Human Development and Family Science Major

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 two options available within the major:

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


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 & Child Services, 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 121 credits.


Freshman YearCredits
FallSpring
CULA 102 - Introduction to Culinary Arts3  
CULA 105 - Food Safety Sanitation2  
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
EDU 202 - Early Field Experience  1
EDU 223IS - Educ Psych and Adolescent Dev  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 218 - Design, Fashion, and Textiles
HDFS 219 - Apparel Construction
HTH 220 - Human Sexuality  3
M 105Q - Contemporary Mathematics (formerly M 145Q, Math for Liberal Arts)  3
WRIT 101W - College Writing I  3
Year Total: 14 16
Sophomore YearCredits
FallSpring
EDU 211D - Multicultural Education3  
EDU 370 - Integrating Tech into Educ2  
HDFS 263 - Relationships and Fam Systems3  
NUTR 221CS - Basic Human Nutrition3  
Directed Eelctive3  
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 219 - Apparel Construction
HDFS 218 - Design, Fashion, and Textiles
HDFS 237 - Managing Work and Family  3
HDFS 271 - Statistical Measures of Well-Being  3
NUTR 226 - Food Fundamentals  3
NUTR 227 - Food Fundamentals Lab  2
University Core  3
Year Total: 14 17
Junior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDSP 306 - Exceptional Learners3  
EDSP 307 - Exceptional Learners Lab1  
EDU 382 - Assessmt, Curric, Instructn3  
HDFS 337 - Personal and Family Finance I3  
HDFS 371 - Research Methods in HHD3  
University Core3  
HDFS 334 - Contemporary Housing Topics  3
HDFS 450 - Curric Dev in FCS Education  3
HDFS 460 - Parenting  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 464 - Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver
HDFS 465R - Family Law & Public Policy
University Core  3
Year Total: 16 15
Senior YearCredits
FallSpring
EDU 395 - Practicum3  
EDU 497 - Methods3  
HDFS 459 - Reaching the Hurt Child3  
Directed Electives 6  
EDU 408 - Professional Issues: K-12  2
EDU 495R - Student Teaching  12
Year Total: 15 14
Total Program Credits: 121

Directed Electives

Choose 9 credits from a track below:

Human Services: Early Childhood
EDEC 160Early Childhood Development3
EDEC 271Paraprofessional Experience in Early Childhood2
EDEC 253Health and Movement in Early Childhood3
or EDEC 350 Play and Learning in Early Childhood
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
Human Services: Consumerism
HDFS 239Contemporary Consumer Issues3
HDFS 339Family Financial Counseling3
HDFS 457Family Life Education3
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 342Managing the Learning Envir3
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 239Contemporary Consumer Issues3
HDFS 464Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver3
or HDFS 465R Family Law & Public Policy
Informational Education (Cooperative Extension, non-profits, etc.)
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 263 - Relationships and Fam Systems3  
NUTR 221CS - Basic Human Nutrition3  
Directed Electives3  
University Core 3  
HDFS 271 - Statistical Measures of Well-Being  3
HDFS 237 - Managing Work and Family  3
HDFS 294 - Seminar/Workshop  2
HTH 220 - Human Sexuality  3
Electives - Lower Division  2
University Core  3
Year Total: 15 16
Junior YearCredits
FallSpring
Choose one of the following:
HDFS 337 - Personal and Family Finance I
or HDFS 459 - Reaching the Hurt Child
3  
HDFS 371 - Research Methods in HHD3  
Directed Electives6  
Electives2  
CHTH 435 - Human Response To Stress  3
HDFS 315 - Communication and Marketing in Community Education  3
Choose one of the following:  3
HDFS 359 - Theories and Skills for the Human Services
or HDFS 339 - Family Financial Counseling
HDFS 460 - Parenting  3
Directed Electives  3
Year Total: 14 15
Senior YearCredits
FallSpring
HDFS 455R - Program Planning and Administration in Family & Consumer Sciences3  
HDFS 457 - Family Life Education3  
HDFS 465R - Family Law & Public Policy3  
Directed Electives6  
HDFS 464 - Gndr, Rce, Clss, and Fam Diver  3
HDFS 494 - Seminar/Workshop  1
HDFS 498 - Internship  3
Directed Electives  3
Electives  5
Year Total: 15 15
Total Program Credits: 120