Online B.A. Human Development

Program Description

Pacific Oaks' online bachelor's-completion program equips graduates with a comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding of human development across the lifespan, from birth through the end of life. Students become familiar with the biological, psychological, emotional, and sociological factors that contribute to an individual's development. Through the program students will learn the implications those factors have on such wide-ranging skills and milestones as problem solving, language acquisition, personality and identity formation, and social and emotional maturation. Integrated into the content is Pacific Oaks' hallmark commitment to social justice, advocacy, and its respect for diversity and individual potential. 

  • Depending upon transfer credits received, the online program may be completed in as little as 20 months part time, or one year full time.
  • Online students may select from three specializations: Development Across the Lifespan (Generalist), Early Childhood Education and Development, and Social Change.
  • Pacific Oaks' Credit for Learning from Experience option allows students in this online program to accelerate their progress toward a bachelor's degree and entry into a master's program by waiving undergraduate credit for experience they have gained in the workplace.


Human Development


Development Across the Lifespan (Generalist)
Early Childhood Education and Development
Social Change

Total Credits

30-60, depending on credits transferred in. A minimum of 30 credits must be earned at Pacific Oaks College


Completion of an associate's degree or a minimum of 60 semester credits with a grade of "C" or higher from a college or university accredited by regional commissions.

Applicants may also take CLEP (College Level Exam Program) tests to acquire credits. A maximum of 30 credits may transfer.
Additional Ways to Earn Credit.

Effective Summer 2011, applicants must have an associate's degree or at least 60 transferable semester credits and may transfer in up to a total of 90 semester credits toward the 120 total semester credits required for B.A. degree completion. A minimum of 30 of those credits must be completed through Pacific Oaks coursework. 

Sample Courses

Early Childhood Themes and Life Cycle Issues

Each stage of life poses a task to be accomplished. These tasks appear as a challenge and bring the chance for growth, but also a fear of failure and discomforting disequilibrium. This online course explores the themes which begin in early childhood-attachment, separation, autonomy, accomplishment and failure-recur later in the life cycle. Understanding of their beginnings and knowledge of psychosocial developmental theories enables adults to be aware of the resolution of these themes in their own lives, as well as in children's lives.

Communication for Empowerment

This online class will empower students to make connections with other people. Four areas of communication will be addressed: active listening for meaning; fluent concise and organized writing; active, appropriate, and engaging group facilitation and leadership; and articulate, organized verbal communication and presentation of self. In addition, students will develop and strengthen their ability to think critically, integrating the subjective and objective, in all the areas of communication. They will examine the impact of their values and biases on communication across cultural, racial, class and gender lines.

Play in Childhood

Exploration of play as a human adaptive function with a distinct developmental course, beginning in infancy and varying in content and mode from culture to culture. Emphasis placed on the ability to observe children's play and to make use of these observations in planning for a child; the importance of the physical environment; and the setting up of environments for play that will engage children in using the skills that are pre-requisites for academic learning. Cultural and gender issues and ways to support cultural expression and non sexist play opportunities are examined. This online course focuses on early years but address the integrative and transformative function of play as it contributes to the lives of individuals throughout the life span.