The Best Online Bachelor’s in Human and Family Development Programs

by TBS Staff

Updated October 6, 2022

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If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, an online human development and family studies degree could help you find a rewarding career helping children, families, or individuals. Numerous factors, including people living longer and the opioid epidemic, have increased the need for community and social service workers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 16% by 2026 in the social services industry, making it a great time to pursue a degree in human and family development.

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Online Bachelor’s in Human & Family Development Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

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While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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The Best Online Bachelor’s in Human & Family Development Degree Programs

#1

Pennsylvania State University

School Information
Location University Park, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of science in human development and family studies is a wise choice for students seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in family development. This program offers customization to help students earn a degree that meets their needs.

Learners complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the human development field. Students also complete general education requirements, gaining a well-rounded education. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize the program through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Many graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $43,600 six years after finishing their degree. Undergraduate students eligible for financial aid can expect to pay $24,724 in tuition and fees, on average. Prospective students can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

Pennsylvania State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 45,637

Admission Rate: 76%

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#2

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking competitive online study in human and family development should consider Oregon State University's online bachelor's degree in human development and family sciences. Distance learners can choose from 22 fully online bachelor's degree programs.

The human and family development program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life. Students complete general and advanced coursework, with the opportunity to modify their program. Students can work with their academic advisor to change classes and select electives.

When calculating the cost of a degree, students should note the current tuition rate of $29,445. Human and family development students gain access to internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid, through the college. On average, degree-seekers are awarded $7,288 in financial aid.

Oregon State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 14,977

Total Online Programs: 50

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Admission Rate: 82%

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#3

Washington State University

School Information
Location Pullman, Washington
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 60%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Washington State University, a public, four-year institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The public school delivers 20 online bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Pullman. Distance learners hoping to advance in the human and family development field will benefit from the college's bachelor's degree in human development.

The program prepares human development students for the demands of the field. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to make curriculum adjustments. Learners can change classes and select electives.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $24,531. Human development students can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities while enrolled. The school reports an average financial aid award of $8,011 per student.

Washington State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,592

Total Online Programs: 54

Online Bachelor's Programs: 20

Admission Rate: 76%

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#4

Colorado State University

School Information
Location Fort Collins, Colorado
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 70%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students seeking to enroll in a competitive bachelor's degree program should consider Colorado State University. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's three fully online bachelor's degree programs to be attractive options for study. Distance learners interested in the human and family development field can enroll in the school's bachelor's in human development and family studies program.

The program prepares students for the demands of the human and family development field. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Human and family development students can expect to pay $28,147 in tuition. While at the college, enrollees can explore funding opportunities to apply toward their studies. The college averages financial aid award packages of $9,750 per degree-seeker.

Colorado State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,786

Total Online Programs: 39

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 81%

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#5

University of Wisconsin-Stout

School Information
Location Menomonie, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 60%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout, a public, four-year college in Menomonie, supports online learning across 13 online programs. Online undergraduate students can benefit from studying in one of two online bachelor's degree programs. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the human and family development field can enroll in the online BS in human development and family studies program. This program offers customization to help students earn a degree that meets their needs.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the human and family development field. Throughout their studies, learners gain knowledge and skills applicable to careers in the field. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $41,000 six years after graduation. Though degree costs vary, undergraduate students pay an average of $14,767 per year in tuition and fees. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

University of Wisconsin-Stout at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,907

Total Online Programs: 13

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 91%

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#6

Brigham Young University-Idaho

School Information
Location Rexburg, Idaho
Admission Rate 96%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private, nonprofit, four-year college, offers premier educational opportunities across 80 bachelor's degree programs. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's 12 fully online bachelor's degree programs an attractive option for study. The bachelor's in child development program is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the human and family development field.

The child development degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every learner. Students complete coursework relevant to the child development field, with the option to choose electives and modify coursework. Students can also pursue interdisciplinary coursework to fit their career goals.

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $4,208 at the school. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their studies.

Brigham Young University-Idaho at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 27,540

Total Online Programs: 18

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 96%

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#7

Hope International University

School Information
Location Fullerton, California
Admission Rate 37%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking competitive online study in human and family development should consider Hope International University's online BA in human development. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's three fully online bachelor's degree programs to be attractive options for study. The human development program supports flexible, rigorous study.

