The Human Development major lives in the Department of Human Ecology in Hart Hall.

What is Human Development anyway?

Human Development is the study of the development of various aspects of humans across contexts of development. It explores the developmental processes humans undergo throughout their life cycle. Classes range from pre-natal development to death. At this time, most HDE classes focus on childhood and adolescence (though there is an increasing emphasis on adulthood and aging), any many HDE majors have an interest in becoming teachers afterward. Still others enter counseling, social work, nursing, or research. A major goal of the department is to provide students with a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship between various aspects of our development and to provide a broadly applicable knowledge base.

HDE courses are sometimes similar to Psychology courses in their emphasis on understanding the development of cognitive processes as well as personality and social development. Several courses between the departments are cross-listed. HDE also has a strong focus on cultural and biological influences, and as a part of the undergraduate major, HDE students earn a Bachelors of Science degree and take many Anthropology and science classes in fulfillment of the major. This is one of the key differences between the undergraduate majors in Human Development and Psychology; the HDE major's breadth requirements include taking a large number of courses outside of the department.

HDE majors study different developmental perspectives that attempt to answer questions such as those posed by the "nature vs. nurture" debate. However (as one would predict), the conclusion most Developmentalists come to is "a little of both."

There is also a Human Development Graduate Group that offers a M.S. degree in child development and a Ph.D. in human development.

Famous classes

HDE 12 - Human Sexuality

Judy Reitan teaches this class, although not every quarter. In this class students have a chance to participate in a panel in which they openly discuss their sex lives to the entire lecture hall, view giant pictures of genitalia on the overhead screen, watch a childbirth video, and write a 10-page term paper in which they address the topic, "How I discovered my sexuality."