Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

An online human development and family studies degree program prepares students for a wide range of careers. Learn what these online programs are all about.

Updated September 14, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

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How to Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies Online

Students who earn a degree in human development and family studies learn how individuals grow and develop over a lifetime. They also explore ways that people relate to their own families and form relationships between families. Graduates work in many fields that provide human-related services, including education, social work, public health, and criminal justice. Many career paths in this field offer faster-than-average projected job growth and the opportunity to help people improve their lives.

This page explains the job outlook and salary potential for professionals who hold an accredited online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies. The page also explains curriculum and concentration options, financial aid and scholarships available, and the importance of attending an accredited program.


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How Much Can You Make in a Human Development and Family Studies Career?

Students who graduate from the best online human development and family studies schools can find many potential careers. Graduates in this field typically pursue occupations in human and social services. This includes career paths such as social worker, social and community service manager, health educator, and probation officer.

Accredited human development and family studies degrees prepare students for these careers by helping them understand how people develop, grow, and form relationships over time. Human development and family studies professionals use this insight to help people make healthier choices about their relationships and other life decisions. No degree can guarantee a career or salary; however, the list below describes some possible human development and family studies careers.




Social Workers

Social workers help individuals find practical solutions to problems in their daily lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat people with emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. They work in schools, human service agencies, mental health clinics, and private practices. Some social workers specialize in an area such as schools, healthcare, children and family, or substance abuse. Social worker typically must have a master's degree, but some states allow individuals with a bachelor's to obtain entry-level or support roles.

Median Salary: $49,470
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 11%




Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers supervise and coordinate community groups and social service agencies. They often work for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private social service groups. When they work for large organizations, these professionals often have specialized focus areas; in small organizations, they take on many different tasks. They identify useful programs with community stakeholders, analyze data, and evaluate program effectiveness.

Median Salary: $65,320
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 13%




Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Health educators and community health workers promote health and wellness by educating individuals and communities about health-related best practices. They also collect health data, create and implement health promotion plans, and discuss health concerns with communities. They work in many settings, including colleges, healthcare facilities, nonprofits, private business, and public health departments.

Median Salary: $46,080
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 11%




Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants support families and offer client services in many fields, including social work, psychology, and rehabilitation. They assist social workers and other professionals and help people access needed community services or benefits. They typically work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit social service agencies. They often work with specific populations, such as children, veterans, the elderly, and immigrants.

Median Salary: $33,750
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 13%




Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists provide services to parolees and probationers. They help rehabilitate offenders and connect them with social services. They assess progress, determine rehabilitation plans, offer substance abuse counseling and drug tests, and write reports on offenders. Their work can often prove stressful and sometimes dangerous.

Median Salary: $53,020
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 3%




Salaries and projected job growth for human development and family studies professionals vary based on many factors. Wages vary based on factors such as type of industry or employer, employee credentials, employee experience and skill, and job tasks.

Geographic location can also majorly impact potential salary and job growth. Urban areas and expensive states tend to pay workers more to compensate for the cost of living. States with high concentrations of human development and family studies jobs include California, New York, and Pennsylvania. The list below shows the salary and job growth data for human development and family studies professionals for all states.

What Courses Can Be Taken for an Online HDFS Degree?

Bachelor's in human development and family studies programs typically require coursework in areas such as child, adolescent, and adult development; research methods; and professional skills development. Consult the table below for a sampling of coursework from an online human development and family studies program.

This is just an example of the types of courses these programs may require. Student should contact prospective programs directly to learn about specific courses, core requirements, electives, and degree requirements.

How to Choose the Best Online Human Development and Family Studies Program

Students need to consider many factors when they choose an online human development and family studies school. Considerations include program reputation, classes and minors offered, accreditation status, program requirements, cost of tuition, time commitment, and faculty. Program choice is usually a very personal decision. For example, students concerned with finding an affordable program should prioritize cost and program length.

How should I choose my human development and family studies courses?

