruction, school counseling, and adult education.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is the culmination of the teaching program. Students have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired in college courses under the supervision of an experienced family and consumer sciences educator.  Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will be recommended for a Montana teaching license in Family and Consumer Sciences grades 5-12. For more information on admission to the Teacher Education Program, Student Teaching, Licensure, Professional Expectations, National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and more.

Suggested Minors/Certifications

FCS Education students are encouraged to further increase their professional opportunities with a minor or certification.

Students may also choose to minor in FCS Education while majoring in another licensure area to enhance their employability.  Health Enhancement, Elementary Education, Agriculture Education, and Mathematics are frequent combinations.

Program of Study

The curriculum at MSU follows the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers and the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Students. The FCS Ed program works closely with the Food & Nutrition, Early Childhood Education P-3, Child Development, Hospitality Management, and Interior Design programs to ensure that students receive well-rounded preparation. Students have up to 9 elective credits to specialize their training in a Career and Technical Pathway area.

Students must receive a grade of "C" or higher in all required courses as outlined in the major.

Note: The teaching option requires 120 credits.


Freshman YearCredits
FallSpring
CULA 102 - Introduction to Culinary Arts3  
CULA 105 - Food Safety Sanitation1  
HDFS 101IS - Indiv and Fam Dev: Lifespan3  
HDFS 138 - Survey of Family Finance and Consumer Issues3  
Choose one of the following:3  
US 101US - First Year Seminar
or COMX 111US - Introduction to Public Speaking
Directed Elective2  
AGED 253 - Ag Ed in Public Schools  3
EDU 223IS - Educ Psych and Adolescent Dev  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 218 - Design, Fashion, and Textiles
HDFS 419 - STEAM: Clothing & Textiles Instruction in FCS
M 105Q - Contemporary Mathematics   3
WRIT 101W - College Writing I  3
Year Total: 15 15
Sophomore YearCredits
FallSpring
EDU 211D - Multicultural Education3  
EDU 370 - Integrating Tech into Educ3  
HDFS 237 - Managing Work and Family3  
HDFS 263 - Relationships and Fam Systems3  
NUTR 221CS - Basic Human Nutrition3  
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 218 - Design, Fashion, and Textiles
or HDFS 419 - STEAM: Clothing & Textiles Instruction in FCS
HDFS 271 - Statistical Measures of Well-Being  3
NUTR 226 - Food Fundamentals  3
NUTR 227 - Food Fundamentals Lab  2
University Core  3
Directed Electives  2
Year Total: 15 16
Junior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDSP 306 - Exceptional Learners3  
EDU 382 - Assessmt, Curric, Instructn3  
HDFS 371 - Research Methods in HHD3  
University Core6  
HDFS 334 - Contemporary Housing Topics  3
HDFS 337 - Personal and Family Finance I  3
HDFS 450 - Curric Dev in FCS Education  3
Choose two of the following:  6
HDFS 464 - Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver
or HDFS 465R - Family Law & Public Policy
or HDFS 460 - Parenting
Year Total: 15 15
Senior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDP 304 - Practicum: 5-12/K-122  
EDP 305 - Practicum Lab: 5-12/K-121  
EDU 347 - Managing the Learning Environment for K-12/Secondary2  
EDM 412 - Methods: 5-12 Family Consumer Science3  
HDFS 459 - Reaching the Hurt Child3  
Directed Electives 6  
EDU 495R - Student Teaching  12
Year Total: 17 12
Total Program Credits: 120

Directed Electives

Choose 9 credits from a track below:

Human Services: Early Childhood
EDEC 108Introduction to Early Childhood Education2
EDEC 160Early Childhood Development3
EDEC 350Play and Learning in Early Childhood3
Human Services: Human Development and Family Science
HDFS 260Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development3
HDFS 261Adult Development and Aging3
HDFS 464Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver3
or HDFS 465R Family Law & Public Policy
HTH 220Human Sexuality3
Human Services: Consumerism
ECNS 101ISEconomic Way of Thinking3
HDFS 339Family Financial Counseling3
HDFS 315Communication and Marketing in Community Education3
HDFS 464Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver3
Human Services: School Context
HDFS 260Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development3
HDFS 359Theories and Skills for the Human Services3
CHTH 435Human Response To Stress3
Hospitality & Tourism: Hospitality Managment and Culinary Arts
HTR 107Introduction to Hospitality Management 3
HTR 201Hotel Management and Operations 3
HTR 220Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry3
Education and Training
EDU 101USTeaching and Learning3
EDU 204IAArts & Lifelong Learning3
EDU 331Lit and Literacy for Children3
EDU 411ESL:Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse K-12 Students3
Visual Arts & Design: Interior Design
ARCH 121IAIntroduction to Design3
IDSN 101Intro to Interior Design3
IDSN 135Fundamentals of Space Planning3
Foundations of FCS
EDEC 160Early Childhood Development3
HTR 107Introduction to Hospitality Management 3
HDFS 464Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver3
or HDFS 465R Family Law & Public Policy
Informational Education (Cooperative Extension, non-profits, etc.)
HDFS 315Communication and Marketing in Community Education3
HDFS 455RProgram Planning and Administration in Family & Consumer Sciences3
AGED 309Philosophy and Programs in Extension3
HDFS 457Family Life Education3

