Online Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family StudiesOnline Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family StudiesOnline Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies

You’re driven to make a difference.

We’re driven to make that possible.

People are dynamic and complex. So is human growth and development. That’s because we’re shaped by so many factors: genetics, family, religion, relationships, social establishments. When you understand the intricacies of those dynamics, you’re in a unique position to help people brave some of life’s most difficult challenges.

Earn your Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies online from Maryville University, and learn how people develop within the context of the family and society. Gain an understanding of human development across the life cycle by choosing from four tracks: Early Childhood DevelopmentYouth DevelopmentFamily Life Education, or Adult Development and Aging. Or, choose the 30-credit Child Life Specialist concentration, designed to help you pursue professional certification and work in a hospital setting as a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Information at a glance

No Entry Exam

No Application Fee

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Careers for those with a bachelor’s in human development and family studies include:

  • Certified child life specialist*
  • Certified family life educator*
  • Childcare or preschool director
  • Mental health or behavioral counselor*
  • Patient advocate/navigator

*Note that some professions associated with human development and family studies require further education or certification.

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Why choose our bachelor’s in human development and family studies?

You’re driven to make a difference, and we’re driven to make that possible. Our bachelor’s in human development and family studies program is designed to help you build a sense of community with your colleagues. Through coursework, projects, and other interactive opportunities, you’ll connect and interact with classmates, professors, advisors, and support staff.

Here’s what you can expect with our program:

Apply with no fee and no SAT/ACT required

Explore financial aid and transfer credit friendly admission

Access coursework 100% online

Benefit from a curriculum that follows the 10 content areas of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)

Learn from industry professionals and experienced practitioners

Get field-ready with immersive coursework and service-learning opportunities

Maryville University students sitting outside on campus


Your online coursework focuses on everything from child guidance and parenting to family issues and aging. The curriculum explores trends and topics like early childhood and adolescent development, human relationships, diverse society, psychology, and sociology. It’s also closely aligned to standards for the National Council of Family Relations, Child Development Council, Child and Youth Care Certification Board, and the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Build a solid, practical foundation. Our program combines core coursework specific to human development and family studies with a number of electives that let you tailor your degree to your interests.

Earn an optional Child Life Specialist concentration. Learn to address children’s unique needs and challenges in this optional concentration.

Choose an area of focus. In addition to the Child Life Specialist concentration, our program allows you to build and develop your skills in a specific area of human development and family studies.

Choose from four tracks:

Early Childhood Development. Study the cognitive, emotional, social, and language development of young children within the context of family and community.

Youth Development. Build the skills to promote positive development in children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds.

Family Life Education. Champion healthy family development and teach effective communication, parenting, interpersonal, and coping skills to individuals, couples, families, and caregivers.

Adult Development and Aging. Explore the social, emotional, and family-based factors that impact the ways individuals enter adulthood.

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Accreditation and rankings

Maryville University is a nationally ranked private college recognized for comprehensive and innovative education focused on student learning, outcomes, and success.

Higher Learning Commission accreditation

Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Forbe's America's Top Colleges 2019 accreditation

Ranked by Forbes among “America’s Top Colleges” for 2019

Kiplinger Best College Values 2019 accreditation

Listed among the “Best College Values 2019” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Money's Best Colleges 2020 accreditation

Ranked among Money’s “Best Colleges” 2020

Be Brave

Bring us your ambition and we’ll guide you along a personalized path to a quality education that’s designed to change your life.