Human Development

Interdisciplinary Major or Minor
(Bachelor of Science)

Professors Regan A. R. Gurung, Illene C. Noppe, Lloyd D. Noppe, Julia Wallace
Associate Professors Denise Bartell, Dennis N. Lorenz, Ryan Martin, Timothy J. Sewall, Kristin Vespia (chair), Dean Von Dras, Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges
Assistant Professors Kathleen Burns, Deirdre Radosevich, Melissa Schnurr, Christine Smith, Jill White, Jennifer Zapf


Human Development Major Requirements | Human Development Minor Requirements | Course Descriptions

Human Development is an interdisciplinary major that explores human growth, development and change conceptualized as a lifelong process involving biological, cognitive, emotional, social and moral development from conception to death, occurring in multiple contexts (sociocultural, biological, psychological). It 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 a liberal arts program that works to integrate the contributions of psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists, among others, to our understanding of the life cycle. Students take a multidisciplinary approach and are provided opportunities to apply knowledge and practice the integration of the different disciplinary habits of mind.

Students follow an introduction to the major with courses that first advance the major's learning objectives of developing basic skills such as informational literacy, research skills, and learning about diverse contexts. Next, students choose courses from the different disciplines (e.g., biology, anthropology, sociology) that contribute to the field of human development. Students then pursue in-depth studies of the core areas of development before taking advanced courses in specific areas of the field (e.g., family, gender, and cross-cultural development). Students select these upper-level electives based, at least in part, on their particular career goals.

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. Career possibilities are varied, but many options fall within the broad areas of human services. 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. Others are involved in educational support, daycare and preschools, and in business sales, customer service and human resources. Although a minor is not required to graduate with a Human Development major, minors or double-majors in such areas as Business, Public and Environmental Affairs, Women's and Gender Studies, and Psychology may be helpful when pursuing some of these specific career objectives. Faculty advisers can help students tailor their choice of academic plan and electives to their individual career goals.

Human Development majors are also prepared to pursue careers or graduate and professional training in fields such as human development and family studies, gerontology, community and public health, marriage and family therapy, as well as many other related fields. 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. Those interested in graduate study in mental health fields such as counseling, clinical or school psychology, should strongly consider a major or second major in Psychology. More detailed information about both career and graduate school options for Human Development students can be found on the department website:

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. Such experiences are beneficial when entering the job market or seeking admission to graduate and professional schools.

Human Development Minor
The Human Development minor adds a broad, interdisciplinary component to traditional social science majors such as Psychology and other interdisciplinary and professional program majors such as Human Biology, Design Arts, Arts Management, Democracy and Justice Studies, Education, and Social Work. For students who major in professional programs such as Education, Social Work, or Business Administration, the minor adds a strong developmental focus to their programs of study.

Human Development Major Requirements
Human Development Minor Requirements
Course Descriptions