2-year Human Development and Family Studies

Get started in the expanding human services field

Follow your passion of improving the quality of human services for families and individuals from varied backgrounds and community settings.

Gain a breadth of knowledge that spans a general education background, knowledge of life spans and family development, and a core of professional skills that may be applied in program planning and service delivery activities.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the social and human service field is one of the fastest-growing occupational area between 2018-2028 at 13%, a rate much faster than average. Now’s the perfect time to get started in our career-focused Human Development and Family Studies program!

Penn State Shenango offers two areas of concentration in the 2-year Human Development and Family Studies program:

  • The Adult Development and Aging option focuses on biological, psychological, and social development of adults and elderly persons, with special emphasis on the various contexts of adult development, including work and the family.
  • The Children, Youth, and Family Services option is an ideal choice if you want to work with various age groups in centers, institutions, and agencies.

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Check out our selection of open houses, application workshops, and personalized visits to discover why Penn State Shenango is the perfect place for you. 

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You’ll love the 2-year Human Development and Family Studies major if…

  • You have always been curious about human behavior and family relationships, and how people relate to one another
  • You already work in a human service–related field
  • You aspire to work in human service–related occupations
  • You are interested in studying how psychology, sociology, and biology relate to human development
  • You plan to pursue a 4-year degree and wish to establish foundational knowledge of human development

2-year Human Development and Family Studies career opportunities

Completing your degree in Human Development and Family Studies prepares you to work in the human services field, promoting health and preventing social and mental health problems for children, youth and families and adults and the elderly. You may also find employment in the following areas:

  • Medical case work
  • Mental health work
  • Case management
  • School support services
  • Medical and public health services
  • Substance abuse services

Continuing your education

Upon completion of the 2-year Human Development and Family Studies major, you may also choose to proceed seamlessly to a 4-year Human Development and Family Studies or another human development-related major at Penn State.

human development student in class

What to expect in the 2-year Human Development and Family Studies major

Penn State’s Associate in Science in Human Development and Family Studies HDFS integrates practical and academic experiences to provide you with entry-level, professional competencies in the human service fields.

Both concentration areas of the major integrate an internship at a human service organization in our community. This real world experience will help you build professional networks, establish references, and reflect on what you have learned in the classroom.

Campus roots in community health care

Embedding ourselves among the region’s health care experts, our faculty have decades of experience working in hospitals, skilled facilities, and clinics, providing you real-world learnings. Whether your instructor is a medical practitioner, counseling professional, or a business administrator, our degree options ensure that you’re prepared with the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in your career.

Credentials for your interests

Beyond Penn State Shenango’s expanding list 4-year and 2-year degree options, the campus also offers dynamic minor and certificate programs to compliment your major and career goals. Explore our academic programming options.

Get ready to meet your success team

Designed as your one-stop-shop, our Academic and Career Planning Services suite houses the offices of Academic AdvisingCareer Services, and Registration in one convenient location. Your personal adviser will guide you during academic planning and career counseling during orientation, all the way to your final semester when it’s time to land an internship and file your graduation forms.

Start your Penn State story

We're excited you're ready to become a Penn Stater! Now's the perfect time to get started on your application. If you need help getting started, check out our guides to apply for first-year, transfer, or adult students. 

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2-year Human Development and Family Studies major courses

Review the full Human Development and Family Studies course listing for additional requirements and a sample of the program’s structure.

  • Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies
  • Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions
  • Human Development and Family Studies Interventions
  • Family Development
  • Concentration in Adult Development and Aging Services:
    • Adult Development and Aging
  • Concentration in Children, Youth, and Family Services:
    • Infant and Child Development
    • Adolescent Development


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