Family Life BS Human Development

Program Purpose


The mission of the Human Development emphasis is to teach undergraduate students theories, research, and practices related to optimal human development in the context of marriage and family life. Human development scholarship provides a life-course perspective by which human development in the family setting is understood and improved. This emphasis helps students learn how children, youth, adults, and families develop, change, interact, and face challenges throughout the life course (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood). The approach of the program is to provide students with critical and current information about the human development discipline.

Additionally, our teaching strategy reflects a strong commitment to improve critical thinking and problem solving skills as students become involved in mentored learning research and outreach experience. This is done in the context of faith and faculty/student endeavors that result in consequential scholarship and subsequent outreach. Graduates are encouraged to reach out to professional and other audiences, when appropriate, in support of BYU's stated institutional objectives to extend the blessings of learning to members of the Church in all parts of the world, and develop friends for the University and the Church.

In doing this, this program aims to contribute toward the mission of BYU, which is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life and in the balanced development of the total person (BYU Mission Statement). Additionally, the program seeks to support the AIMS of a BYU Education by preparing undergraduate students with an educational experience that is "spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character building, leading to lifelong learning and service."

Curricular Structure

Catalog Information

Major Academic Plan

Students can participate in the School of Family Life internship program where they gain work experience in agencies, schools, hospitals, and other employment and outreach settings.

Learning Outcomes


Human Development Content and Theory

Demonstrate understanding of major concepts, theories, and research findings in substantive areas of human development.

Courses that Contribute: SFL 100 SFL 221 SFL 240 SFL 331 SFL 351 SFL 352 SFL 355 SFL 358 SFL 359 SFL 395R SFL 399R SFL 403R SFL 420 SFL 449 SFL 453 SFL 465 SFL 490
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Competence
Research and Evaluation Methodologies

Critically evaluate and/or use the various methodologies used in human development research.

Courses that Contribute: SFL 221 SFL 222 SFL 290 SFL 331 SFL 351 SFL 352 SFL 355 SFL 358 SFL 395R SFL 403R SFL 420 SFL 449 SFL 453 SFL 465
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Quantitative reasoning
Effective Writing and Analysis

Write professional research papers on human development questions that demonstrate an ability to synthesize and critically evaluate research related to specific theories and/or substantive areas.

Courses that Contribute: SFL 100 SFL 240 SFL 290 SFL 331 SFL 351 SFL 352 SFL 355 SFL 395R SFL 399R SFL 403R SFL 449 SFL 453 SFL 465 SFL 489
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively

Evidence of Learning


Direct Measures

  1. Course level quizzes and examinations.
  2. Course level papers, projects, and other assignments.
  3. Conference presentations 

Indirect Measures

  1. ORCA grants and other student publications, presentations, and awards.
  2. Alumni surveys.
  3. Senior surveys.
  4. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
  5. Employment or admission to graduate school.

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


The School of Family Life curriculum committee provides leadership for reviewing and instituting change. The committee reports data as needed to the faculty. The process of curriculum change and renewal culminates in September when we follow standard university procedures for submitting curriculum changes: Faculty come to consensus about needed changes, then change forms are submitted to the school, college, and the university curriculum committee for approval.