Jump to Footer

Prepare for a career in public & private human service agencies


Learn to help solve problems families and individuals face.

Human Development & Family Relations Major


  • One semester of full-time, supervised field work in a human service agency
  • Emphasis on learning to help individuals and families solve problems related to child development, family relations, aging, nutritional planning for individuals and families, family financial management.
  • Prepare for meaningful careers in public and private human service agencies
  • Qualify for graduate study in related fields: counseling, social work, education, psychology, and more
  • Qualified and caring faculty who work closely with their students.

What Will I Learn?


Our program prepares you for graduate studies and careers in human service field. Learn about human development, issues people face and how to help them live fulfilling lives.

You may choose to study the general lifespan or specialize in a particular age group with study options:

  • Adolescents — The study option in adolescence prepares you for careers related to adolescents and young adults in public and private human service agencies. 
  • Adult Development and Aging — The study option in adult development and aging prepares you for a career related to senior citizens and the elderly in public and private human service agencies.
  • Child Care — The study option in child care management is unique within the SUNY system and prepares you to become child-care center directors, Head Start teachers or professionals working in other youth-related agencies.

What is Unique About Our Program?


The HDFR degree is flexible!

Interesting courses lead to one degree, but are varied based on students’ needs and interests. The HDFR degree offers a variety of applied learning and hands-on opportunities to prepare you for entry into the human services job market or graduate programs. You will have access to:

  • Field trips to see human service professionals in action
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Thirty hour practicum opportunities
  • Variety of full-time professional internships

What Are My Career Opportunities?


A human development and family relations degree is highly relevant to a broad range of career opportunities. 

Graduates holding degrees in human development and family relations from SUNY Plattsburgh are currently working in such diverse fields as:

  • Family advocacy
  • Child life specialist
  • Crisis center counseling
  • Youth detention center case work
  • Child care centers
  • Nursing home activity direction
  • Planned Parenthood education
  • Mental health services

Pursuing a Graduate Degree

Approximately 25–30 percent of human development and family relations majors pursue advanced degrees in counseling, social work, psychology, law, public administration, or other related fields. Many others enter the job market immediately after graduation.

Recent graduates are currently working on master’s degrees at New York University (in New York City), C.W. Post University (on Long Island), Queens College (in New York City), and SUNY Plattsburgh.

Back to top