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Students who major in Human Development & Family Studies learn about the human life span from birth to old age.  They learn about development and families from many different points of view—such as biology, psychology, and sociology. This integrative approach helps students learn about how to promote normal development, to understand real life problems, and about the different types of interventions that are possible.  The HDFS program features many opportunities for learning, including research experiences with faculty and through an outstanding internship program.  Penn State’s HDFS program has been rated for many years as the outstanding program of its kind in the country.

Admission Requirements

Minimum high school course requirements for admission to baccalaureate (four-year) degree programs include four units (years) of English, five units in any combination of foreign language, social studies, arts, and humanities, three units of science and three units of mathematics, selected from any combination of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Penn State recommends that students take two consecutive years of a language as well as a fourth unit of mathematics. Proof of graduation or a GED for admission into a four-year degree program is also required. Traditional first year students will be reviewed based on their high school academic record along with their standardized test scores. Penn State accepts either the SAT or the ACT and will review the best score from one single test date for admission. Adult and transfer students will be reviewed on their previous academic records for admission into the HDFS program.

Admissions Procedure

Students interested in applying for the Bachelor of Science degree in HDFS should fill out the online application at admissions.psu.edu. An official transcript from any other institution(s) attended must be submitted along with the official high school transcript.  Traditional first-year students must also submit their official SAT or ACT scores. The HDFS program can be started in either the fall or spring semester so please visit the Admissions website to see when the next available semester begins.