A bachelor's degree in human development and family studies explores human growth from birth through old age. By analyzing these topics, you'll gain an understanding of the psychosocial, emotional, and cognitive processes across the human lifespan, along with insight into the complex interplay of societal and cultural expectations within the family. Whether in the context of classroom teaching, healthcare delivery, social work, or other forms of community service, rigorous training allows professionals to provide the most effective assistance to individuals and families who need it.

There's never been a better time to enter this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% increase in social and community services management positions through 2024, a boost in part due to an aging Baby Boomer population (with age comes a need for more services). This boom is also in part due to a demand for social services connected with a growing substance addiction problem in the United States. This guide details what you can expect from a bachelor's degree program in human development and family studies, including a breakdown of study concentrations and curricula. It culminates in a discussion of program graduate career options.

Choosing a Program

The study of human and family development is multidisciplinary, involving the social, biological, and behavioral sciences. A typical online degree in human and family development curriculum begins with a small set of core courses that build a foundation for service to children, adolescents, adults, and families. Through these courses, you can expect to learn about the developmental processes of individuals and families, human sexuality, interpersonal behavior, and parenthood across the human lifespan. Core program classes also focus on career-specific skills such as research-based inquiry, program planning and evaluation, professional communications, and human services administration.

In many online degree in human and family development programs, learners customize their studies through a specialty concentration. In this case, the bulk of your upper-division coursework will be within your concentration and concentrations may be organized to focus on specific age groups, such as elder care or early childhood. Concentrations may also be geared toward specific services, such as counseling or social work. Alternatively, an institution may design its available concentrations to mesh with a professional degree in law or medicine. The best online bachelor's in family development programs take full advantage of a university's resources, offering numerous specialty paths to a degree.

Degree plan customization doesn't always end with a concentration. Often, online bachelor's in human development programs include a field component that aligns with your concentration. Typical placements include schools, social services agencies, retirement facilities, hospitals, or behavioral health facilities. Some programs offer a thesis option in lieu of a practicum, which could be ideal for the student planning to pursue a professional graduate degree. Some programs lead to teaching licensure and some do not. In turn, it's wise to choose accordingly if you plan to teach. Finally, some programs further prepare you for the workforce by embedding professional certifications within their curriculum.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Brigham Young University - Idaho

Rexburg, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Pioneers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) started what would become BYU-Idaho in 1888. The school now occupies 430 acres in Rexburg and hosts more than 34,000 on-campus learners and 15,000 online students. BYU upholds the values of the LDS church, so students must agree to live by the school's honor code.

The online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies focuses on the roles of marriage and family in society. The 120-credit program includes courses in family relations, marriage, money management, and sociology of the family. Graduates pursue entry-level management positions at places such as daycares, social service agencies, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers.

Applicants may qualify for admission to BYU-Idaho online through two paths: candidates can earn 15 credits from any LDS-affiliated school or complete the school's PathwayConnect program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. This program takes one year to complete. Courses include general education and religious subjects. Students can choose to take some classes through LDS churches. Learners in PathwayConnect must meet in-person once per week.

Students may earn relevant certificates during their studies in human services, parent and family education, and child and family advocacy. These credits apply to the bachelor's degree, and the credentials can help learners jumpstart their career.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Marriage and Family Studies
Tuition: $172/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (208) 496-1411
Email: byuisupportcenter@byui.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Established in 1923, Texas Tech is the only university in the Lone Star State to offer a four-year university, medical school, and law school on the same campus. The school serves more than 38,000 students.

Texas Tech's online human sciences degree takes an interdisciplinary approach, offering classes from several of the school's departments. Human sciences students choose three concentrations, including one in human development and family studies. The second concentration must come from the human sciences college, including addictive disorders and recovery studies; nutritional studies; studies in personal finance; restaurant, hotel, and institution management; and retail management. The final concentration can come from any department at Texas Tech, such as education or English.

These concentrations allow transfer students to maximize the number of hours that count toward their degree, provided the credits come from accredited institutions. Students with several credits in a particular area can use that area as their third concentration.

Texas Tech's human sciences program requires 120 credits for graduation. Learners can choose to take some courses on the Lubbock campus. Fully online students pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency. Online students gain access to the university's library and a dedicated librarian to help with their needs.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human development and family studies
Tuition: $11,320/year
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (806) 742-7227
Email: elearning@ttu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

Oregon State started in 1868 as Corvallis College as the state's first land-grant institution. The first graduating class consisted of just three learners. Today, the school educates more than 31,000 students per year from 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. As an international research university, Oregon State conducts more groundbreaking research than any other school in the Beaver State.

The school operates on a quarter-term system. The human development and family studies degree online requires 180 quarter credits, which translates to 120 semester credits. The program offers four start dates per year. Students choose between the online program and a hybrid option. The human development and family studies curriculum includes courses in human sexuality, parenting research, family violence, and human nutrition. Students must choose minors from the university's online offerings, including leadership, education, sociology, psychology, and writing.

