General Information


Whether you want to work with young children, teenagers, adults, or older adults, the HDFS major provides you with the knowledge to serve diverse audiences in a variety of professional settings. An HDFS degree is versatile and graduates typically find employment in human and social service positions working for non-profit organizations, community agencies, healthcare, community-based education, and government-funded agencies.

Upon completion of the HDFS degree, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate empirical and theoretical knowledge of life-span human development and family science context.

2. Recognize, respect, and affirm individual, family, community, and cultural diversity.

3. Understand, evaluate, and utilize research and theory to optimally inform practice when working with individuals and families.

4. Demonstrate content knowledge and analytic abilities employing diverse modes of communication.

5. Demonstrate professional ethics and conduct in service learning, field experience, and internship contexts.


Faculty members are committed to helping students succeed. Students in the HDFS major receive advising from HDFS faculty members. Freshmen and recent transfer students also receive advising from the College of Education and Human Development’s Student and Academic Services ( This office provides a variety of services to assist all students in meeting their professional goals.
HDFS Student Handbook is an excellent resource for students.


BGSU Office of Admissions Application

Admission to the program is contingent upon admission to Bowling Green State University. To successfully complete the program, you must meet university and college requirements. Refer to the online Undergraduate Catalog for a description of these requirements.


The Human Development and Family Science major has received program approval from the National Council on Family Relations. Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply to become a Certified Family Life Educator (


Students who will be pursuing graduate studies or who are interested in research have the opportunity to conduct an undergraduate research project. The HDFS major includes an undergraduate research methods course and students have the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects. Students are encouraged to pursue undergraduate research through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (


Program Coordinator:
Dr. Laura Landry Meyer, CFLE
Eppler North 111
(419) 372-7848

HDFS program's anti-racism statement

We, the faculty of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), share in the grief over the countless Black lives lost to extreme police brutality and violence. We recognize that Black families and people of color in the United States face deep-rooted systems of racial discrimination, dehumanization, and terror. We acknowledge that systemic racism has long caused violence and trauma towards Black families and communities of color. We empathize with our Black students, alumni, and colleagues who continue to experience the trauma and pain caused by these injustices.

As family educators, family scholars, and family service providers, we have a responsibility to acknowledge injustices faced by diverse families and advocate for change through our teaching, research, and outreach. We strongly condemn racism in all its forms, and vow to address racial oppression in our work. Recognizing the trauma caused by racism, we will take actions to actively support and uplift Black families and communities of color. We state definitively that the lives of Black individuals matter; Black lives inspire, elevate, and enhance society.

In the field of HDFS specifically, we take guidance from the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), the professional organization of family scholars and practitioners. The NCFR Board of Directors published a call to take action-oriented steps towards eradicating racism:

“Now is also a time to act – with a purposeful plan. We challenge NCFR members to confront and dismantle White supremacy in all areas where we work. It must be addressed in our research, teaching and practice, within the systems of which we are a part (e.g. education, health, family services, government, and other organizations), and within ourselves. This is not the time to passively watch others attempt change. We, all of us, must be a dynamic component of that change in ourselves and in the world.”

At BGSU, President Rogers endorsed a similar call:

“We must try to find a way forward, and it must be more than dialogue. It will require us to take action based upon a common and shared vision for what we wish our own community to be. Together, we must meet this moment head on, and build bridges and be committed to change using a process of shared respect and an honest willingness to listen, learn and evolve as a community…We can do better, we must do better.”

We have heard these appeals and are choosing to be actively anti-racist, working to eradicate the violence and trauma endured by Black individuals and families. To this end, HDFS faculty at BGSU commits to the following actions:

1. We will continue to educate ourselves on the history of privilege and oppression within the country, our communities, and in academia. We will invite trainings for faculty and staff that could include: mentoring diverse students, creating a culture of inclusion and respect, understanding microaggressions, allyship, and/or dismantling systemic racist ideas, procedures, and policies within the department. We will collaborate with other departments across BGSU campus to host dialogue series and training sessions.

2. We will hold department members accountable. We will speak up when we witness sexist, racist, or oppressive language, ideas, or actions from our colleagues. We will challenge ourselves and each other on our own biases and prejudices.

3. We will review departmental policies and procedures for any that (intentionally or unintentionally) create or exploit disadvantage. We will revise departmental policies and procedures, as needed, to ones that promote equity and justice for all students. We will examine and revise our curricula to better represent the strength and resilience of Black families, as well as better represent the work of Black scholars.

4. We will work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as the Marketing and Communication coordinator of EDHD, to develop a public statement affirming HDFS at BGSU as a supportive and inclusive department for diverse individuals. This statement will outline our commitment to affirming social justice and expand the identified action-items for addressing the trauma caused by racism and other forms of oppression.

These commitments are short-term goals and action items in the fight against racism. Enacting changes that are intentionally anti-racist, particularly at broader systemic levels, are going to be an ongoing process, which the HDFS faculty at BGSU supports. We support university and community efforts to engage in anti-racism work over the long-term and promise to enact those changes at all levels. As educators, we are ready to champion this work within our own department and promote a community of inclusion, collaboration, and respect in HDFS.

Updated: 12/11/2023 11:22AM