Human development and family studies bachelor's degree online programs typically post requirements and course descriptions online. You can consult a school's course list to locate the human development and family studies courses most relevant to your interests. Look to see what each school offers for electives and how these can support a human development and family studies major.

What should I pay attention to when looking at faculty of human development and family studies bachelor's programs?

Look for programs with experienced faculty members who hold doctoral degrees. If you hope to specialize in an area of human development and family studies, find out if any faculty members conduct research in your area of interest. Some programs offer formal and informal faculty mentorship programs for students.

Are there differences between earning an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in human development and family studies?

Earning a human development and family studies bachelor's degree online offers greater flexibility and convenience for working students and those with other personal commitments. Curriculum and program requirements for online and in-person programs closely resemble each other. You can contact programs directly to learn about substantive differences between earning a degree on campus or online.

How will earning a human development and family studies bachelor's degree help me reach my goals?

Earning a bachelor's in human development and family studies can help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to qualify for many positions in this field. Employers frequently require or prefer applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree. Enrolling in a human development program also offers networking and mentorship opportunities, along with support from your school's career center.

Do bachelor's in human development and family studies online programs require internships?

Most online human development and family studies bachelor's programs do not require internships. In many cases, students can optionally enroll in an internship. Programs that do require an internship typically let students complete in-person professional experiences in their local communities.

Is it important to earn my human development and family studies bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school?

Yes. Attending a regionally accredited college offers many benefits. Accredited colleges provide reassurance that you will receive a high-quality education. Attending a regionally accredited college also increases your chances of qualifying for federal financial aid and your ability to transfer credits to another program. If you decide to earn a graduate degree later, most programs include an accredited bachelor's degree as an eligibility requirement.

How long do most human development and family studies bachelor's programs take to complete?

Most full-time human development and family studies bachelor's programs take four years to complete. Some online programs offer an accelerated option that lets students graduate more quickly by taking more credits each term and attending classes year-round. Program completion time for part-time learners varies depending on how many credits they take each term.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for HDFS Programs

Students who earn their bachelor's degree in human development and family studies online can choose from many ways to pay for their education. Sources of financial aid often include student loans, grants, and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are the best method because they do not require repayment. The following section includes a sampling of a few of the scholarships available to human development and family studies students.


Scholarships and Financial Aid for HDFS Programs
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Undergraduate Scholarship

Varies AAFCS coordinates several scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree in human development, family studies, consumer sciences, or a related field. Check the AAFCS website for information about award amounts and eligibility criteria for each particular scholarship.

Ann-Marie Ogletree Child Development Scholarship

$1,200 The Cleveland Foundation awards this $1,200 scholarship to students pursuing a degree in child development, counseling, or a related field. Applicants must be from the greater Cleveland area, hold a minimum 2.75 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and enroll or plan to enroll in an accredited college. Recipients must maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum 2.0 GPA each term.

Ablelight

Varies Bethesda Lutheran Communities awards five $3,000 scholarships annually to undergraduate students pursuing a degree related to serving people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Applicants must be an active member of a Lutheran congregation and a junior or senior at an accredited college. Candidates should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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$3,000 Bethesda Lutheran Communities awards five scholarships annually to undergraduate students pursuing a degree related to serving people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Applicants must be an active member of a Lutheran congregation and a junior or senior at an accredited college. Candidates should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Bright Futures Scholarship

$1,000 The Bright Futures Scholarship Program offers scholarships to future teachers and childcare providers studying early childhood education or a related field focused on serving children six and under. Applicants must demonstrate academic strength and submit letters of recommendation and essay questions. Recipients receive funding that they can use on books, fees, laptops, and other educational expenses.

Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholarship

Up to $30,000 This competitive scholarship program is awarded to junior and senior undergraduates who commit to working as a "change agent" in a government agency, education, or nonprofit organization after graduation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and want to earn a master's degree in the future. Students should participate in extracurricular activities, demonstrate leadership potential, and possess a strong academic record.

