Human Development and Family Studies

Chair’s Welcome and Department Overview

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Welcome to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro! Our department is proud to now be a member of the new School of Health and Human Sciences, which combines departments and programs from our previous home in Human Environmental Sciences, from the School of Health and Human Performance, and from the Graduate School.

Our department has three primary missions: a) to educate students, North Carolinians, and others across the country about human development, how people change over times, and how important contexts, primarily families, influence development; b) to generate new knowledge about children, adolescents, adults, and older adults and how they develop over time in their primary relationships and families; and c) to apply knowledge generated from research to improve the lives of individuals and families across the state of North Carolina and beyond.

To accomplish these goals, we offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level degrees in HDFS, as well as a joint master's program, the B-K:ISED (birth to kindergarten education) degree with UNCG's Department of Specialized Educational Services. At all 3 levels of training, we offer options that allow students to specialize in Birth through Kindergarten (BK) Teacher Licensure, care and education of young children, and Child, Youth, & Family Development.

We also offer an online, Two Plus version of the Early Care and BK concentrations for students with an Associates degree from North Carolina community colleges. In addition to offering a B-K degree, the Department offers courses for individuals who wish to do the coursework necessary for a license to be a birth through kindergarten educator but who do not want to get a degree. We are proud that our Ph.D. program is the only one of its kind in the state of North Carolina and is known nationally and internationally as one of the premier HDFS programs in the country.


HDFS at UNCG has a number of well-funded research projects; has recently housed the editorships of the two major family studies journals (Journal of Marriage and Family and Family Relations); manages the Child Care Education Program (CCEP), which provides child care and educational services for approximately 75 young children and that serves as a learning laboratory for UNCG students training to work with children; runs the Family Research Center; and is a key player in the Child and Family Research Network, which is an interdisciplinary network of scholars interested in children and families. Integrated within all of our scholarly and educational programs is a focus on diversity, with attention to understanding and meeting the needs of oppressed and vulnerable individuals and families.

With over 400 undergraduate majors, 50 graduate students, many courses being offered both face-to-face and online, and in excess of 4 million dollars per year in research funding, it is clear that HDFS is an integral player in the fabric of UNCG. We are passionate in our efforts to study, educate, and serve children, adolescents, and adults in relationships and families.

We hope you enjoy looking through our web pages, getting to know our faculty and graduate students, learning about our degree programs and course offerings, and getting a sense of the kinds of research projects we are engaged in. We are always looking for talented and enthusiastic students to take our courses, to pursue undergraduate and graduate study with us, to contribute to research projects, and to share our excitement with applying our scholarly work to helping diverse groups of people and their families function more effectively.

Mark Fine
Department Chair, UNCG HDFS Department