Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Human Development and Family Science

Students of human development and family science look at how people grow and how they form relationships throughout their lives. They explore the dynamics and relationships between people, families, communities, and society.

The Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) curriculum prepares students to effectively engage with families in a variety of service settings, including: childhood development, education and services; adolescent development and services; adult development and aging; and family health and well being.

Download HDFS FlyerHuman Development and Family Science (HDFS) Flyer
Our family research, policy, and advocacy program also prepares students to critically analyze complex family issues, advocate for families in schools, communities, and in the policy arena, and address social factors contributing to and influencing family functioning, health, and well-being (e.g., poverty, immigration, family homelessness, family violence). Students are required to complete a 6-credit internship and integrate research training with service fieldwork. Such an experience is a critical component of HDFS student development and will further prepare our students for diverse careers in the human development and family science field.

The HDFS program is a joint academic degree program sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).