Independent Study Options

There are five major types of independent study opportunities available in Human Development. Of these, only the Internship (Hum Dev 497) counts as an elective course for the major.

Not only will doing an independent study help build critical skills (e.g., writing and reviewing literature) but it will provide you with an opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member. This can help the faculty member write a stronger letter of recommendation for you for a future job or grad school.

HUM DEV 495 - Teaching Assistantship

You will learn what it takes to teach a class. This will include readings on how to teach, writing exams, managing classroom behavior, and giving lectures. You will also learn about different theoretical perspectives, empirical research, and pedagogical techniques that you can apply to a broad array of future teaching and learning experiences. Check out the want ads around registration to find out about TA opportunities or contact the professor who will be teaching Introduction to Human Development.

HUM DEV 496 - Research Assistantship

RAs assist faculty in conducting research. Responsibilities may include literature reviews, library investigations, questionnaire development, recruitment and interviewing of research participants, data collection, management of research studies, data entry, and some statistical analyses. Check out the want ads around registration to find out about RA opportunities or look at faculty members’ research interests and then contact the professor directly.

HUM DEV 497 - Internship

Internships involve supervised practical experience in an organization where you apply your knowledge of human development. Internships are sponsored by individual faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings and academic work, including a final research paper. Interns also have supervisors located at the internship site itself. Explore possible internships on PRO, the Human Development website, or the want ads. ReadInternship Policy for more important information about requirements.

HUM DEV 498 - Independent Study

Independent study is offered on an individual basis involving research or learning about an area that is not covered in a class. If you want to study a topic that is not represented in available scheduled courses, you should develop a preliminary proposal and contact a faculty member with expertise in that area (see the Chair if you do not know who to approach).

HUM DEV 478 - Honors in the Major

Students with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major and a 3.75 or higher GPA in the upper-level courses in the major are eligible to complete an honors in the major project (this is separate from all-university honors). Typically you design and conduct your own research project, in collaboration with a faculty member. You should contact a faculty member with expertise in the area to see if they would be willing to supervise your project. Please see for university policies on honors projects.