Judy Bonner Child Development Center

Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program

Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program

The specialization in human development and family studies provides students with the theoretical foundation and research skills necessary for pursuing doctoral work and for advanced employment in a wide variety of occupations serving children, adults, and families. Opportunities for research and experiential learning are provided in the research laboratories, The Children′s Program and with various agencies serving children and families across the state of Alabama. 

Students commonly seek research experiences in the areas of infant and child development, parent-child relationship, adolescent friendships, family dynamics, intimate relationships, and relational or developmental problems (e.g., intimate partner violence, substance abuse).

​See the list of faculty and their research interests here.


HDFS Departmental Office (205) 348-6158



As part of the online application, all applicants will need to submit/upload the following items: 

  • Official academic transcript(s) 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Contact information for three individuals who can each provide a letter of recommendation
    • At least one letter (preferably two letters) should be written by college instructors/professors  
    • Additional letters should be written by supervisors or administrators from professional settings 
    • Please do not include letters from family members, friends, or other individuals with whom you have a personal (non-professional) relationship 
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The Statement of Purpose should:
      • Be free of typos and grammatical errors 
      • Discuss how your background/experience influences your desire to pursue a master’s degree in HDFS 
      • Discuss how a master’s degree in HDFS aligns with your future goals 
      • Discuss the skills and knowledge you display that will support success in a graduate program