Academic Advising

Image of two students and looking at laptopHDFS Student Services Center, Family Studies Building, Room 123

The HDFS Student Services Center is available to any undergraduate student who is interested in the field of Human Development and Family Sciences. Whether you’re an HDFS major, minor, or just want to learn more, we can help you with almost anything related to the field! If you’d like to explore an HDFS major or minor, select courses, plan your graduation goals, build your schedule, understand university policies, or have any other academic concern, come meet with us!

What can I talk about with an advisor?

We can help you understand some of your career options as an HDFS major, as well as other opportunities such as internships and fieldwork placements. If you’re looking for internships or fieldwork placements or if you’re wondering how to get involved on campus, we’ll point you in the right direction. We also help students make decisions about graduate schools, career goals, and other big decisions. Make an appointment with an advisor to learn more.

Because we serve many students, meetings are by appointment only


Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Kristin Van Ness

Kristin Van Ness



Suge Zhang

Suge Zhang

I'm Suge and I'm a second-year doctoral student at HDFS. My research interests are in Asian and Asian American families, education, and mental health. I look forward to meeting with you and supporting your academic success at UConn!



Madeline Hebert

Hi, I'm Madeline. I'm a second-year doctoral student in the HDFS program. I study how gender, sexuality, and religion impact close relationships, especially LGBTQ+ romantic relationships and parenting. I look forward to meeting and assisting you in your college career!

Who is my Advisor?

Undergraduate Advisors

All Human Development and Family Sciences students at the Storrs campus are assigned to Kristin Van Ness, the full time professional Academic Advisor, and may additionally make appointments with HDFS graduate assistants, who work in the HDFS Student Services Center. Exceptions are for Honors and Early Childhood Development and Education (ECD/E) students. If you are an honors student, your advisor is Dr. Alaina Brenick. If you are in the ECD/E program, you will be assigned to one of three faculty who specialize in that area. All students can see their assigned advisor in the Student Administration SystemAll Honors and ECD/E students may make an appointment with Kristin Van Ness for general HDFS questions and concerns.

We do not have assigned faculty advisors for HDFS, but we encourage our students to build relationships with our faculty. Each of our career pathways lists faculty who specialize in that area and are available for specific questions.

How do I make an appointment with an Advisor?

Booking an Appointment

Please visit to schedule an appointment with an advisor. You can select from any advisor listed during a time that is best for you.

If you’re unable to attend your scheduled appointment for whatever reason, please officially cancel the appointment. Appointments are 30 minutes and are reserved just for you.

What can I do until my meeting?

Check out what courses are required:

Below are helpful forms that detail required courses and course options. You can bring this information with you to your advisor to go over together.

See what classes are offered:

Please visit the Undergraduate Course Catalog for a full list of HDFS courses offered. To learn which classes are offered in a given semester, please visit the Student Administration System (i.e., PeopleSoft).