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Washington State University Global Campus

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Apply By

Dec. 3 (Spring)
April 1 (early Summer sessions)
July 22 (Fall)

Class Begins

Spring: Jan. 10
Summer: May 9 (early sessions)
Fall: Aug. 22

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Arts
in Human Development

WSU College

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Live Your Passion for Helping People

From a baby to an adolescent, from middle age to the golden years, human beings are always changing and developing. The question is, how can we help people develop in the best way possible and live up to their full potential? If helping people in this way is something you would like to make into your career, the exceptional faculty members of WSU’s online Human Development program are here to help you get there. 

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Why Major in Human Development?

Human development is the study of how children, young people, adults, and families develop, change, and face challenges throughout their life span. While studying human development, you will learn to work with people of all ages and from all walks of life as they develop skills and handle life challenges.

Find out more from a Human Development Outstanding Senior!

What You’ll Learn

The Department of Human Development is a multidisciplinary department devoted to understanding the nature of human development within the context of families, schools, and communities. Students completing a Human Development degree are well prepared for a wide range of careers working with children, adolescents, adults, and/or families in a variety of professional settings.

Human Development majors may currently choose to focus their studies in one of three options through the Global Campus: Lifespan Development, Early Childhood Education, and Gerontology.

Options in Child and Youth Development, Human Services, and Prevention Science are in development.  Global Campus does not offer the Family Science Option provided on other WSU campuses.

Photo: Three generations of a happy family out on a morning walk together.

WSU Human Development Online Degree Strengths

  • 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.
  • Develop skills for working in a variety of human service and educational settings and for graduate school.
  • Acquire a focus on physical, social, cognitive, and affective development with an emphasis on development within the family, school, community, and policy environments.
  • Apply your knowledge in real-world internships.
  • Learn from experienced and highly-qualified faculty members from WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. 

Program of Study

All courses are available online

University Requirements

All WSU undergraduates must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits of which 40 credits must be at the 300 – 400 level. Students must also complete the University Common Requirements (UCORE). These can generally be satisfied with a direct transfer degree. For a list of direct-transfer agreements, visit WSU’s Transferring an Associate Degree web page.

Admission to the Program

Students can be admitted to the major if they have earned 24 credits and have a 2.0 GPA. To retain admission to the major, students must maintain a 2.6 HD GPA.

Human Development Graduation Requirements

  • 2.6 HD GPA
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum of 21 HD credits must be taken at WSU

Introductory Core (Required for All Options)

  • H_D 101 [SSCI] – Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • H_D 200 – Introduction to the Field of Human Development (2 cr)
  • H_D 204 [SSCI] – Family Interactions
  • H_D 220 – Human Development Theories

Advanced Core (Required for All Options)

  • H_D 310 [M] – Research Methods
  • H_D 350 [DIVR] – Family Diversity
  • H_D 410 [M] – Public Policy and Issues in Human Development

Program Options

Select one program option from the choices below:

Lifespan Development Option

The Lifespan Development option is for students who desire to deepen their understanding of the foundations of development from childhood, adolescence, to adulthood. Students in this option will gain psychosocial and bioecological perspectives on the interrelationships between individuals, families, organizations, and communities. A Lifespan Development focus opens the doors for many helping professions. Students are ready for careers in public and private human service agencies, and local, state and federal government.

Lifespan Core

  • H_D 306 – Child Development
  • H_D 307 – Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
  • H_D 308 – Adult Development

Lifespan Electives – select two classes

(Additional electives are offered at other WSU campuses: HD 320 [M], HD 430 [M], HD 479, and HD 480)

  • H_D 300 – Child Maltreatment
  • H_D 301 – Family Stress and Coping
  • H_D 341 – Guidance in Early Childhood Programs
  • H_D 360 – Death and Dying
  • H_D 403 [CAPS] – Families in Poverty
  • H_D 405 – Gerontology
  • H_D 406 – Work and Family
  • H_D 408 – Advanced Adolescent Development

Professional Preparation Seminar

  • H_D 497 – Professional Preparation Seminar

Field Placement

  • H_D 498 – Field Placement (135 hours)

Early Childhood Education Option

Note: The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Option is available only to students residing in the state of Washington.

The Early Childhood Education option focuses on children birth-age 5. Students gain a deeper understanding of the importance of building relationships with children, observing and documenting their development and learning, planning and implementing age-appropriate curricula and assessing the success of the planned curricula. This option prepares students to be early childhood educators as they complete a 270-hour practicum in a high-quality, early childhood classroom. While this option focuses on preparing for a teaching role, students are also ready for careers outside of the classroom working with young children and their families.

Early Childhood Core

  • H_D 235 – Introduction to Early Childhood Programs (1 credit)
  • H_D 306 – Child Development
  • H_D 341 – Guidance in Early Childhood Programs
  • H_D 342 – Curriculum for Early Childhood Programs (4 credits)

Family Requirements

  • H_D 300 – Child Maltreatment
  • H_D 302 – Parent-Child Relationships
  • H_D 403 [CAPS] – Families in Poverty

Assessment and Evaluation

  • H_D 482 – Child Assessment and Evaluation

Professional Preparation Seminar

  • H_D 445 – Early Childhood Professional Preparation Seminar

Practicum

  • H_D 446 – Practicum in Early Childhood Programs (270 hours)

Gerontology Option

The Gerontology option is for students who desire to deepen their understanding of the foundations of development across the entire lifespan, particularly in adulthood to later life. Students in this option will gain an overview of the interdisciplinary field of gerontology and explore psychosocial and bioecological perspectives on adult development and aging over the life course as it affects individuals, families, and communities and has social, political, and economic implications world-wide. Examples of careers in Gerontology include working directly with older adults in a variety of settings and administering programs for older adults.

Gerontology Core

  • H_D 308 – Adult Development
  • H_D 360 – Death and Dying
  • H_D 405 – Gerontology

Gerontology Electives – select three classes

(Additional electives are offered at other WSU campuses: HD 320 [M], HD 430 [M], and HD 479)

  • H_D 301 – Family Stress and Coping
  • H_D 302 – Parent-Child Relationship
  • HBM 375 – Introduction to Senior Living Management
  • PSYCH 320 – Health Psychology
  • PSYCH 444 [M] – Basic Clinical Skills

Professional Preparation Seminar

  • H_D 497 – Professional Preparation Seminar

Field Placement

  • H_D 498 – Field Placement (135 hours)

Review the online WSU Catalog for additional information about specific degree requirements.