The human development program enrolls students from all walks of life. Learners seeking to modify their studies can work with their academic advisor. Enrollees can adjust coursework, choose electives, and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

Human development students can expect to pay $32,250 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid.

Hope International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 564

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 37%

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#8

Amridge University

School Information
Location Montgomery, Alabama
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Amridge University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 28 online degree programs. Online undergraduate students can benefit from studying in one of nine online bachelor's degree programs. For students looking to advance in a human and family development-adjacent career, the online BS in human development is a wise choice. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

During the human development program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the human development field. The curriculum equips students with relevant skills needed to succeed in the human development field. Students can explore electives, minors, and concentrations with their academic advisor to individualize their degree.

Graduates possessing a bachelor's degree can access more job opportunities, and grow their earning potential over time. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $35,400. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the human development department.

Amridge University at a Glance:

Total Online Programs: 28

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

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#9

San Diego Christian College

School Information
Location Santee, California
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 53%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

San Diego Christian College supports highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Santee. The institution offers seven remote online bachelor's degree programs. Of these, the BA in human development program stands out as a competitive option for students interested in the human and family development field.

The online human development degree prioritizes flexibility. Students complete coursework relevant to the field, with the option to choose electives and modify the curriculum. Enrollees can also choose electives and pursue interdisciplinary studies to fit their career goals.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $23,030. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

San Diego Christian College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 456

Total Online Programs: 10

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 55%

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#10

California State University, East Bay

School Information
Location Hayward, California
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

California State University, East Bay supports flexible distance learning opportunities across nine online degree programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from five online bachelor's degree programs. Learners seeking competitive, customizable study relevant to the human and family development field will find the school's online bachelor's degree in human development to be an attractive option. The human development program offers flexible study options, allowing learners to pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

During the human development program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. The program curriculum prepares students for the demands of human development careers. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $45,200. Human development students can expect to pay an average of $10,902 per year for tuition and fees. Before applying, prospective students should connect with the human development department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

California State University, East Bay at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,361

Total Online Programs: 9

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 76%

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Choosing a Program

When you earn a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies online, you can expect to gain a unique set of skills, such as observation techniques and how to work with diverse groups of people. In addition to requiring general education courses, like English and math, programs consist of multidisciplinary core classes that examine the biology, psychology, and sociology of human development from infancy through adulthood. Covered topics include adolescence, marriage, family relationships, and human sexuality. Most online bachelor’s in human development programs will also train you in research methods and require an internship or field practice to give you a chance to gain practical experience.

Programs for earning a degree in human and family studies online will generally offer either a Bachelor’s of Arts or a Bachelor’s of Science degree. BA degrees have a broader liberal arts focus and often require more writing courses, preparing you for careers where strong communication skills are important. BS degrees put more emphasis on analytical and mathematical skills, ideal for those interested in research or business–oriented positions.

Many programs allow you to tailor the degrees to your interests with specialized concentrations, such as early childhood development, leadership and entrepreneurialism, or prevention and intervention sciences.

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Online Bachelor’s in Human & Family Development Careers

Featured Online Schools

Whether you earn a BA or BS degree, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies online will open a variety of career choices that allow you to interact with people on very personal levels.

Health Educator
Health educators act as a liaison between communities and healthcare providers. They create and implement outreach programs meant to improve the health and welfare of communities through knowledge and prevention strategies. They collect data, prepare reports, and facilitate access to healthcare for community members who often come from underserved neighborhoods.
  • Median Annual Salary: $44,390
  • Projected Growth Rate: 16%
Human Resource Specialist
Human resource specialists interview and evaluate candidates for employment, recruiting new hires, navigating sensitive work situations, and addressing employee concerns and needs. HR specialists must be knowledgeable of federal, state, and local regulations and have the potential to advance to Human Resource Director with additional graduate-level education.
  • Median Annual Salary: $59,180
  • Projected Growth Rate: 7%
Social and Community Service Manager
Social and community service managers work with a wide-range of people from homeless veterans to drug addicts to children and the elderly. They collect and analyze data to determine the effectiveness of outreach programs. Strong writing and public speaking skills help with preparing grant proposals and communicating with the public. Many begin their careers as social workers or drug counselors and move into a management role after acquiring a master's degree in public health or a related field.
  • Median Annual Salary: $64,680
  • Projected Growth Rate: 16%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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