University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Connecting Learning to Life


Human Development

Interdisciplinary Major or Minor (Bachelor of Science)

Professors - Fergus P. Hughes, Illene C. Noppe, Lloyd D. Noppe (chair), Dean Rodeheaver
Associate Professors - Regan A. R. Gurung, Dennis N. Lorenz, Timothy J. Sewall, Dean Von Dras, Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges
Assistant Professors - Denise Bartell, Kathleen Burns, Ryan Martin, Kristin Vespia, Jill White

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Human development is the study of the human life span from conception to death. It provides a basic understanding of the changes that occur throughout the years, and examines the factors that promote healthy development as well as variations from the norm. Consistent with the interdisciplinary focus of UW-Green Bay , human development is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program in that it examines the contributions of psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists to our understanding of the life cycle.

Human development is a suitable major or minor for students who plan any type of career that involves working with people and helping to solve human problems, and students base their selection of upper-level electives on their particular career goals. Some have a broad interest in careers in human resources, human services, and health-related fields, but not specifically in the fields of counseling or psychology. They select courses, therefore, that will prepare them for graduate work in human development, child development, and similar programs. Career possibilities are varied, and include youth services worker, adoption agency official, children's librarian, career consultant, student affairs dean, and nursing home administrator. Many of these jobs require master's degrees or doctoral-level preparation.

Other human development majors hope eventually to practice counseling or clinical psychology. Such careers require a master's or doctoral degree, and students with these interests should plan their programs carefully with their advisers in order to be prepared to apply to graduate school programs. Admission to graduate school is highly selective and requires very strong academic credentials. It is advisable that students with career goals of this type combine human development with a minor or second major in psychology.

Still others are interested in studying development within the context of the family, and they choose courses that will prepare them for careers such as parent educator, human services worker, family therapist or counselor, or childbirth instructor. Their undergraduate program is seen as preparation for graduate work in family and human development, marriage and family therapy, developmental psychology, and related areas. Some jobs require master's degrees or doctoral-level preparation.

Program advisers can help students tailor their choice of electives to their individual career goals. In fact, an adviser can help to put together a program with any number of possibilities. For example, a human development major might also be combined with minors in women's studies, American Indian studies, sociology, anthropology, business, or humanistic studies (linguistics/TESL emphasis).

One particular advantage of the human development program is the opportunity for undergraduate students to gain practical experience, and many work with faculty on independent research projects. Human development strives to educate students who are committed to and engaged in their communities. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship in an approved community agency. Such experiences are beneficial when entering the job market or seeking admission to graduate and professional schools.

Special Facilities
The human development program maintains the University's Social Science Research Laboratory, which includes a teaching room and six experimental project rooms as well as storage areas for social science research. In addition, human development maintains the Animal Physiology Laboratory, and houses an extensive collection of psychological and educational tests for classroom and scholarly use.

Human Development Minor
The human development minor adds a broad, interdisciplinary component to a traditional social science major such as psychology. For students who major in professional programs such as education, social work, or business administration, the minor adds a strong, liberal arts foundation to their programs of study. Finally, the minor is an appropriate complement to other interdisciplinary majors such as human biology, communication and the arts, or social change and development.

Students may study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay 's participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2413 or see

Human Development Major Requirements
Human Development Minor Requirements
Course Descriptions