Human Development Major
Our program focuses on applying knowledge and skills to make a difference in people's lives. We use theory and practice to understand and work with children and adults in the context of different families, communities, and cultures.
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Total Credit Hours: 120
Human Development Courses (48 hours)
General Education (42 hours)
Free Electives (30 hours)
What You'll Study
- 120 credit hours for a bachelor of science degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways
- 45 credits in Human Development courses, including
- Childhood and Adolescence
- Adulthood and Aging
- Family Relationships
- Principles of Human Services
- Family Financial Management
- Field study work with a local human services organization
What Is a Degree in Human Development?
This discipline studies how humans learn and develop, from birth through old age and in many specific contexts. Researchers might look at how children are affected when their parents are incarcerated or how close friendships change as we grow older. The field mixes principles of psychology, sociology, and health to study and improve people's daily life experiences.
Why Study Human Development Here?
You'll learn about the physical, social, and cognitive areas of development and serve others through a hands-on field experience at our Adult Day Services or child development centers, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, a local free clinic, or other social services programs. A few examples of typical careers for human development majors includes teachers, school counselors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and non-profit professionals.
Beyond the Classroom
Our program includes a field study experience to observe and participate in the work of human services. You'll get the chance to see first-hand what the work is like, and learn the challenges and triumphs people in the helping professions deal with every day.
Learn With Us
We have four centers that serve as living laboratories where we train students in the human services professions, serve the community, and conduct research that improves people's lives and sets new standards for the care industry.
- Adult Day Services Center
- Child Development Center for Learning and Research
- Family Therapy Center
- Center for Family Services at the National Capital Region campus
You'll learn to perform top-notch research with our faculty, who have a reputation among their peers for designing complex research studies. Talk to a professor about designing your own research project or investigating a topic that interests you. You'll work closely with a faculty mentor to plan a course of action, discuss your findings, and write a report. You can also assist a faculty member with their research project.
Careers and Further Study
What do I do with a human development major?
The human services profession is interdisciplinary in nature, so our curriculum will give you a strong foundation you can tailor to your goals and interests.
Our students pursue graduate school and careers, such as:
- Case managers
- Community support professionals
- School counselors
- Activities directors at nursing homes
- Behavioral counselors
- Social workers
- Youth advisors
- Sexual assault advocates