Human Development Majors: Information and Requirements

Bachelor's degree programs in human development can be a solid foundation for entry-level careers or graduate study in education, psychology, counseling or social work. Curricula focuses on the growth and changes a person will experience through their lifetime.

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Essential Information

Undergraduate programs in human development typically offer a broad look at all phases of human development and the implications on society. Many programs pair human development and family science together, offering students a chance to explore how family dynamics affect human development. Some programs are multi-disciplinary and provide training in a number of areas that can be applied to a variety of occupations in education, human services, counseling and other fields. Programs may include internships as well.

Applicants will need to have completed the standard high school preparatory coursework required for admission to college.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
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  • Family Systems
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  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

Bachelor Degree in Human Development

Like a standard bachelor's degree program, human development programs include general education classes in math, science, English composition and social science, in addition to courses in the major. Students may seek specializations in fields including early childhood, adolescence, family studies and aging. Class topics may include:

  • Human development foundations
  • Growth and learning in the young child
  • Issues in older children and teens
  • Navigating adulthood and aging
  • Managing family resources
  • Human sexuality and development

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

People who earn an undergraduate degree in human development may be well-prepared to pursue work in a variety of settings that require knowledge of how human beings function, including social services.

In the social services area, a social or human service assistant may work in a medical or social service agency, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The need for such workers is expected to grow. The BLS predicted an 11% growth in jobs for social or human service assistants during the 2014-2024 decade. The mean annual salary for these workers was $33,190 as of May 2015, the BLS reported (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Because human development involves coursework in many areas, there are many ways to pursue further education. An undergraduate degree in human development may provide a good foundation for graduate work in teaching, counseling, psychology or social work. Master's degree programs in all those areas are widely available. However, depending on the program, some specific coursework may be required prior to admission. Graduate programs in psychology may allow students to specialize in a phase of human development, such as childhood or gerontology.

Bachelor's degree programs in human development prepare students for work in social and human service agencies by focusing on the various stages of human development. Further education can be pursued at the master's level in various fields for students seeking occupations as social workers, counselors, teachers or psychologists.

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