Oregon State charges the same tuition rates for online courses regardless of residency. Students with fewer than 24 quarter credits or 15 semester credits apply as first-year learners. The university prefers freshman candidates with high school GPAs of at least 3.0. These students must also submit ACT or SAT scores.

Students with at least 24 quarter credits qualify for admission based on their college GPAs and previous coursework. Applicants need a minimum 2.25 GPA. All candidates must possess credits from college-level writing courses with at least a C-. Applicants with GPAs below 2.5 must also possess college-level math credits.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Sciences
Tuition: $297/credit
Credit Requirements: 180 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (541) 737-9204
Email: osuadmit@oregonstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

UA dates back to 1820 when the state established it as a seminary school called the University of the State of Alabama. UA is the oldest public university in the Yellowhammer State. The university educates more than 38,000 students, more than half of whom come from outside of Alabama. UA students tend to be high-achieving, including the 40% who score at least a 30 on the ACT.

The school designed its child and family development degree online for current child development practitioners. Candidates need at least five years of experience as lead teachers to qualify for admission. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in infancy and toddlerhood, preschool development, developmental perspectives for young children with disabilities, and conceptual creative experiences for children. Graduates earn a bachelor of science in human environmental sciences, human development, and family studies.

Graduates can work at Head Start agencies to help young children get the educational foundations they need. Candidates who do not want to work in Head Start programs can choose the early child development track instead.

Applicants with at least 24 college credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA. UA evaluates first-year students based on their high school GPAs and standardized test scores. Learners may submit ACT or SAT results, but scores are not required for anyone who graduated from high school at least four years before applying. Online students pay the same low tuition rates regardless of residency.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Environmental Sciences - Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child development practitioners
Tuition: $364/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT
Work Experience: 5 years as a lead teacher

Contact
Phone: (205) 348-0089
Email: uadistance@ua.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Washington

Seattle, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

More than 54,000 students attend UW each year, including many nontraditional students. The UW Professional and Continuing Education department provides 100 certificates and 80 degrees for the school's growing population of adult learners. Students choose between in-person, hybrid, and fully online delivery methods for maximum flexibility.

UW offers an online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies for learners with at least 70 transferrable quarter credits, or about 47 semester credits. The school generally accepts transfer credits that apply toward general education requirements and come from regionally accredited institutions. Applicants must complete general education requirements with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Full-time learners finish the degree-completion program in two years, while part-time degree candidates take about three years to graduate. The curriculum includes courses in family and community influences on the young child, exceptional children, and learning and teaching in our changing world. The program concludes with a course that synthesizes learned skills for a capstone project. Graduates pursue jobs as preschool teachers, education policy advocates, and child life specialists.

Coursework takes place entirely online in an asynchronous format. UW charges online learners the same tuition rates regardless of residency.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Care and Education (Degree Completion)
Available Concentrations: Teaching and learning
Tuition: $231/credit
Credit Requirements: 110 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 506-1325
Email: help@uw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Legislators established the State Normal and Industrial School in 1891. It became a women's college in 1919 and remained the North Carolina College for Women between 1932-1963. The school became the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1963 after allowing coeducational classes. Today, UNCG serves the community as a public research institution with more than 27,000 students.

The school's online human development and family studies degree helps students with associate degrees earn credentials to further their careers. Learners choose between two tracks. The first track leads to teaching licensure for birth through kindergarten-aged children. The second path highlights the development of school-aged and adolescent children.

Students take all of the courses entirely online. Some courses include set class times for live video chats, but several courses take place asynchronously. Learners with associate degrees in early childhood education from participating community colleges in North Carolina transfer with advanced standing as part of the 2Plus Program.

Students can transfer up to 64 hours from accredited two-year colleges and unlimited credits from accredited four-year universities. UNCG accepts applications year-round. Although the university charges higher rates for learners outside of North Carolina, UNCG maintains authorization to provide online education to students in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Studies (Degree Completion)
Available Concentrations: Birth through kindergarten licensure; early care and education; child, youth, and family development
Tuition: $188/credit
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or NACAC

Contact
Phone: (336) 315-7044
Email: uncgonline@uncg.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

In 1863, Kansas converted a private college into Kansas State Agricultural College, which later became K-State. Today, the university educates approximately 24,000 learners each year and attracts more students from multicultural backgrounds than any other higher learning institution in the Sunflower State. Approximately 95% of K-State graduates with bachelor's degrees begin work or graduate programs within six months of graduation.

The school's 120-credit online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies includes general education courses and classes in subjects such as human ecology, gender roles in family relationships, and working with parents. Toward the end of the program, students choose whether to complete an internship or elective courses. The internship is the only portion of the program that requires scheduled, in-person meetings. Learners can complete the internship in their home communities.

Graduates who complete the internship can apply for the Provisional Certified Family Life Education certification from the National Council on Family Relations. This credential helps graduates stand out in the job market and provides access to the organization's comprehensive resource library.

Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. First-year students from outside of Kansas need a minimum 2.5 GPA. All first-year learners must submit ACT or SAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: HDFS; CSD; ECED; PFP; CNRES; American ethnic studies;, gerontology; GNHE; leadership studies; political science; psychology; GWS studies
Tuition: $436/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (if under 21 years old)

Contact
Phone: (785) 532-5575
Email: global@k-state.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Washington State University

Pullman, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

WSU started its global campus in 1992. Today, the global campus hosts students from 48 states and 98 countries. WSU offers flexibility to learners with obligations to their families, work, or the military.

The university's human development and family studies degree online takes a multidisciplinary approach to human studies. The curriculum includes courses in child development, child maltreatment, family diversity, child assessment, and families in poverty. Students must also complete field placements, which are the only in-person requirements in the program. Online students can complete field placements locally. Degree candidates can earn undergraduate certificates in gerontology and early childhood education to complement their diploma.

First-year applicants under the age of 25 must submit ACT or SAT scores. First-year candidates aged 25 years or above submit resumes in lieu of exam scores. Transfer students with at least 24 college credits must submit transcripts from previous institutions and do not need to take standardized entrance exams. All students submit a writing portfolio once they become juniors. Transfer applicants with 60 credits must complete this requirement before registering.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Human Development
Available Concentrations: Family and consumer science
Tuition: $507/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (if under 25 years old)

Contact
Phone: (800) 222-4978
Email: online@wsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Utah State University

Logan, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

The Agricultural College of Utah opened as a land-grant university in 1888 and became Utah State University in 1957. USU now educates more than 27,000 students every year, including online learners.

USU's child and family development degree online includes courses in psychological statistics, abuse in families, and cultural diversity. Degree candidates may choose between human development and family relations concentrations. The human development concentration includes several courses on child and adolescent development. The family relations track concentrates on the ways that addiction, aging, crises, and social policies affect families.

Some students complete a practicum as one of their electives. These learners must complete fingerprinting and pass background checks before registering for the internship. All students must complete general education requirements and remain in good standing before beginning coursework in the major.

First-year applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA or at least 660 on the GED exam. These applicants must also score at least 17 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT. Transfer students with at least 24 college credits need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer applicants aged 25 or older may waive the ACT or SAT requirement.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Family Life Studies
Available Concentrations: Human development; family relations
Tuition: $319/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (if under 25 years old)

Contact
Phone: (435) 797-7479
Email: sarah.tulane@usu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

NDSU is a public, land-grant university that educates about 13,000 students annually and employs more than 6,000 people to assist learners. The school undertakes $153 million worth of research each year.

NDSU's online bachelor's degree in human development and family science offers a track in family studies. This track provides three concentration options: child and adolescent development; adult development and aging; and family science. Students can choose from nine elective credits including parent-child relations, adult development, aging policy, and issues in sexuality.

The core curriculum includes courses in children, families, and public policies; lifespan development; research methods; and children and families across cultures. All degree candidates must complete a five-credit field experience to qualify for graduation. Learners may complete field experiences locally.

Graduates work in entry-level and management positions in community service agencies, nonprofits, financial counseling agencies, and medical-related organizations.

NDSU prefers first-year students with high school GPAs of at least 2.75 and SAT scores of at least 1100 or ACT scores of at least 22. Transfer students with at least 24 credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: Child and adolescent development; adult development and aging; and family science
Tuition: $327/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (701) 231-9849
Email: amber.lonski@ndsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

WVU began as a public, land-grant institution in 1867. The school hosts three campuses across the Mountain State and several online programs, educating more than 29,000 students. WVU graduates include 24 Truman scholars, 25 Rhodes scholars, and 45 Goldwater scholars. The faculty is equally distinguished, including 19 Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year.

The university's online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies prepares students for the state's Pre-K teaching certification. The 120-credit curriculum covers subjects such as introduction to parenting, infant development, the art of leadership in early childhood, and childcare center administration.

Most of the program's courses take place entirely online. However, learners must obtain CPR and first-aid certifications from local certified trainers. All degree candidates complete internships toward the end of the program. Students can complete internships near their homes and the corresponding coursework online.

First-year students submit ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts. West Virginia residents need a minimum 2.0 GPA and at least 19 on the ACT or 990 on the SAT. Out-of-state freshmen need a minimum 2.5 GPA and at least 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT. Transfer students with at least 24 credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA and do not need to submit exam scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child Development and Family Studies
Tuition: $4,752/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 253-2762
Email: wvuonline@mail.wvu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Established in 1883, Jacksonville State University hosts more than 8,000 students online and on campus. The school offers 95 programs and students can complete 40 of these plans completely online.

Students interested in hospitality, culinary arts, childcare, or fashion merchandising pursue JSU's online human development and family studies degree. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in community nutrition, cultural aspects of apparel, concepts of wellness, family clothing, and family life education. The broad range of topics allows graduates to seek roles in diverse settings, such as memory care facilities, veteran affairs organizations, foster care agencies, and public health agencies.

JSU provides transfer students with a pathway program to help them finish their degree. The university also maintains transfer agreements with several community colleges to make transfering as easy as possible. First-year applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA and at least 20 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT.

