Human Development is an interdisciplinary program that explores human growth, development, and change, and that conceptualizes it as a lifelong process. The process occurs in multiple and diverse contexts and involves biological, cognitive, emotional, social, and moral development.
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. Because it is a liberal arts major, career possibilities are varied, but many options fall within the broad areas of human services, education, and business. Alumni have worked as staff members of a domestic violence shelter, case managers at a social service agency, and as employees for advocacy groups such as AARP. Other graduates are involved in education-related careers, such as educational support, daycare and preschools, and college admissions. Another area in which many majors seek jobs is the business world, whether in sales, customer service, or even human resources. Human Development students also pursue graduate and professional training in fields such as human development and family studies, gerontology, community and public health, higher education/student affairs, marriage and family therapy, law, and other fields. Admission is highly selective and requires very strong academic credentials. Faculty advisers can help students tailor their choice of academic plan and electives to their individual career goals. As just one example, although a minor is not required to graduate with a Human Development major, minors or double-majors in such areas as Business, Human Biology, Public and Environmental Affairs, Women's and Gender Studies, and Psychology may be helpful when pursuing some specific career objectives or applying to certain types of graduate school programs.
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 or as research assistants or teaching assistants. 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 or to seek applied experience through part-time employment or volunteer work. All of these experiences are also beneficial when entering the job market or seeking admission to graduate and professional schools.
So you want to be a Human Development major? Great! But first there are a few things to consider before you declare your major.
- Ensure you have a firm sense of why you want to be a Human Development major.
- Examine the course requirements and suggested timeline for taking courses.
- Explore the career options.
- Be aware of the independent study options.
- Identify your advisor.
- Carefully follow the instructions for declaring a major.
- When you do declare your major, joining the Psychology/Human Development student club and doing volunteer work in the community could help you get involved and give you additional career information and directions!
Human Development Minor
The Human Development minor adds a broad, interdisciplinary component to traditional social science majors such as Psychology and to other interdisciplinary majors such as Human Biology, Design Arts, and Democracy and Justice Studies. For students in professional programs such as Education, Social Work, or Business Administration the minor adds a strong developmental focus to their studies.