Human Development and Family Science Option

The human development and family science option is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for careers working with individuals and families. The program focuses on the social-emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, cultural, and societal aspects of human development across the lifespan (infancy, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and late adulthood).  Individuals develop in family contexts, and this program integrates the in-depth study of the family as a dynamic social unit. The program focuses on family behavior, strengths, and challenges using family-specific theoretical frameworks (family systems, family crisis) and research methods. Social, cultural, historical, political, and economic trends that influence family functioning and well-being are addressed. Students study a wide range of family issues including relational dynamics, parenting, human response to stress and crisis, family policies and laws, family finance and economics, work and family issues, and human services delivery and decision-making.

The human development and family science option provides a strong background for students seeking careers in human services, family life education, family policy, and financial counseling. The curriculum prepares students to work in a wide range of organizations and settings (community-based social services, family intervention, business, government and public policy, faith-based organizations, healthcare and family wellness, and non-profit organizations). The degree program also prepares students to be strong candidates for graduate programs in marriage and family therapy, counseling, family financial planning, human development, family science, social work, law, and other related behavioral and social science disciplines.

Students completing the degree may apply for provisional certification as a Certified Family Life Educator. MSU's human development and family science major (formerly known as family and consumer sciences major) is accredited by the National Council on Family Relations. Provisional certification is awarded at the completion of a baccalaureate degree and course work in the 10 family life substance areas. After two years' work experience, the student may apply for full CFLE certification.  Students are also encouraged to complete the courses required to take a national exam for the certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor (HDFS 138, HDFS 337, and HDFS 339).

Students must receive a grade of "C" or higher in all required courses as outlined in the major.


Freshman YearCredits
FallSpring
HDFS 101IS - Indiv and Fam Dev: Lifespan3  
HDFS 138 - Survey of Family Finance and Consumer Issues3  
M 105Q - Contemporary Mathematics (formerly M 145Q, Math for Liberal Arts)3  
Choose one of the following:3  
US 101US - First Year Seminar
or COMX 111US - Introduction to Public Speaking
Choose one of the following:3  
WRIT 101W - College Writing I
or University Core
Choose two of the following:  6
EDEC 160 - Early Childhood Development
HDFS 260 - Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development
HDFS 261 - Adult Development and Aging
Electives  3
University Core  6
Year Total: 15 15
Sophomore YearCredits
FallSpring
CHTH 205 - Drugs and Society3  
HDFS 237 - Managing Work and Family3  
HDFS 263 - Relationships and Fam Systems3  
NUTR 221CS - Basic Human Nutrition3  
University Core 3  
HDFS 271 - Statistical Measures of Well-Being  3
HTH 220 - Human Sexuality  3
Electives - Lower Division  3
Directed Electives  3
University Core  3
Year Total: 15 15
Junior YearCredits
FallSpring
HDFS 359 - Theories and Skills for the Human Services3  
HDFS 371 - Research Methods in HHD3  
Directed Electives (Upper Division)6  
Directed Electives3  
CHTH 435 - Human Response To Stress  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 334 - Contemporary Housing Topics
HDFS 337 - Personal and Family Finance I
HDFS 315 - Communication and Marketing in Community Education  3
HDFS 460 - Parenting  3
Directed Electives (upper Division)  3
Year Total: 15 15
Senior YearCredits
FallSpring
HDFS 457 - Family Life Education3  
HDFS 465R - Family Law & Public Policy3  
HDFS 494 - Seminar/Workshop1  
Directed Electives (Upper Division)3  
Directed Electives3  
Electives2  
HDFS 455R - Program Planning and Administration in Family & Consumer Sciences  3
HDFS 464 - Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver  3
HDFS 498 - Internship  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 339 - Family Financial Counseling
HDFS 459 - Reaching the Hurt Child
Electives  3
Year Total: 15 15
Total Program Credits: 120