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Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS), a department within the School of Human Ecology (SoHE), is currently home to more than 500 undergraduate majors who focus on the study of families and the individuals within the family unit.

Our program is unique in that it is located in the College of Natural Sciences, giving our majors a solid background in statistics as well as the physical sciences. Our HDFS curriculum focuses on helping students develop knowledge and experience about individuals and families through observation, interaction, research, and writing. Our curriculum also provides opportunities for students to implement the skills they have mastered through a required practicum course. An undergraduate major in HDFS provides excellent preparation for graduate school or advance degrees as well as a future in allied health professions, research careers in HDFS, or for employment that has indirect or direct contact with children, adults, or families.

Students in the HDFS major choose between four primary tracks, Early Childhood, Human Development, Families and Personal Relationships, and Families and Society. We also offer several avenues for gaining honors distinction upon graduation as well as a BSA (Bachelor of Science and Arts) in HDFS.


Students interested in finding internships, exploring career opportunities, or planning for graduate school should visit the CNS Career Services website and schedule an appointment with a career coach through Handshake. Handshake is a college job platform where employers looking to recruit UT Austin students can post internships and full time job opportunities. For exploring careers in HDFS, check out the HDFS Careers Podcast with great resources and interviews with HDFS graduates working in the field. The SoHE Alumni Mentor Speaker Series page features recordings of many UT HDFS alumni presenting their career path story.