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George Mason University
    George Mason University
   
 
  Sep 21, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 University Catalog

Human Development and Family Science, BA


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Banner Code:  E1-BA-HDFS

College: College of Education and Human Development  and College of Humanities and Social Sciences  
Department: Graduate School of Education  

This 120-credit degree prepares its graduates to use family-centered and strengths-based approaches to support the health and well-being of individuals and families in diverse communities. Graduates will have a strong interdisciplinary foundation in the HDFS field and competencies in 10 areas as established by the National Council on Family Relations, including: internal dynamics of relationships and families; human growth and development; family-and community-based program planning, implementation, and evaluation; social policies and laws affecting families; family diversity; research methodology; and professional ethics as they relate to the HDFS field.

The HDFS curriculum prepares students to effectively engage with families across the lifespan and in a variety of service settings and professions, from early childhood education and care to family law and policy advocacy. We offer students 5 concentrations from which to choose, including child development, education, and services; adolescent development and services; adult development and aging; family health and well-being; and family research, policy, and advocacy. Our program prepares students to critically analyze complex family issues, advocate for families in schools, communities, and in the policy arena, and address social-structural factors contributing to and influencing family functioning, health, and well-being (e.g., poverty and wealth inequality, immigration and illegalization, family homelessness, incarceration, family violence, and discrimination and structural violence such as racism, nationalism, or heterosexism). Students are required to complete a 6-credit internship and integrate research training with service fieldwork. Such an experience is a critical component of HDFS student development and will further prepare our students for graduate education and diverse careers in the human development and family science field.

The HDFS program is a joint academic degree program sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development  (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences  (CHSS).

Degree Requirements


Course Work


Mason Core (40 credits)


  • Written Communication (6)
  • Oral Communication (3)
  • Information Technology and Ethics (3)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3)
  • Literature (3)
  • Arts (3)
  • Western Civilization (3)
  • Social and Behavioral Science (3)
  • Global Understanding (3)
  • Natural Science (7)
  • Synthesis (3)

Additional Requirements for the BA (9-18 credits)


Students must complete the following requirements:

  • Philosophy or religious studies (3 credits) fulfilled by any course with a PHIL or RELI prefix,
  • Social and behavioral science (3 credits) in addition to the Mason Core requirement, an additional social and behavioral course is required,
  • Non-Western culture (3 credits)
  • Proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level (coursework or testing to determine proficiency)

▲Concentration in Adolescent Development and Services (ADS)


Choose 15 credits from the list below or in consultation with your advisor*:

▲Concentration in Adult Development and Aging (ADA)


Choose 15 credits from the list below or in consultation with your advisor*:

▲Concentration in Child Development, Education, and Services (CDES)


Choose 15 credits from the list below or in consultation with your advisor*:

▲Concentration in Family Health and Well-Being (FHW)


Choose 15 credits from the list below or in consultation with your advisor*:

▲Concentration in Family Research, Policy, and Advocacy (FRPA)


Choose 15 credits from the list below or in consultation with your advisor*:

Electives (13-23 credits)


Total: minimum 120 credits


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