- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Human development is the study of how children, youth, adults, and families develop, change, and face challenges throughout the life span.
Students who major in human development can receive certificates in these areas:
- Early childhood
- Family studies
A degree in human development prepares for a successful career in a variety of human services and/or educational settings.
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- Experience working with young children in WSU's Child Development Program.
- Develop skills for working in a variety of human service and educational settings.
- Gain a broad perspective on individual and family development by learning from professors who teach and research a wide range of disciplines and professional areas.
- Acquire a focus on physical, social, cognitive, and affective development with an emphasis on development within the family.
- All students complete an internship that provides valuable first-hand experience in their field of interest. The human development internship program has more than 1,000 approved sites to choose from, so you can stay in the Northwest or opt for an international experience.
- Signature courses and program information
Joining the human development major
Students can certify as a human development major after taking 24 credit hours and earning at least a 2.0 GPA. Students completing a bachelor of arts degree in human development are required to complete a certified minor or approved certificate of study in another department. HD majors may also minor in the WSU program on aging.
HD 201—Prenatal Through Age 8
HD 202—Middle Childhood Through Adolescence
HD 203—Adulthood Through Older Years
HD 204—Family Systems: Understanding Family Interaction
HD 310—Research Approaches to Human Development
HD 497—Professional Preparation
HD 320—Resource Management and Problem Solving
or HD 420—Theories of Human Development
HD 320—Resource Management & Problem Solving
HD 498—Field Placement
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For students in human development
The Department of Human Development awards more than $14,000 in scholarships annually.
Students in the program are also eligible to compete for scholarships from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences that are worth roughly $600,000 annually.
Details on scholarship criteria are available from the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences website and the Department of Human Development.
- Suggested strengths and interests
- Desire to strengthen individuals, families, and communities
- Interest in current social issues and policies that impact families or individual family members
- Sensitivity to the valuable contributions and unique needs of all people
- Desire to learn about the development of individuals, families, and communities
- Desire to learn how a variety of educational approaches, social policies, and prevention/intervention strategies can influence the development of children, youth, and families
- Careers in human development
Human development graduates are employed in community action centers, Head Start family services, domestic violence programs, family support centers, childcare centers, residential treatment centers, programs for the elderly, juvenile correction programs, and youth programs.
Students who earn a teaching certificate are qualified for jobs as teachers at the middle school, junior high, or high school levels.
Additionally, human development is excellent preparation for graduate school in family therapy and human development research.