Human Development & Family Studies

Empowering Individuals, Strengthening Families, Enabling Communities

The HDFS program at Winthrop University was the first academic program in SC to achieve Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)-approved program status and is nationally recognized by the National Council on Family Relations.

If you are a graduate of our former FACS or our revised HDFS programs, please be sure to register with our Alumni Office

If you...

Care about improving family well-being and supporting communities, like to lead and teach, enjoy critical thinking and problem solving, and value working with diverse populations.

You could...

Work in community-based social services; early childhood education; family intervention; health care and wellness including working with an aging population; faith-based organizations; government and public policy; international education and development; business, consumer, and family resource services; and research, writing and communication.

Graduates from our program have been accepted into masters-level degree programs in counseling, social work, speech-language pathology, and teacher education.

The HDFS program does not fully prepare students for a career as a child life specialist.  Students may take some of the human development courses they need but other specialized coursework including the child life internship are not offered.

The HDFS program does not lead to teacher certification in K-12 classrooms.  Students who wish to become certified teachers in SC may contact and work with the Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) to become certified teachers in SC.

Students in the CFLE-approved program take courses in the following content areas leading to provisional certification: families and individuals in societal contexts, internal dynamics of families, human growth and development across the lifespan, human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, family resource management, parent education and guidance, family law and public policy, professional ethics and practice, and family life education methodology.  Additionally, students complete 300 hours of internship experience.  Full certification as a CFLE requires an additional 3200 hours of experience typically earned through post-graduation employment.