Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)

hdfsHuman Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is the only discipline and professional field with a primary focus on the family. The HDFS program area is concerned with the study of human development across the lifespan, the dynamics of family relationships, and the conditions of family and community. The ecological contexts of family, school, and community are emphasized to prepare graduates to effectively serve individuals and families.

The Human Development and Family Studies program is a four-year program that meets the National Council on Family Relations criteria for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) and results in a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Upon graduation, you will be eligible for CFLE designation.


The HDFS program at BGSU has academic program approval from the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) ( Upon graduation from the HDFS program, students are eligible for Certified Family Life Educator designation ( NCFR sponsors the only program approval to certify family life educators. The objective of family life education is to enrich and improve the lives of families through a strengths-based perspective in 10 content areas of families in society, internal dynamics of families, human growth and development across the lifespan, human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, family resource management, parent education, family law and public policy, professional ethics, and family life education methodology. 


HDFS is a program area in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences (SFCS) in the College of Education and Human Development (EDHD). SFCS (  is a multidisciplinary school that is dedicated to communicating, advancing, and applying knowledge that fosters the well-being of individuals and families. The disciplines within the School emphasize interactions among human beings within the contexts of where they live and work.