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.

Sub-navigation:

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 Careers

Students select Human Development and Family Science careers that focus on a particular stage of family life, such as working with young children, at-risk adolescents, new parents, or families with aging members.

While career guidance tends to be organized around what people do in their jobs (e.g. teach, manage), many students pursue an HDFS major because they want to work with families during particular stages of family life, such as working with young children, at-risk adolescents, new parents, or families with aging members. But students may not know what kinds of jobs exist that would allow for such work with families across the lifespan. Below are listings of the types of jobs our students could pursue (organized by HDFS concentration).

Adult Development and Aging Concentration (ADA) Career OptionsMore Less

This concentration prepares students for graduate education and careers working with older adults and their families (e.g., adult services).

  • Family support worker
  • Crisis/hotline worker
  • Victim advocate
  • Family resource coordinator
  • Home health worker
  • Case manager
  • Program Administrator/Director
  • Adult services specialist
  • Health Advocate
  • Elder care consultant
  • Senior Living advisor
Family Research, Policy, and Advocacy Concentration (FRPA) Career OptionsMore Less

This concentration prepares students for graduate education and careers in family law and policy, research, family-based advocacy, and beyond.

  • Family policy analyst
  • Researcher
  • Lobbyist/advocate
  • Non-profit
  • Legislator
  • Grant-writer
  • Development officer
  • Program developer
  • Researcher
  • Program evaluator
  • Lawyer (J.D.)/graduate degree
  • Mediator
Family Health and Well-Being Concentration (FHW) Career OptionsMore Less

This concentration prepares students for graduate education and careers in counseling, family and community health, human resources, and beyond.

  • Social worker
  • Social and human service assistants
  • Youth and family services
  • Clinical social work
  • Social and community service managers
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
  • Mental health counselors
  • Rehabilitation counselors
  • School and career counselors
  • Psychiatric assistants or aides
  • Psychologist
  • School psychologist

Health

  • Home health aide
  • Pediatrics
  • Occupational therapy
  • Occupational therapy assistant or aide
  • Child life Specialist
  • Physical therapy
  • Physical therapy assistant or aide
  • Public health administration
  • Health educators

Human Resources

  • Human resources or another site for Human resources
  • Human resource managers
  • Compensation and benefits managers
  • Public relations
  • Training and development managers
  • Fundraising
  • Labor relations
Child Development, Education, and Services Concentration (CDES) Career OptionsMore Less

This concentration prepares students for graduate education and careers in early childhood education and care, elementary education, child and family life services, and beyond.

  • Child Care workers
  • ESL teachers
  • Teaching assistants
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool and child care center directors
  • Special education teacher
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Family support worker
  • Parent educator
  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)
  • After school program director
  • Curriculum developer
  • Family resource coordinator
Adolescent Development and Services Concentration (ADS) Career OptionsMore Less

This concentration prepares students for graduate education and careers working with adolescents and their families.

  • ESL teachers
  • Youth workers
  • Teaching assistants
  • Health Educators
  • Special education teacher
  • Recreation therapist
  • Recreation leadership
  • Elementary school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)
  • Parent educator
  • Youth development worker
  • Sexuality educator
  • Youth outreach worker