A human development degree combines a variety of disciplines such as biology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and sociology as a means to better understand the lifespan and development of various types of people. Entry level positions for this field typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. Those wishing to pursue a career in human development should earn a Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Development, a human development masters degree (a Master’s of Science in Human Development and Family Resources), or a Ph.D. in Human Development.
The bachelor’s degree in human development typically centers on learning strategies for working with children, adults, and elderly people. There is a high concentration placed on working with families, as well as some individual development.
The actual human development degree program coursework is comprised of learning to understand the often complex issues that people deal with throughout a lifetime. This can include physical, family, cognitive, and social development. These courses may include:
- Relationships between parents and children;
- Child assessment and evaluation;
- Child abuse and neglect;
- Families and work;
- Dying and death;
- Early childhood development;
- Human development applications and theories;
- Counseling for families and individuals;
- Families in financial distress.
The human development masters degree program is intended for those who wish to become administrators, program directors, and case managers. These students must learn about human development topics, as well as the administration and organization of early childhood programs. Participants in the programs must learn how to work with children, couples, and families.
In order to enroll in the master’s program, GPA standards are enforced, and GRE scores that meet the school’s requirements must be submitted. Letters of recommendation, as well as entrance essays may also be required.
While master’s programs continue on with human development theory, they also explore issues such as education, public policy, and counseling. Courses are comprised of the following:
- Child life studies;
- Family crises;
- Relationships between couples;
- Later life issues for families;
- Basic counseling practices;
- Aging health phases;
- Decision making for consumers;
- Organization and administration of vocational cooperative education programs;
- Applications for child development;
- Public policies for consumers and families.