FSHD Undergraduate Program


Error message

  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::__wakeup() should either be compatible with DateTime::__wakeup(): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 158 of /var/www/drupal/sites7/cals.arizona.edu.fcs/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).
  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::format($format, $force = false) should either be compatible with DateTime::format(string $format): string, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 158 of /var/www/drupal/sites7/cals.arizona.edu.fcs/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).
  • Deprecated function: Return type of DateObject::setTimezone($tz, $force = false) should either be compatible with DateTime::setTimezone(DateTimeZone $timezone): DateTime, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in include_once() (line 158 of /var/www/drupal/sites7/cals.arizona.edu.fcs/modules/date/date_api/date_api.module).
  • Deprecated function: Optional parameter $item declared before required parameter $complete_form is implicitly treated as a required parameter in include_once() (line 1439 of /var/www/drupal/drupal-7.51/includes/bootstrap.inc).

The University of Arizona’s Family Studies & Human Development (FSHD) bachelor’s program will launch you into a rewarding, people-focused career. Our major is ideal for students pursuing human services professions that improve individual and family life through counseling, health care, social programs, and education

Why major in Family Studies & Human Development?

Are you passionate about helping people? Do you want a career focused on improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, adults, and families? You can turn your passion for helping others into a thriving career with a bachelor’s degree in FSHD!

The FSHD program at the University of Arizona provides a multidimensional approach to understanding human behavior and relationships from psychological, social, cultural, and biological perspectives. You will build interpersonal skills and learn how to apply your knowledge in a career or graduate program in fields including social work, counseling, nursing, occupational therapy, human resources, child/youth program management, non-profit family support organizations, and other social service and healthcare programs.

In the FSHD program, you will explore topics like adolescence, child development, family relationships, mental health, counseling, youth programs, and more. You will partner with faculty that have firsthand experience working with families and individuals in many contexts. Our program has an excellent network of community agencies and programs that provide internship opportunities and hands-on learning for our students to apply what they learn in real-world settings.

Whether you’re stepping directly into a people-focused career after graduation or using your FSHD degree as a launch-pad into a master’s program in nursing, counseling, social work, and more, we will provide you with knowledge, skills, and opportunities to put them to use throughout your experience in our program. Launch your career in the helping professions to improve life for children, teens, older adults, individuals and families. Soon you will be providing support to people in need, and you will be well-equipped to meet challenges head-on.


View FSHD Course Descriptions Here

Family Studies and Human Development is about improving lives! A BS Degree in Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD) will prepare you for professions that improve the quality of life for individuals of all ages, including couples and families. Course topics Include:

Human Development Across the Lifespan

  • Physical, social, cultural, sexual, and relationship development
  • Infancy, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, adulthood and older adulthood
  • Identity, cultural, and social issues
  • Experiences of marginalized individuals (social justice issues including LGBTQIA, racial, immigrant, and other topics)

Family Dynamics

  • Couples & romantic relationships
  • Family relationships (parenting, family, caregiving, etc.)
  • Family processes (conflict, stress, intimacy)

Specialized Topics

  • Counseling skills & theories
  • Mental illness & problems in families
  • Mentored research experience with faculty
  • Professional development in the helping professions

All FSHD students must also have a minor. Students are encouraged to choose a minor in a career-related area. They may choose a minor outside of the department or opt to take courses in a chosen thematic minor carefully structured by FSHD faculty to prepare them for careers in an area of specialization. These minors include pre-counseling, family pre-law and policy, child, adult and family services, and family life education.

Rich Learning Environment

Many FSHD faculty are active in research, which ensures that students are exposed to meaningful, complex questions in the classroom. Students, especially those interested in attending graduate school, have opportunities to assist in faculty research projects.

Being part of a small, high-quality department means that students have personal advising and a chance to develop close relationships with faculty members. Specifically, the Student Services Center offers one-on-one advice on career direction, course selection, internships, graduate school preparation, and research opportunities with faculty members.

Internships and Practicums Provide A Link To Careers

One hallmark of the FSHD program is an emphasis on hands-on work experience. Classroom knowledge is supplemented through supervised internships and practicums working with children, families, youth at risk, or adults in a variety of settings that include social service agencies, schools, mental health organizations, hospitals, and retirement homes. Experiences such as staffing a crisis hot line, teaching parenting skills, or facilitating a divorce support group for children allow students to explore future careers, gain valuable experience, and provide vital outreach to the community (see our hands on learning page for more information).


Family Studies leads to a variety of rewarding careers & graduate school opportunities. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Rehabilitation/Mental Health Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Human Resources
  • Child Life Specialist
  • School Counseling
  • Social Policy
  • Community and Public Health
  • Education
  • Program Development and Coordination
  • Child Advocacy
  • Family Law
  • Social Science Research
  • Healthcare
  • Medical School
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Gerontology


Institutes and Centers

The University of Arizona