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Learn more about our programs: Undergraduate | Graduate | Online | PhD

Welcome to Human Development and Family Studies

Welcome to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri is a comprehensive research-intensive university and the first public university established west of the Mississippi River. We are very proud of the long and storied traditions at Mizzou and our department is a strong entity within the university and the College of Human and Environmental Sciences.

HDFS focuses on lifespan human development and families in a variety of relational, social, and cultural contexts. Faculty conduct basic and applied research, with a unique investment in the application of new knowledge to issues facing individuals and families. Our commitment to individual and family diversity in research, teaching, and service distinguishes our academic programs.

The department offers a history of excellence in training in the areas of research, teaching, and service. In addition to our outstanding undergraduate degree options, we offer an assortment of graduate degrees, both online and on campus, that can lead to careers in research, college or university teaching, industry, government agencies, or to administrative positions in public and private institutions. For example, since 2000, our program has graduated more faculty members to positions at Doctoral/Research Extensive University family studies departments than any other program in the United States. We are extremely proud of past alumni and invite you to join our list.

The success of our training programs stems from our top-notch, nationally-recognized faculty. Our department has a strong faculty who conduct cutting-edge research in areas that further our understanding of individual, family, interpersonal, and cultural processes. Recently, the research productivity of the faculty was ranked in the top 5% of the 235 family studies programs across the country. We offer a unique array of training support and opportunities to our students. For example, some of our faculty members collaborate with colleagues in prestigious international and U.S. universities, and these collaborations provide opportunities for research training. Moreover, students work on grant-funded research and intervention projects that directly serve individuals, families, and communities in Missouri. Our students excel in outstanding internship opportunities, both here in Columbia and across the state and nation.

These are some of the highlights of the various accomplishments and features that make our department excellent. We invite you to browse through the website, contact us directly to ask questions, and explore and conduct your own research to find out about our people and our programs. We are confident that a visit to our department and university will confirm your expectations of high quality undergraduate and graduate programs.

Once again, welcome to our department and go Tigers!

signatures of Larry Ganong and Jean Ispa

Larry Ganong and Jean Ispa
Department Co-Chairs

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