Online Human Development and Family Studies Schools

#1 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

New Mexico State University-Main Campus

  • Las Cruces, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New Mexico State University-Main Campus delivers an online bachelor of science in human development and family science ideal for busy learners. Based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the school educates degree-seekers through high-quality academic programs. The school's academic offerings include 40 online programs, including 12 bachelor's-level options.

Online learners in the human and family development program benefit from scheduling flexibility and receive a high-quality educational experience. Learners in online classes can participate in asynchronous discussions and network with peers. Bachelor's programs typically take four years for full-time degree-seekers to complete.

Affordable tuition rates and institutional funding make pursuing higher education easier for many learners. The institution holds accreditation, which means degree-seekers can receive federal grants and loans. Financial aid counselors help students explore funding options.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,875
Out-of-state
$21,864
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
14,296
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With 265 programs, Oregon State University provides academic programs for Oregon-based students and those throughout the country. The public institution's learners can study online or on campus. The school delivers an online program for students interested in human and family development.

The flexible bachelor's degree in human development and family science delivers scheduling options for online enrollees. Students gain transferable skills while completing general education coursework. Degree-seekers can select field-specific electives to tailor the curriculum to their career goals. Faculty advisors provide undergraduates with academic and professional guidance.

Learners pursuing their master's degree online benefit from the institution's affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding. Students can discuss funding options, including grants and scholarships, with qualified financial aid counselors.

Oregon State University Facts:

Number of Online Students: 14,977

Percent of Students Accepted: 82%

Total Bachelor's Programs: 83

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Permits Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
31,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Washington State University

  • Pullman, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The programs at Washington State University help professionals move into new careers or advance in their current field. Learners can choose from 20 online bachelor's programs. The institution enrolls 6,592 distance learners in its online programs.

The school's flexible online programs include a bachelor's degree in human development. In online courses, learners interact with faculty and peers in a virtual classroom setting. Prospective students can use test scores to bolster their application. The institution offers advisors and other support staff for distance learners.

Washington State University Statistics:

Per-Credit Price: 1,024

Average Price After Aid: $18,002

Percentage of Learners Receiving Financial Aid: 89%

Percentage of Learners Receiving Student Loans: 41%

Percent of Students Admitted: 76%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, a regional accrediting body.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,953
Out-of-state
$24,531
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
31,607
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

  • Fort Collins, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Colorado State University-Fort Collins delivers undergraduate programs for online degree-seekers throughout the country. With a main campus in Fort Collins, the public institution also educates students in Colorado. The online human and family development program is ideal for individuals who need flexible scheduling options.

The human and family development program features a virtual classroom environment, providing flexibility for online learners. Online students can consult with professors virtually. 

The program's curriculum includes core and advanced human and family development classes. Graduates use the skills they gained during their studies to succeed in entry-level careers.

Prospective students can contact the program for more information about admission requirements, application deadlines, and start dates.

Colorado State University-Fort Collins Numbers:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 78

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Students Awarded Financial Aid: 79%

Students Awarded Loans: 40%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,426
Out-of-state
$28,147
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
33,426
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Kansas State University

  • Manhattan, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online students can enroll in the human development and family science bachelor's degree from Kansas State University. The online human and family development program's scheduling flexibility is ideal for learners balancing academics with personal and professional obligations.

A public institution, Kansas State University offers in-person programs on its Manhattan campus. The school's academic offerings include 73 online programs, including 13 online bachelor's programs, which often benefit degree-seekers with personal or professional responsibilities.

Learners in the human and family development bachelor's program complete general education requirements, which foster transferable skills they can apply to field-specific classes. Graduation requirements for the bachelor's program include required coursework and at least 120 credits. Enrollees complete a rigorous curriculum and gain field-specific training in human and family development.

