Human Development and Family Studies

Master of Science Degree in Child Development and Family Studies – HDFS Specialization

Responding to the growing need for qualified professionals in the social and human services professions, the Department of Behavioral Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Human Development and Family Studies (the HDFS Master’s Program). This graduate specialization is aimed at those already working in human and social service settings as well as students who have recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and wish to further their education at the graduate level.  The HDFS Master’s Program at PUC provides intimate learning experiences, evening classes, individual support from full-time faculty, and practical learning.


The HDFS Master’s program is designed to:

  •   Develop a strong foundation in the field.

  •   Learn about the latest research and methodology.

  •   Improve marketability and potential for career advancement,   and

  •   Prepare students for further graduate studies.


Enhance current job experiences and prepare you to successfully lead and manage in:


  •   Social services,

  •   Early childhood development,

  •   Family services,

  •   Disability services,

  •   Gerontology services, and

  •   Mental health care organizations.


What do our graduates think of the program?

 › Through the HDFS program I have gained a quality education that has helped me to advance professionally in the human service field.

›  The HDFS program promotes a collaborative learning environment and networking amongst the students which helps us all develop both academically and professionally.

 ›  I gained an abundance of knowledge and a deeper understanding of how to conduct quantitative research.  The feedback and results were used to expand on and build up curricula and training for staff, families, and the children I work with.

 ›  The PUC HDFS Master’s program is an excellent opportunity for graduate students already working in the human and social services settings.

 ›  I appreciated the evening classes available to work around my work schedule.

 ›  What I gained from the HDFS grad program was confidence and support. The professors offered support every step of the way. They were encouraging which gave me the confidence I needed to be successful.

 ›  I really appreciated how the professors worked individually with each of us to develop our research projects that reflected our personal interests.

 ›  I liked the design of the program, in that each course teaches you more and can be used to tie into your overall research. 

 ›  The HDFS grad program offered more than just credits and grades; it offered an opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and professors that care about teaching. People that care about your successes more than their own. People who took the time to make sure you understood and were prepared with the tools you needed to enhance not only you education but your careers as well.

 ›  Without the HDFS grad program I would never have taken the chance and applied for the supervisor position at my current job. Not only did I get the position, but I am using the theories and applications I acquired in the program daily.


Take your career to the next level!


HDFS MS Graduate Student Handbook-Spring 2014 (pdf)


Applications accepted for Fall admission until July 1 and for Spring admission until November 1.

How to Apply:

 ****Please note that from June 15-July 1:  Admissions will be closed—No applications and NO processing of applications can be done during this time period.