Texas Tech University

Department in Human Sciences Changes Name to Human Development and Family Sciences

Glenys Young

September 2, 2020

Human Sciences

The new name better reflects learning outcomes and ongoing research in the department.

A department in Texas Tech University's College of Human Sciences recently announced its new name, one that college leadership says will better encompass the breadth of research efforts and key learning outcomes for students.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is now Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS). Ann Mastergeorge, department chair, said the term "family sciences" more accurately represents the research and teaching approach by the department.

"As a department, we are thrilled to institute a name that reflects 'family sciences,' since our field has evolved and advanced over the past three decades," Mastergeorge said. "Our research, teaching and outreach and engagement activities also reflect the interdisciplinary perspectives embedded in our new departmental name. We look forward to the future impact and contributions of both our faculty and students in the arena of human development and family sciences."

The name change was approved and the necessary coordinating board notified just before the start of the fall semester. It will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

As described by the National Council on Family Relations, family sciences is the scientific study of families and close interpersonal relationships. The field of family sciences evolved during the last three decades, advancing the knowledge on families and interpersonal relationships from an interdisciplinary perspective.

College of Human Sciences Dean Tim Dodd said the name change was an exciting step for the college as it adapts and grows.

"The College of Human Sciences continues to evolve from our roots, and this change by our largest department reflects the transforming nature of this area," Dodd said. "We are in a shifting environment and look forward to what lies ahead for the College of Human Sciences and the Human Development and Family Sciences department."