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Academic Programs

Discover how people develop throughout their life spans and grow in their relationships. Gain a strong foundation in the applied social sciences while learning to gather evidence, think critically, evaluate sources, and communicate your findings

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Our B.S. degree in Human Development will enable you to explore child and adult learning and development in the context of family, community, and culture. We encourage experiential learning and undergraduate research, working with our three centers to provide a rich and practical student experience that will equip you for your chosen field.

We also offer a master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy at our National Capital Region campus and a Ph.D. program with four concentration options on our main campus in Blacksburg. With dedicated faculty and myriad opportunities to do real-time research through our Child Development Center for Learning and Research, Family Therapy Center, and Center for Family Services, our programs will prepare you for careers in social services, health care, government, non-profits, and more. 


Graduate Program in Human Development and Family Science

We offer four content-focus areas within our Human Development and Family Science program: Adult Development and Aging (ADA), Child and Adolescent Development (CAD), Family Studies (FS), and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). All students admitted to the Ph.D. program will receive a degree from the Department of Human Development and Family Science. The focus areas that students choose reflect their general interests, although these areas may overlap. The MFT focus is the most distinct because students in this area engage in clinical practice and supervision, and they also complete an internship during their fourth year.