Careers in the social sciences offer the chance to make a difference in the lives of many people, young and old. The goal is to help young children get off to a good start in life, provide support to families during difficult times, and enable senior citizens to make the most of their lives. Regardless of how HDFS graduates apply their knowledge and skills, they will find many outlets to do their part in making the world a better place.

Student helping young child in a classroomEarly Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs

Students gain knowledge and skills for a variety of careers in education and intervention programs for young children and their families. Graduates are prepared to be teachers in preschool classrooms and/or in classrooms serving children with exceptional needs through third grade.


Student doing researchDevelopmental and Family Science

The Developmental and Family Science major allows students to study the interdisciplinary field of human development and family studies from a generalist perspective, or with a concentration in child development or family and community health. This major can lead to a wide variety of careers working directly with people, or designing programs and policies to improve people’s lives. It is also a great choice for students interested in graduate or professional school.

Students doing researchFamily and Consumer Sciences Education

Family and Consumer Sciences Educators help students in middle and high school develop important life skills in the areas of nutrition, interpersonal relationships, child development, and life and careers. Graduates are also prepared to find careers in human service agencies, business and industry, and the Cooperative Extension Service.

Child and FatherHuman Services

If you are interested in working with people to help improve their life circumstances, the Human Services major may be an excellent choice for you. Students in this major are concerned about today's individuals and families and want to help them find solutions to challenging circumstances.

Addiction Studies Concentration

Purdue students who chose to major in Human Services may elect to add the addiction studies concentration. The concentration is not available outside of the Human Services major. Both the major requirements and the concentration are needed to meet Indiana's LACA licensing requirements. For more information, see the Addiction Studies Concentration web page.

Interdisciplinary Programs

•  Certificate in Gerontology
•  Accelerated (4+1) Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis
•  Combined (4+1) Master's Degree in Public Health


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