Human Development and Family Science Concentrations

In addition to the general human development and family science major, concentrations in child development education, child life and gerontology are available. Adding a concentration to your human development and family science major allows you to study what you are specifically passionate about on a deeper level. Please note that adding a concentration significantly affects the courses you are required to take. Refer to the course catalog for more information.

Child Development Education Concentration

This concentration focuses on the development and education of young children from infancy through pre-K. Students receive education and experience that prepares them for work in early childhood settings as teachers and/or administrators. This concentration is a collaboration between the Department of Human Development and Family Life Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Child Life Concentration

This concentration may interest students who desire to work in a medical setting to provide emotional support and coping strategies for children and their families facing short- and long-term hospital stays and other health-related issues. Upon completion of this concentration, students submit their coursework for review to the Child Life Council and must pass an exam to become Certified Child Life Specialists. For more information regarding certification, please visit www.childlife.org.

Gerontology Concentration

This concentration prepares students to provide services and research for those in the later stages of life. Special emphasis is placed upon how aging affects the individual as well as the family. Due to the rapid growth of the aging population, caregiving is an important service that families provide for their loved ones as well to the larger society. Professionals with a gerontology background can help individuals and their families through the successful transition required during this stage of life.

3 + 3 Law Program

The program is available to Samford students from any undergraduate major; however, the human development and family science degree works particularly well for those interested in family law and policy issues. It is ideal for students interested in adoption, divorce, foster care, intimate partner violence, and other areas that affect the well-being of children and families.

Samford University and its Cumberland School of Law have created an accelerated law-degree program that permits a Samford student who has completed three-fourths of the work acceptable for a bachelor's degree to be admitted to the law school. After successful completion of the first year of law school, students receive a bachelor’s degree in their undergraduate major.

This program requires acceptance into Cumberland School of Law following the normal application process, and careful advisement and documentation to ensure the completion of the bachelor's degree. Please consult your academic adviser for details.