Learners can benefit from the school's support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The institution's career counselors help undergraduates prepare to secure professional roles after graduation. Students can consult with financial aid counselors to explore funding options, such as scholarships and grants.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,735
Out-of-state
$25,251
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
21,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Utah State University

  • Logan, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The top-ranked bachelor's degree in human development and family studies program at Utah State University offers an online enrollment option. At the public institution, located in Logan, Utah, undergraduates enroll in on-campus and online programs. The school's online programs use a flexible learning format that helps learners balance school with other responsibilities.

The online bachelor's program draws on a rigorous curriculum to build advanced human and family development knowledge and skills. Students work closely with faculty mentors and academic advisors to individualize their degree based on their interests and career goals. The program's online support services include tutoring, financial aid advising, and career counseling.

As an accredited institution, distance learners can submit the FAFSA and use federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant to pay for college. In addition to federal aid, students use scholarships and state grants to pay for their degree.

Utah State University Fast Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 106

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Number of Online Students: 13,952

Percent of Students Admitted: 91%

Rate of Graduation: 54%

Permits Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,549
Out-of-state
$21,087
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
27,810
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#7 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

University of Wisconsin-Stout

  • Menomonie, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-Stout's online bachelor of science in human development and family studies benefits distance learners seeking career advancement. In addition to on-campus options in Menomonie, Wisconsin, students at the public institution can pursue 13 programs in an online format. Degree-seekers across the country can pursue the school's two online bachelor's programs without relocating.

The institution delivers coursework for the program in a virtual classroom environment. Students in the program develop transferable skills through core coursework and specialize during upper-level classes. General education requirements help degree-seekers develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Gaining professional experience during internships can benefit graduates applying for positions in their field.

The school offers support services, including academic advising and career counseling, for online and on-campus learners. Students with financial need can submit the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Financial aid counselors help students understand funding options, such as scholarships and grants.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,014
Out-of-state
$14,981
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
8,413
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

California State University-East Bay

  • Hayward, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, California State University-East Bay educates students in online and in-person formats. Along with on-campus programs in Hayward, California, the school delivers nine online programs. The flexible bachelor's degree in human development prepares students for a variety of opportunities in human and family development through accessible coursework.

Learners pursuing the bachelor's degree take general education courses, along with core and upper-division major classes. Electives and experiential learning opportunities help degree-seekers gain skills they can apply to human and family development careers. Faculty advisors and career counselors help undergraduates and alumni locate job placements in their field.

The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees can submit the FAFSA to receive federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. For details about application deadlines and requirements, prospective applicants can contact an admissions advisor.

California State University-East Bay Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 47

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Number of Online Students: 9,361

Student Acceptance Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 50%

Allows Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
16,064
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#9 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

  • University Park, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus's online bachelor of science in human development and family studies ranks as one of the best online human and family development degrees. 

The school educates degree-seekers at its University Park campus. Students can choose from the school's 207 program options, with 207 programs available online.

The online human and family development program offers a high-quality learning experience with flexible scheduling options. Busy learners balancing work and school can benefit from the online program's customizable nature. The online program features opportunities to connect with peers and faculty members. While most bachelor's degree-seekers graduate in four years, part-time enrollment may extend degree completion time.

The school's affordable tuition rates make it easier for learners to pursue undergraduate degrees. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant. Financial aid counseling can help students reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,484
Out-of-state
$13,484
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
Not provided
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Online Human Development And Family Studies Degrees

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus's Denver offers online and in-person programs. Of the school's 150 program options, degree-seekers can pursue 34 in an online format. The institution's online offerings include an online bachelor of science in human development and family relations.

Degree-seekers earn at least 120 credits to graduate  and fulfill general education and major requirements. Learners consult with faculty mentors to select classes aligning with their interests and career goals. Students can participate in internships to bolster their resume and impress prospective employers.

The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees can submit the FAFSA to receive federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. Of the school's undergraduates, 82% obtain financial aid to pay for their degree. Prospective students can contact the institution for details about application deadlines and requirements.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$24,408
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
24,910
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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