Online students at JSU pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Online courses operate asynchronously through Canvas or Blackboard.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Family and Consumer Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human science
Tuition: $324/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (256) 782-5054
Email: gfrazier@jsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

University of Wisconsin - Stout

Menomonie, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

As a polytechnic institute, UW-Stout focuses on applied learning, career preparation, and industry partnerships. The school maintains relationships with organizations such as the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic, Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinic, and Wisconsin Early Autism Project. The school also consults more than 1,000 companies for assistance on curriculum design so that graduates possess the skills that employers desire.

UW-Stout designed the online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies for learners who already possess associate diplomas. Core courses include subjects such as healthy couple relationships, lifespan sexuality, and abnormal psychology. Instead of concentrations, students select minors from the university's online offerings.

The National Council on Family Relations reviews the UW-Stout curriculum and allows graduates to apply for the Certified Family Life Educator certificate. The program also prepares learners to enter graduate programs. Transfer credits must come from accredited institutions, and UW-Stout maintains articulation agreements with several community colleges.

UW-Stout charges all online learners the same low tuition rates. Transfer students do not need to submit exam scores with their applications, but they need a minimum 2.0 GPA. UW-Stout considers the trends of a candidate's grades. For example, the university values learners who show grade improvement over the course of their studies.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Studies
Tuition: $334/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (715) 232-1260
Email: shrinerb@uwstout.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Northwestern State University of Louisiana dates back to 1884, when the school opened to educate teachers. The first students attended class in the Bullard Mansion overlooking Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 1921, the school expanded to include four-year degrees in a variety of fields beforing school taking its current name in 1970. Although only three columns remain in the original Bullard Mansion, the school’s mission to provide student-oriented education remains the same.

NSU’s child and family development degree online offers three unique concentrations that allow learners to prepare for different careers. Each concentration requires students to complete internships and 123 hours of coursework. Online learners attend their internship and field experiences in their local communities and complete all standard coursework online.

The child development and family relations specialization also requires learners to complete field service for graduation. This concentration works best for degree candidates wanting to pursue alternative teaching licensure after graduation. The degree by itself, however, does not lead to licensure.

The consumer services concentration prepares students to start and manage businesses in the family services sector. Courses include subjects like finance and management. The advocacy and intervention specialization is the program’s latest addition, with courses designed to prepare students for work in nonprofits and social work agencies. Graduates earn the certified family life educator certification.

Candidates should submit SAT or ACT scores and complete the online application. Transfer students must send official transcripts from previous colleges and universities, while first-year applicants should send high school transcripts.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child development and family relations; consumer services; advocacy and intervention
Tuition: $375/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (318) 357-4202
Email: salmanr@nsula.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Colorado State University spends 95% of its annual budget on instruction, scholarships, and academic support, leaving only 5% for administrative costs. Furthermore, the school increased its institutional scholarships by 53% in just five years. These investments in students are designed to create successful graduates. This student-first focus seeks to prepare learners for successful careers and lives after graduation.

The university’s online bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies offers five areas of concentration: early childhood professions, human development and family studies, pre-health professions, leadership and entrepreneurial professions, and prevention and intervention sciences. The program also offers a minor in gerontology which focuses on the aging process. Students seeking to manage child care centers work with advisers to complete the director qualifications track, along with any of the concentrations.

Regardless of their chosen concentration, all students are required to complete 120 credits to qualify for graduation. Core courses include professional skills development, research methods, human development, and interpersonal relationships. This well-rounded curriculum prepares graduates to apply for certified family life educator credentials.

CSU provides online students with several valuable resources, including the career center. Learners access job boards, get help with their LinkedIn profiles, and use the career readiness tracking tool. The online library includes access to professional journals and databases. The school’s adult learner and veteran services office helps nontraditional students thrive, connect with peers, and apply for unique scholarships at CSU.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Early childhood professions; leadership and entrepreneurial professions; pre-health professions; prevention and intervention sciences; human development and family studies
Tuition: $476/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (970) 491-4108
Email: karin.bright@colostate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

California State University - East Bay

Hayward, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

With campuses in Oakland, Hayward, and Concord, California State University, East Bay has served the Bay Area for more than 60 years. Through its thriving online college, the university gives learners around the world the same high-quality education as on-campus students. In fact, more than half of the school’s undergraduate learners take at least one online course. Among the many varied programs available to Cal State East Bay distance learners is an online human development and family studies degree.

This program is structured to meet the needs of learners who already hold an associate degree or a comparable number of credits. The core curriculum includes courses in theories of human development; infant and child development; futures and careers of human development majors; and gender, race, and class in human development. This fully online program also requires candidates to complete capstone courses.

The program offers five concentrations, three of which are available online. The adult development and gerontology concentration includes courses in intimate relations across the lifespan and midlife transitions. The early childhood development concentration prepares learners to teach children in kindergarten and younger. Students who choose the women’s development focus take classes in women and work, women and families, and women’s bodies and health.

