Program Description about Human Development and Family Studies

The Human Development and Family Studies major is a Bachelor of Science degree program that provides students with a comprehensive study of human development across lifespans, family development, and family resource management. Students are prepared for careers and positions in child and family advocacy, family service agencies, life and parenting education programs, youth and gerontology programs, social work, teaching and education, consumer affair agencies, medicine, law, and business.

We are committed to providing our students the tools necessary to achieve their academic goals and their career aspirations. With a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, you are equipped with a multifaceted degree of knowledge designed to address all stages and phases of human development.



The Human Development and Family Studies Bachelor of Science degree offers a wide variety of courses students can take to supplement their interests and satisfy the mandatory course requirements. Courses ranging from human development, infancy and early childhood, aging, parenting, leadership, marriages, research, economics, and public policy are all offered within the HDFS program at University of Hawaii at Mānoa to provide our students a comprehensive study for preparation of entry into the workforce. Click here to view our course descriptions to see what interests you.


Program Sheet

As a Human Development and Family Studies major, students are required to take necessary courses to satisfy HDFS major credits as well as graduation requirements. Of the minimum 120 total applicable credits needed to graduate at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, 38 of these credits must come from HDFS major credits, as well as related course requirements. Students are encouraged to enroll in more than the minimum amount of 38 credits to expand their knowledge and utilize the best the HDFS has to offer. Click here to view the program sheet.


Internship Opportunity

HDFS provides students with a unique and invaluable opportunity to participate in a semester long internship that most other schools do not offer. All HDFS majors are required to complete a one-semester internship in their final regular semester before graduation (not including summer session). The internship opportunity not only satisfies a mandatory course requirement, but provides leadership experiences and real life application that will prepare our students for their careers in the workforce. Enrollment is restricted to students who have officially been accepted into HDFS by the internship application deadline. Students must apply for the internship one semester prior to the semester in which they plan to do their internship. Please click here to learn more.




Academic advising is mandatory and is offered either through appointment or by walk-in advising. Located on the first floor of Gilmore Hall, our academic advisors are available to meet with new and currents students to ensure the success of our students’. Walk-in advising is offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:30am to 1:30pm (except holidays). Our walk-in advising is meant for quick questions and assistance such as signing off on form, clarifying requirements, registration info, and quick referrals.

Please make an appointment with our qualified academic advisors for any other concerns or if an in-depth discussion is needed. Click here to make an appointment, and don’t forget to look for the iconic butterfly mural located on the front walls of Gilmore Hall.


Scholarship Opportunities

The University of Hawaii offers a wide variety of scholarship opportunities and grants to our students. The University of Hawai’i Foundation awards about $5 million annually from various private and corporate donations. Click here to apply.

The Department of Family and Consumer Science additionally has scholarships that students may wish to apply for. Scholarship availability is based on funding. Click here to apply.