Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Relations

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: BS

Classroom Type: Fully Online Online and on campus classes

Prepares students for careers serving culturally and linguistically diverse families and individuals in the community and social service settings. The program also provides a strong foundation for law school for child and family law, medical school for pediatrics or family medicine, social work graduate school, or counseling education. It is offered in on-campus, hybrid, and online formats.

Application​ deadlines

Rolling decision

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver Online

Through this program, students view culturally and linguistically diverse families from a strengths-based perspective and serve them in a variety of contexts. CU Denver offers on-campus, hybrid, and fully online versions of the Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Relations degree. The degree can be completed in four years.
Students may be starting college for the first time, transferring from another institution, or returning to the university setting after years away. Regardless, students will always find a learning community in the HDFR program.
The program is designed with the faculty's involvement in students' academic and personal development. The program fosters a closely-knit, dedicated community of students, each of whom is mentored by professors who care. The program guides students from the first class to the last, supporting them each step of the way. It offers them valuable experiences such as partnering in undergraduate research projects and service learning activities.
A major focus of the program is experiential education in both online and face-to-face programs. The curriculum helps students find sites for service learning that allow them to work with diverse populations in a variety of contexts. This includes global sites through study abroad programs. Many courses have service learning requirements built into the curriculum.
This program is also the first bilingual (Spanish) Human Development and Family Relations program in the country. Students can take courses entirely in English, or take some online courses in a Spanish/English bilingual format. The bilingual courses are uniquely constructed so that students do not need to speak Spanish to participate. This exposure to another language can provide students with the competencies needed to be an advocate for Spanish language speakers. It also adds a competitive edge over graduates of other programs as it relates to gainful employment and graduate school applications.

Online students may choose a degree focus from two different course concentration areas:

  • Family Diversity
  • Human Development and Learning

On-campus and hybrid students may choose from the following concentrations:

  • Bilingual (Spanish) Family and Community Services
  • Family Gerontology
  • Pre-Higher Education and Student Affairs
  • Leadership and Community-based Organizations
  • Pre-individual, Couple and Family Therapy/Counseling
  • Additional options: Students may enroll in courses in the program areas listed below. For additional information, please schedule an appointment with a faculty mentor for approval.

    • Counseling
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Foundations
    • Literacy Education

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

SEHD attracts students who are passionate about careers in serving culturally and linguistically diverse families and individuals. The program matches their passion with an education rooted in diversity, technology, proven approaches, and real-world practice. That's why graduates are prepared to make immediate and life-long impacts on people, communities, and the world.


This is an interdisciplinary degree that requires approximately 90 major credits plus general education requirements for a total of 120 credits.
This is the only Certified Family Life Educator-approved program in Colorado, according to the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with coursework that follows the standards and criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school the ability to offer alumni the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the abbreviated application process. The CFLE checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation.

Helpful Links & Documents

Undergraduate Degree Maps

Sample Courses

  • HDFR 1010 - Life Span Development in Ecological Settings 3 credits
  • HDFR 2000 - Introduction to Family and Community Services 3 credits
  • HDFR 4002 - Family Life and Community Programming I 3 credits
  • HDFR 4850 - Family Systems Therapy, Religion and Spirituality 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:4 Years

Required Credits for Completion:120

Admission Requirements

Our program seeks individuals who wish to work with diverse people in fields such as health care, education and helping professions, which are areas of employment where you work directly with individuals, families, schools and communities, potentially in diverse or underserved contexts. Many of our graduates pursue further education by enrolling in law school or master’s programs in areas such as family science, counseling, social work, school counseling, family therapy, school psychology and student affairs in higher education and other fields.

This program has rolling admissions; but, the application closes:

  • Jan 1 for Spring semester
  • May 15 for Summer semester
  • August 1 for Fall semester.

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.