Cal State East Bay is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Human Development (Degree Completion)
Available Concentrations: Adult development and gerontology; early childhood development; women's development
Tuition: $6,984/year
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (510) 885-3076
Email: danielle.lowen@csueastbay.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Concordia University - Saint Paul

St. Paul, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Concordia University, Saint Paul opened in 1893 with a dedication to providing career-focused and Christ-centered education. Today, CSP continues to uphold this mission through an online and on-campus student body consisting of students from diverse age groups, ethnicities, and educational backgrounds. The school’s cohort model allows students to reap the benefits of diversity at CSP while building a sense of community and camaraderie among learners.

The university’s human development and family studies degree online consists of 120 credits overall, including 43 major credits. Non-major credits may come from transfer credits, general education through CSP, and electives. Students must take introductory courses in either sociology or psychology to begin the family science core curriculum.

Upon completion of prerequisites, students join their cohort and take courses in family communication, development in children, intimate relations, and parent education. This program requires learners to complete internships and capstone courses. Degree candidates complete the in-person portion of their internships through adviser-approved local organizations. The capstone project and all other courses take place entirely online.

First-year applicants to CSP must submit high school transcripts and personal essays. CSP is a test optional school, meaning that candidates only submit SAT or ACT scores if they believe it helps their chances of admission. Transfer students with at least 20 credits should send college transcripts and essays. CSP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Family Science (Degree Completion)
Tuition: $420/credit
Credit Requirements: 43 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (651) 641-8230
Email: admissions@csp.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Odessa, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin serves as one of the most affordable public universities in the Lone Star State, awarding more than $15 million in financial aid each year to its 7,000 students. The university remains a vital part of rapidly growing and developing Odessa, Texas, and reflects this same innovative spirit through its many online offerings.

The school’s online bachelors degree in human development and family studies features electives in development, family issues, and exceptionalities. The core child and family studies curriculum includes courses in child psychology, social stratification, and language development. Degree candidates can choose any minor that UTPB provides online, including communications, history, and criminal justice. The program ends with a capstone course in which learners demonstrate their acquired skills and build their portfolios. While students can take all core courses online, some general education courses are available only on campus.

UTPB considers candidates as transfer students if they hold at least 24 credits from an accredited school. These applicants must submit official college transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants with fewer than 24 credits must submit high school transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Child and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Learning and development
Tuition: $3,562/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (432) 552-2020
Email: admissions@utpb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Established by the state legislature as Mississippi Normal College in 1910, the University of Southern Mississippi went through several name changes before taking its current title in 1962. Southern Miss is now a public research institution serving Mississippi through campuses in Hattiesburg, Long Beach, and online. Its student body of about 15,000 learners includes degree candidates from every county in the Magnolia State, all 50 states, and 71 countries.

The school’s child and family development degree online features coursework in child development, behavior and guidance, marital and familial relationships, and sexuality. Degree candidates complete practicums at local organizations and complete all other coursework online. Learners choose between the child development or family studies concentration.

The child development concentration prepares graduates to work as instructors or administrators at early childhood education facilities. The family studies concentration suits those wanting to work in social services or family-focused nonprofit organizations. Students choose from electives such as professional presence and influence, introduction to marriage and family therapy, public education in the United States, and principles and processes of case management.

Southern Miss evaluates first-year learners based on a combination of high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Learners with at least 30 credits from an accredited institution do not have to submit ACT or SAT scores. Southern Miss is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child development; family relations
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (601) 266-4679
Email: childandfamilystudies@usm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Stephen F Austin State University

Nacogdoches, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Stephen F. Austin University began educating aspiring teachers in 1923. As the college grew to 417 acres, became a university, and expanded its offerings, it remained a completely independent school. Now a public university, SFA educates about 13,000 students each year. These learners earn an average of more than $12,000 a year in financial aid and enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1.

SFA’s online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies welcomes first-year, transfer, and returning degree candidates. This multidisciplinary curriculum includes classes such as consumer problems, the contemporary family, family approach to middle childhood, and communicating human services content.

Although learners complete most of their coursework online, they must take on internships toward the end of the program. Learners who do not live near the campus in Nacogdoches, Texas can intern with organizations in their local communities. Students may also attend the senior seminar for one credit. This course allows learners to network with professionals in the field and learn from industry leaders.

SFA accepts students with fewer than 15 credits based on their high school ranking and entrance exam scores. Transfer students with at least 15 credits must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and remain in good standing with previous institutions. SFA accepts applications on a rolling basis and holds accreditation from theCommission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Sciences
Available Concentrations: Human development; family studies
Tuition: $365/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (936) 468-2901
Email: strahlsn@sfasu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Warner Pacific College Adult Degree Program

Portland, OR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Warner Pacific University is a private liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. The university offers Christ-centered education for a diverse student population. Not only do more than 60% of students come from minority ethnic backgrounds, but 57% of Warner Pacific’s learners are the first people in their families to attend college. The school serves its degree candidates through a student-to-faculty ratio of just 12-to-1 and offers a variety of online education programs for adult learners.

The school’s online bachelors degree in human development and family studies focuses on the psychology of human development. This bachelor’s completion program includes 14 classes that last just five or six weeks each. Learners must complete general education requirements before entering the program. Students who do not yet meet the prerequisite requirements for the adult education program can earn their general education credits through Warner Pacific and then apply for the major.

