Human Development Majors
Learn about bachelor's degree programs in human development, including both online and campus-based programs. Find out what you might study as a human development major, and review some typical classes. Discover how online degree programs work. Review your job options with a degree in human development.
What Will I Learn as a Human Development Major?
With a major in the multidisciplinary field of human development, you'll learn about the human life cycle from infancy through old age. Degrees are generally conferred in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) form, and course curricula focus on the physical and cultural elements of human development. You'll learn not only about the way human beings change and evolve as they move through their lives, but also about their interactions with the world around them. Many institutions combine human development bachelor's degree programs with similar areas, such as family studies or human services. Some schools allow you to declare concentrations in related areas such as early child development or gerontology.
|Learning||Human life cycle, physical and cultural development, human interaction with the greater world|
|Course Work||Physical and social sciences, human development, normal and abnormal psychology; internship, project|
|Online Program Format||Online assignments, readings and lectures; communication through chat, e-mail and message boards; in-person internships|
|Careers||Child care, school social work, marriage or family counseling, human services|
|Median Salary (2018)||$33,750 (Social and Human Service Assistants)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||16% growth (Social and Human Service Assistants)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?
In a human development program, your coursework will draw from both the physical and social sciences. Required courses in a bachelor's degree program typically cover the physical characteristics and changes human beings experience as they move through infancy, adolescence, adulthood and beyond. You'll also take courses addressing the societal events, pressures and obstacles humans may face throughout their lives, such as work, poverty, death or substance abuse. You'll learn about both normal and abnormal psychological processes that may occur in individuals as they develop and progress through the life cycle. Topics covered in theoretical courses may include the following:
- Life span development
- Human sexuality
- Family life
- Human services administration
- Marriage and divorce
- Abnormal psychology
- Human health and nutrition
- Early childhood learning and assessments
- Human services public policy
Most programs place great emphasis on applied studies. You'll likely have to complete at least one internship in the human development area that most interests you, such as childcare, adult career education or family services. Some schools may also require you to complete an applied human development project.
How Do Online Programs Work?
Distance learning programs in human development are available from a number of schools. A reliable internet connection, along with software like Adobe Acrobat Reader is generally all that's required to view course materials. Courses are generally delivered through online teaching and learning platforms, which allow you to access assignments, readings and lectures. Lectures may be audio- or video-based. You can also communicate with classmates and professors via chat, e-mail and message board functions, the latter of which is a common venue for mandatory class discussions.
Usually, the only courses that cannot be completed online are internships or similar applied requirements. Internships can generally be completed at a location near you that is approved by the online school. A few online bachelor's degree programs are meant for degree completion, meaning certain core courses must be completed in advance of enrollment. Credits will transfer to your new school and be counted towards graduation.
What Can I Do With a Human Development Degree?
Because human development is a highly multidisciplinary field of study, you can pursue several different career paths when you graduate. According to College Board, related professional fields include child care, preschool education, marriage or family counseling, school social work and human services (www.collegeboard.com).
Additional education, professional credentials or both may be required for some of these careers. However, because these fields encompass human development, your undergraduate major should prepare you to embark upon graduate studies in early child education, social work or a related area.