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The baccalaureate (4-year) degree in HDFS at DuBois is a multidisciplinary program that examines the development of individuals and families across the life span.  It enables students to prepare for professional, managerial, or scientific roles in health and human services professions, in public and nonprofit agencies, and in business and industry, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study.  Students obtain a broad background in individual and family development across the life span.  Courses emphasize biological, psychological, social/cultural, and economic aspects of development.  Through course work and undergraduate internships or research projects, students develop skills relevant to career objectives, such as counseling, human assessment, program planning and evaluation, and research.

Two options are available within the major:

     (1) Life Span Human Services Option and
     (2) Life Span Developmental Science Option. 

Only the Life Span Human Services Option of the baccalaureate degree in HDFS is available in its entirety at Penn State DuBois.  The Life Span Developmental Science Option can be started at Penn State DuBois but will need to be completed at another campus. 

Life Span Human Services Option:  This option focuses on the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge about development and family functioning across the life span for the purposes of enhancing personal and family development.  Courses emphasize: (1) understanding the biological, psychological, and social development across the life span, and the structuring and functioning of families; (2) understanding basic theoretical and methodological issues; and (3) the development of applied skills in intervention and evaluation, prevention, and in the formulation of social policy.  An approved internship field experience in a setting that serves children, youth, adults, or the aged is required for this option.  Typical employment settings include preschools, daycare centers, hospital programs for children, youth, and families, institutional and community mental health program for individuals and families, programs for abused or neglected children and adolescents, women’s resource centers, human resources programs, employee assistance programs, nursing homes, area agencies on aging and other community settings for older adults, and public welfare and family service agencies.  Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, or sociology, or advanced professional training in psychology, law, behavioral health, counseling or social work.