Core courses include adult development, conflict resolution, counseling theory, human sexuality, and childhood development through a Christian lens. Students must also complete Christian-specific courses, including spirituality, character, and service, as well as ethics, faith, living, and learning.

All candidates must sign the community agreement and submit applicable transcripts. Sometimes, the university requests that applicants send references as well. Students with fewer than 12 college credits must send SAT or ACT scores. As a private university, Warner Pacific charges all students the same tuition rates. The university holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Psychology and Human Development (Degree Completion)
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 43 credits
Program Length: 18 months-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (866) 325-3812
Email: admissions@warnerpacific.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

DePaul University

Chicago, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

With more than 22,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. Despite this large enrollment, the university maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of just 15-to-1. In keeping with its Catholic roots, DePaul emphasizes community service, and its students complete more than 518,000 hours of service each year. These factors contribute to student success, with 92% of graduates entering jobs or continuing education within six months of commencement.

DePaul’s college of science and health offers a bachelor’s in psychology with a human development concentration. Major courses include history and systems of psychology, statistics, research methods, introduction to psychology, and five psychology electives.

To earn the human development concentration, learners take courses in child, social, and adolescent psychology. Electives fill out the program’s remaining 192 required quarter credits. Learners can take electives from any of DePaul’s online offerings to complete the curriculum.

To apply for this program, students must hold at least 45 quarter credits or 30 semester credits from accredited schools. Students who do not yet meet this requirement can apply to DePaul and declare their major after a year of study. Candidates must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and remain in good standing with all of their previous institutions. DePaul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Psychology (Degree Completion)
Available Concentrations: Human development
Tuition: $655/credit
Credit Requirements: 144 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (312) 362-8000
Email: dallbrit@depaul.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus

Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

The Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado Denver provides more than medical and nursing programs. With more than 4,500 students and 40 degrees, this public medical school provides programs that cover the full scope of human wellness. The school stays on the cutting edge of many of these areas by spending $500 million in research, ensuring that students learn from faculty at the forefront of their fields.

The university offers an online bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies in both Spanish and English, making CU Denver the first school in the United States to offer a bilingual human development and family studies degree. The program welcomes first-year and transfer students alike.

The 100% online curriculum includes 90 credits in human development and family studies and 40 credits in general education. Major courses cover topics such as families in the global perspective; love, family, and human development; and adult ecology. The school follows a traditional semester schedule, and first-time college students take about four years to complete the program.

Although CU Denver does not publish minimum GPAs or test scores for applicants, the school gives priority to learners with high academic achievements. The middle 50% of admitted first-year learners have high school GPAs between 3.23 and 3.93. First-year applicants should also submit ACT or SAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Relations
Available Concentrations: Family diversity; human development and learning
Tuition: $330/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (303) 315-3700
Email: admissions@ucdenver.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 28%

An Ivy League school, Penn State University is a public research university with 100,000 learners, 17,000 educators, and 24 campuses. Penn State opened its World Campus in 1988 to offer degrees entirely online, and today online learners at the university can choose from over 150 online programs.

The school’s online human development and family studies degree is a 120-credit program covering the evolution and history of people and family dynamics. The curriculum includes courses in human development interventions, the helping relationship, administration of human services, and lifespan development.

The program also requires several internship hours, which students can complete through organizations near their homes. The semester before candidates begin their internships, they must complete a pre-internship course that covers resume building, finding providers, and what to expect. The internship consists of 480 clock hours at an approved employer such as a daycare, school, nonprofit organization, or human resource department.

Applicants do not need to send exam scores or official high school transcripts to apply for Penn State World Campus programs. Instead, learners submit unofficial grade reports, then only send official copies when they gain acceptance. Students with previous college credits must submit official transcripts from previous schools, regardless of grades or when they earned the credits. Penn State is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Life span human services
Tuition: $555/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (814) 863-5386
Email: dadmissions@outreach.psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Eastern Kentucky University is a public university housed in Richmond. Although many EKU students hail from the Bluegrass State, the school offers 40 online programs to learners around the globe. Unlike on-campus students, all distance learners at EKU pay the same low tuition rate no matter their residency statuses. Online classes use eight-week terms to help degree candidates graduate as quickly as possible.

The school’s child and family development degree online includes three concentration options: child development, family studies, and interdisciplinary early childhood education. The child development option prepares graduates to work with children from birth to eight years old. Graduates work at head start schools, nonprofit organizations, and family resource centers.

The family studies concentration includes courses in development throughout the lifespan. Students learn how aspects such as poverty and gender change the way people grow. Graduates can qualify to become certified family life educators. Finally, the interdisciplinary early childhood concentration option allows candidates to work with children from infancy through kindergarten through lesson planning and administration.

Online EKU students can access a variety of useful resources, including the school’s online tutoring center. Students can get help with specific courses or develop better overall study skills. The online career service center helps students find internships, apply for jobs, and develop career-building skills. The center also provides assistance with resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, career counseling, and graduate school application. EKU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child development; interdisciplinary early childhood education; family studies
Tuition: $4,498/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-3445
Email: fcs@eku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else Can I Expect from an Online Bachelor's in Human and Family Development Program?

