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Infant Mental Health Graduate Certificate

The HDFS Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health integrates research, theory and practical application of Infant Mental Health principles. Infant Mental Health is defined as “the developing capacity from birth to three to experience, regulate and express emotions; to form close relationships; and to explore the environment and learn all in the context of family, community and cultural expectations for young children.” Coursework addresses these concepts from a developmental and attachment-based perspective and emphasizes reflective practice.

Graduates of the HDFS Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health:

  • Provide leadership in the field of Infant Mental Health
  • Gain competence in areas needed for Infant Mental Health Endorsement
  • Work in a variety of fields with infants and families including clinicians, early childhood teachers, healthcare professionals, and administrators.

The infant mental health certificate is beneficial to anyone working with young children and families.

This program is offered online.

Certificate Requirements

15 semester hours


  • HDFS 5233: Infant Mental Health
  • HDFS 5243: Infant and Early Childhood Development and Attachment
  • HDFS 5193: Reflective Practice
  • HDFS 5343: Developmental Assessment and Interventions
  • HDFS 5513: Issues in Family Science

Course Descriptions

HDFS 5233: Infant Mental Health

  • Foundations of infant mental health theory, research, and practice. Includes the familial context of children’s early development and the importance of infant-caregiver relationships, early intervention, assessment, and reflective practice. Emphasis is placed on the application of infant mental health principles across settings and disciplines focused on early childhood and families.

HDFS 5243: Infant and Early Childhood Development and Attachment

  • Survey of research and theory pertaining to infant and early childhood development and attachment. Content includes cognition and learning, social and emotional development, and assessment. An emphasis is placed on attachment and implications for practitioners working with young children and families.

HDFS 5193: Reflective Practice

  • An exploration of the principles and methods of reflective practice. Reflective journaling and group interactive dialogue based on the application of theoretical models. Supervised field experiences in community settings.

HDFS 5343: Developmental Assessment and Interventions

  • Applications of qualitative and quantitative approaches to observation and developmental assessment and intervention strategies for students preparing to become specialists or practitioners working with children and families, including early childhood educators, child and parenting practitioners, and human service practitioners.

HDFS 5513: Issues in Family Science

  • Current and classic literature in family studies. Consideration of philosophical bases and current research issues relevant to the family as a field of study.

Application to this Program

Required Application Materials:

  • Online application and application processing fee
  • Transcripts
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Professional Goals
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL (if your native language is not English)

Application Deadlines

  • Rolling

Contact Dr. Amy Williamson

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