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The field of Human Development is concerned with the entire life span of human beings, from infancy through old age. If you major in it, you’ll study the biological processes that characterize each stage of life, and see how we move physically from one stage to the next. You’ll learn how these biological factors affect psychology, and how social behavior changes over time. You’ll study the concepts of work, school, and community. And you’ll learn how the views of Human Development vary between cultures.

Many programs combine Human Development with coursework in family studies. In this case, you’ll learn about the formation of the family, family interactions, adult-child relationships, and family problems. You’ll see how individuals and families interact in a community. And you’ll discover how families change as people grow older and members are gained and lost.

Human Development is a multi-disciplinary major encompassing fields such as psychology, philosophy, sociology, social work, biology, and education. You may be required to specialize in a certain area such as aging services or community human services; other programs offer a more general track. Whatever the case, you’ll gain a broad understanding of how humans change and grow, and what is important to them along the way.


  • Adolescent Development

  • Adult-Child Relationships

  • Adulthood Through Older Years

  • Biological Behavioral Development

  • Communities and Families

  • Death and Dying

  • Developmental Problems

  • Family Development

  • Gerontology

  • Infant and Child Development

  • Sexual Identity

  • Theories of Human Development

  • Transition to Adulthood


Your best preparation for a Human Development major will be math and science courses. Biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced-level math courses will give you a good foundation, as well as courses in anatomy and psychology. Courses in English, history, and philosophy will also be good preparation.