Every family development degree online program is different. Depending on its access to cross-disciplinary departments, one program may offer only a few specializations while another program may offer up to a dozen. Still others may offer certain concentrations exclusively online while administering an amount of concentrations solely on campus. Below we've broken down course content for five popular concentrations and the careers for which they prepare graduates.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT

Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Early childhood Focuses on cognitive and language growth in infants and toddlers, exploring the external factors that can impact development, such nutrition, safety, or creative expression. Program administration best practices and special needs in the young student are also explored. May require a practicum. Teaching or assistant teaching in preschool classrooms, special education teaching, or curriculum development
Pre-health professions Emphasizes the social, emotional, and mental development factors that drive patient behavior. Schools often organize these courses around the patient population or age group the student intends to serve, and explores the group's unique perspectives. Nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, speech and language pathology, medical practice, or dentistry
Disabilities Examines the daily lives of disabled Americans, exploring the ways policy affects their lives. Learners study disabilities in the context of the individual, the family, and the communities they affect. Special education teaching, advocacy, policy analysis, public administration, public policy, social work, clinical psychology, disability law
Public policy and law Explores the historic and current legal landscape behind existing public policies. This concentration covers the Constitution, social politics, gender studies, poverty, and the sociology of law. Human rights advocacy, public administration, policy analysis, volunteer management, crisis services, social services, law practice
Aging Emphasizes the social, psychological, and biological elements of adult development and aging. Students explore the nutritional, creative, and social needs of the aging adult, and topics such as appropriate physical activity. May require a practicum. Elder law, public administration, social services, housing placement, social work, healthcare facility administration, program planning

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT

Most schools require learners to study the building blocks of human and family development prior to beginning courses in any specialty area. Below, we've listed some examples of these fundamental courses:

  • Life-span development: Sometimes spanning two terms, this course explores physical, social, cognitive, and emotional growth from birth through senescence. Discussion focuses on an individual's place within the family at each phase of life, and corresponding cultural and societal factors and elements. The course also covers contemporary issues and social policy.
  • Marriage and family relationships: In this course, students analyze topics such as courtship, close relationships, marriage, and family systems within the context of internal and external factors that influence them, such as cultural norms, societal expectations, and individual personalities. The course also addresses the changing role of family from a long-term perspective.
  • Intervention and problem-solving: Students enrolled in this course examine historical and contemporary approaches to formal and informal intervention. This class focuses on the role of the professional and effective strategies for resolution with individuals and within families.
  • Administration of human services programs: This course focuses on the fundamentals of program content, strategy, and strategic planning in community-oriented public services programs. Additionally, the course emphasizes best practices in program development and administration.
  • Statistics in family and consumer studies: Students enrolled in this course analyze and examine data relevant to the human family development sector. The course places emphasis on means, standard deviations, T-tests, chi-square, ANOVA, regression analysis, and correlations.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT?

At the baccalaureate level, an online degree in human and family development program requires that a student completes an average of 120 credits to graduate. Full-time students generally complete the program in four years, whether online or in traditional classrooms. However, depending on your circumstances, part-time study may be advantageous, allowing you to take more time to finish your program. Most universities do place a time limit on part-time study, generally somewhere from seven to 10 years. It's worth noting that schools often require that students adhere to full-time attendance (defined as a course load of at least 12 credits per term) to be eligible for financial aid.

Distance learning can be an ideal choice for both the traditional or nontraditional student. Allowing for full-time or part-time study, online bachelor's in human development programs offer scheduling flexibility that you won't find on campus. Accelerated online degree programs exist in some academic disciplines, but human and family development isn't one of them. Be sure to weigh potential programs carefully. After all, higher education is a significant time investment. If you've already attended some college at an accredited school, you may be able to transfer some (or even all) of the credits you've earned into your current program and, in turn, shorten the time it takes to earn your family development degree online.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Human and Family Development Programs

When any academic program is accredited, its curriculum and admissions process has been vetted by a neutral accreditation agency. This process ensures that a standard of academic rigor and fairness can be reasonably expected from an accredited institution. Schools may earn accreditation on the national, regional, or program level (or even all three).

The three varieties differ. National accrediting bodies focus on a type of education, such as technical or vocational. If you're mulling an online degree in human and family development, consider searching for schools that have earned national accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission. Regional accreditation bodies focus on academic rigor. In turn, regional accreditation carries more weight than national accreditation, particularly when it comes to graduate school admissions.

Program-specific accreditation, the third variety, is especially useful for evaluating the academic offerings in certain fields. Human and family development encompasses many fields. As a result, accreditations across industries can indicate that a program has been vetted against high standards. A few accreditations you might encounter in the best online degree in human and family development programs include:

  • The Council on Education for Public Health
  • The Council for Professional Recognition Early Childhood Education Training
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Commission on the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education

Though the federal government does not involve itself at the accreditation level, the U.S. Department of Education does provide oversight of the accreditation process. It also maintains a database of accredited schools. Similarly, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an independent association of accredited degree-granting institutions and offers a database of accredited schools.

Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Human and Family Development Graduates

JOB PLACEMENT

Completing a four-year degree nearly always pays off in higher earnings and greater career mobility. While completing a human and family development bachelor's program, graduates prepare for roles that correspond to their specialty. In many cases, these graduates hold a competitive advantage over peers who lack a four-year degree. The table below illustrates education's boon to students who specialize in early childhood development.

Job Title Degree Required Median Annual Salary
Preschool teacher Associate $28,790
Preschool or childcare director Bachelor's $45,790

Source: BLS

BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT SALARY

Though figures vary based on geographic location and specialty area, graduates of online bachelor's in human development programs can expect decent starting salaries after graduation. As with any job, more work experience leads to higher salaries. The following table lists average earnings in five common roles for which graduates are equipped.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Social Worker $43,984 $40,358 $46,565 $56,783
Community Service Manager $47,993 $42,378 $50,775 $62,201
Special Education Teacher $45,011 $40,851 $45,378 $57,900
Occupational Therapist $64,680 $61,698 $71,437 $77,674
Nursing Home Administrator $86,036 $77,012 $91,239 $98,293

Sources: BLS, Payscale

BACHELOR'S IN HUMAN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT CAREERS

Beyond the options we've discussed so far, this degree program's versatility opens the door to many others career paths, including human resources, public relations, and professional development positions. The nonprofit sector is also a fine option, often employing fundraising and volunteer coordination staff. These programs serve as stepping stones to graduate study, leading to roles as attorneys, physicians, nurses, and therapists.

Wherever your education takes you, certain personality traits are essential in this field. Above all, you must be a caring person, sympathetic to the perspectives of the people you serve. You must be devoted to helping others, and possess a natural curiosity about individuals, families, and what makes them tick. Successful work with cross-functional teams calls for exceptional communication skills. Observation and assessments require strong attention to detail. Consider the following positions and how the aforementioned skills might apply:

Social Worker

Generally employed by government or nonprofit agencies, social worker identify problems that affect communities, families, or specific individuals. Working with cross-disciplinary resources, social workers work to solve programs or mitigate them as much as possible. Daily tasks might include arranging for a family to receive food stamps, referring a teen to counseling, or investigating a claim of child neglect.

Median Annual Salary $46,890

Projected Growth Rate 12%

Community Services Manager

Community services managers supervise and coordinate the administration of a social service agency or community service program. Depending on the employer's size, daily duties may center around a specific program or encompass an entire facility's programming. Duties include budgeting, strategic planning, staff development, program assessment and analysis, grant writing, and community outreach.

Median Annual Salary $64,680

Projected Growth Rate 10%

Special Education Teacher

Working mostly in public schools, these teachers work with children who are intellectually, emotionally, mentally, and/or physically challenged. Typical duties include adapting a mainstream curriculum to students with mild to moderate disability, IEP development and implementation, assessments, and serving as liaison between parents, social workers, psychologists, and therapists.

Median Annual Salary $57,910

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Occupational Therapist

Emphasizing skills necessary for the myriad activities of daily life, occupational therapists help their patients recover from illness or injury. Occupational therapists may also work with newly disabled patients to help them better adapt to a different way of living, and they develop strategies for tasks like preparing a meal and getting dressed. Occupational therapists educate families about a patient's needs and work with patients to develop exercise routines that build strength and flexibility while reducing pain.

Median Annual Salary $81,910

Projected Growth Rate 27%

Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrators manage a program or department within a retirement facility in accordance with healthcare legislation and regulatory compliance rules. Scope of responsibility can include building and grounds, admissions, finances, and patient care. Typical tasks include staff recruitment, program development, budgeting, and staff scheduling. Supervising nursing staff, nursing home administrators rarely care for patients directly.

Median Annual Salary $96,540

Projected Growth Rate 17%

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Students and working professionals alike benefit from membership in industry-specific professional organizations. These organizations offer networking opportunities that often pay off as you build your career and by hosting conferences, holding educational seminars, and hiring guest speakers to discuss relevant issues, they provide a means to stay up-to-date in your field. If your specialty area requires continuing education credits, many professional associations offer CE options to members. Larger organizations frequently publish journals, newsletters or other materials that can also help you stay current. Because the human development and family studies umbrella covers so many disciplines, it's impossible to list all pertinent organizations here, but through due diligence and research, you'll find the associations most applicable to your career goals.

Among the most well-known of these associations are:

Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Human and Family Development Program

Undergraduate students at any accredited university may apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Student aid providers use the FAFSA to calculate federal and state need-based awards such as grants, scholarships, and low-interest loans. High achievers may also qualify for merit scholarships or fellowships offered by a school or a department. Likewise, financial aid organizations and school departments make a wealth of scholarships available to students who meet their eligibility standards. It's important to note that even if you don't think you qualify for federal financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA to be considered for any other type of monetary award, in part because most schools use FAFSA data to manage students' financial aid packages.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.