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URI Providence Campus

80 Washington Street

Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-277-5000

B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies

human development degree - Claudia Kerbel  Claudia Kerbel
 Department of Human Development and Family Studies

 Program Coordinator for the Providence Campus

 cmkerbel@etal.uri.edu
 401-277-5040

Welcome to the URI Providence Campus
Human Development and Family Studies Program!

The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies degree is designed to prepare students to work in a wide spectrum of community and other human service settings serving children, adolescents, adults and families. A degree in Human Development and Family Studies can open the door to many kinds of healing and service occupations, particularly if followed with graduate school in the fields of child development, psychology, education, social work, student affairs and marriage and family therapy.

Recent graduates have found employment in occupations as diverse as crisis advocate at a sex abuse and trauma resource center, child care worker, early childhood teacher, assistant program manager for a mental health organization and child protective investigator.

The advantages of a HDFS Degree

Students majoring in Human Development and Family Studies are given the unique opportunity to obtain hands-on professional experience through fieldwork and internships. Senior year students will be able to share their expertise in a wide variety of organizations serving the concerns of divergent populations through experiential learning courses.

Previous work and/ or community experience may enable students to earn experiential learning credits that are applicable toward meeting degree requirements. Students may receive credit for:


  • Military service
  • Employer training programs
  • Credit through examination *
  • Credit for prior learning **

*The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) which measures knowledge, gained through work, independent study or other means.
**Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) tests for documented college-level learning acquired outside of a classroom. Ask your HDFS program representative for more information.

The HDFS curriculum at a glance

Students can choose from three areas of concentration as well as certificate options.


Areas of Concentration:

  • Child Settings. The Child Settings program focuses on child development and the role of the family, as well as the effect of public policies on children.
  • Family and Community Settings. The Family and Community Settings program emphasizes adolescent development through adulthood, with consideration given to the well-being of individuals and families moving through the life cycle.
  • Family Finance. Family Finance is a program designed to train students to help individuals and families learn to control their finances and plan for their future.

Certificate Options

  • Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification. Students who earn this certificate are prepared to teach pre-school through second grade levels.
  • Family Financial Counseling and Planning Certificate. This certificate is focused on the relationship between financial and family development, with the goal of guiding families to make sound financial decisions throughout life.
  • Certified Family Life Educator. The HDF program at URI Providence has the approval of the National Council on Family Relations for provisional certification of undergraduate students as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE).

Learn more about the HDFS Program here.

Scholarships and other assistance and services

  • As one of the few Continuing Education colleges offering endowed scholarships, financial assistance covering books and tuition are available for matriculated adult students. To learn more about the scholarships available click here.
  • Free parking with shuttle buses to campus, along with good access to public transportation, makes getting to class easier.
  • All classes are held in one building, and are offered both days and weekends, offering more flexibility for student schedules.
  • Preschool is also available for children of student parents.

Interested students can fill this form or call the campus at 401.277.5160 to discuss available options with a Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program representative.