Waterbury Campus

Waterbury campus
Waterbury campus
Waterbury campus

Information for Current Students

The human development and family sciences major prepares students to go on to graduate school and work with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families in nonprofit, health services, and educational organizations. Our UConn campus in the heart of Waterbury offers majors unique opportunities to participate in internship and field experiences in local communities.

Wondering what you can do with a degree in human development and family sciences?


Academic Advising at the Waterbury Campus

Faculty Advisors


Students can  meet with their assigned HDFS faculty member. Not sure who your assigned faculty member is? Check Peoplesoft. Don't have someone assigned to you? You may request for an assigned HDFS full-time faculty member by going to the 2nd Floor Student Services.

Brian Chapman

Brian G. Chapman

Assistant Professor in Residence
UConn Waterbury Campus



Laura Donorfio

Laura K.M. Donorfio

Associate Professor
Room 117, UConn Waterbury Campus

Jodie Oshana

Jodie Oshana

Visiting Assistant Professor
UConn Waterbury Campus

Undergraduate Student Services Advisor


Students can also reach out to Kristin Van Ness, the Academic Advisor in the HDFS Undergraduate Students Services Center at the Storrs campus. She is available to all HDFS students if you have additional questions. You can schedule a phone or WebEx appointment with her via nexus.uconn.edu, or email her with questions.




Kristin Van Ness

Kristin Van Ness

HDFS Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Get to know Kristin and how she helps HDFS students at UConn regional campuses.

More Advising Resources


Meeting with Academic Advisors

Make an appointment with an HDFS full-time faculty member at UConn Waterbury

  • We encourage you to meet with an HDFS full-time faculty member for all career-related or content-related questions.
  • HDFS majors can also meet in person with HDFS full-time faculty member about academic requirements.
  • Every HDFS major is assigned an HDFS advisor in peoplesoft.  If you have not been assigned one, please request an HDFS advisor be assigned to you by going to the 2nd Floor of Student Services.
  • Email your assigned advisor for an appointment.

Contact Kristin Van Ness

  • Students can also meet with an advisor in the Waterbury Office of Student Services or reach out to Kristin Van Ness at the Storrs Campus.


    Have two documents with you when you meet with an HDFS academic advisor:

    (1) HDFS Plan of Study

    (2) Academic Requirement Report

    • This document is specific to you.  It is a generated list of all the courses you have completed at UConn.
    • This document is located in peoplesoft.  After you log in, click on the drop down menu.  Select “Academic Requirements.”  It takes a few minutes for the report to generate.
    • Click on tab “View Report as PDF.”  Also takes a few minutes to generate.
    • You can print this pdf or save it to your computer.

    The goal is to complete the requirements on the HDFS plan of study, which serves as a checklist. However, the Academic Requirement Report is what the registrar’s office at UConn refers to when verifying your credits and approving you for graduation.  Thus, make sure the required courses on the HDFS plan of study are reflected on the Academic Requirement Report and under the correct designated areas.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Van Ness. Prefer to meet in person with someone?  You can email your designated HDFS Faculty Advisor at UConn Waterbury.

    HDFS Major Requirements

    The HDFS Plan of Study, requirements for the HDFS major, and general education requirements for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences applies to students at all UConn campuses and can be found on the HDFS undergraduate program page.


    Waterbury HDFS Course Sequence

    Below is a suggested sequence of HDFS courses for the Waterbury campus for each fall and spring semester. This is intended to guide students as they plan for courses each semester. This sequence is a tentative framework and is subject to change as needed. Be sure to discuss with your advisor each semester to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements.

    Fall Semester
    HDFS 1070
    HDFS 1060 – or in Spring
    HDFS 2001
    HDFS 2004W
    HDFS 2200
    3-5 3000 Selected HDFS courses

    Spring Semester
    HDFS 1070
    HDFS 2001
    HDFS 2100
    HDFS 2300
    HDFS Policy Course (3520, 3530, or 3540)
    Upper Level HDFS W (4007W, 3311W, 3540W)
    3-5 3000 Selected HDFS courses

    HDFS and Gerontology Minors

    The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences offers two minors:

    1. the human development and family sciences minor
    2. the gerontology minor

    Students can declare either of these HDFS minors at any time. Any UConn student who wishes to declare a minor in HDFS should visit the program plan change website and follow all steps and forms.

    Learn more about the gerontology minor..docx

    Related Courses

    All HDFS students must complete at least 12 credits of related courses outside of the Department at the 2000-level or higher. These courses are selected by the student, with approval of their advisor, to supplement and extend the course work in HDFS. See a list of suggested related courses.

    HDFS Honors Program

    The HDFS Honors program is part of the UConn Honors Program and is designed for highly motivated students from any campus who want to enhance their undergraduate education. Students at the UConn Waterbury campus interested in applying for this program can contact the HDFS Honors Program Advisor.

    Applying for Graduation

    Students must apply for graduation in the first two weeks of their final semester. There are two steps for applying for graduation in HDFS:

    Step 1: In peoplesoft, there is a drop down menu. Select “Apply for Graduation.”

    Step 2: Go back to the drop down menu in peoplesoft. Select “Academic Requirements.” Then, click on “Submit Plan of Study.”

    Before You Apply

    All HDFS majors, regardless of campus, need approval from Kristin Van Ness in order to be considered for graduation by the registrar’s office. Please make an appointment with Kristin Van Ness, HDFS Undergraduate Student Services Advisor, before you apply for graduation to ensure that you have completed all of your requirements. When making an appointment with Kristin, indicate your peoplesoft number, Waterbury campus, and your preference for meeting by phone or webex when you sign up for your appointment.

    You can also meet in person with your assigned HDFS full-time faculty member at the Waterbury campus.

    Professional Development and Careers

    Internship and Field Experiences

    The undergraduate degree has been designed to take advantage of the urban locales of the cities and suburbs. Students will be encouraged to take HDFS 3080 (Supervised Field Experience) in their chosen areas of interest. This experiences will enable students to build their resumes and explore career opportunities while completing their degrees.

    Interested students must: (1) find a full-time HDFS faculty member who is willing to supervise their field experience; (2) locate a place to conduct their field experience; and (3) complete and submit the field experience application form to their HDFS faculty supervisor.

    Note: Three (3) credit hours of HDFS 3080 is equivalent to 120 hours in the field plus any other required assignments that have been assigned by your HDFS field practicum supervisor.

    Full-time HDFS Faculty Members:

    Brian Chapman

    Laura K.M. Donorfio

    Jodie Oshana

    Jobs and Careers

    Are you wondering what you can do with a degree in human development and family sciences?

    HDFS students are prepared for wide variety of careers. Our Department has identified eleven different career pathways to represent the breadth of student interests and career possibilities.

    For questions, students at the Waterbury campus are encouraged to contact:

    Susan Hyde-Wick, Career Counselor
    Office location: 2nd floor of Student Services
    Make an Appointment

    HDFS Faculty Advisor

    Every HDFS major is assigned a full-time HDFS faculty member as an advisor.

    Brian Chapman

    Laura K.M. Donorfio

    Jodie Oshana

    Don't have one assigned to you? Request a full-time HDFS faculty member as your advisor on 2nd floor of Student Services.