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Academic Programs

Discover how people develop throughout their life spans and grow in their relationships. Gain a strong foundation in the applied social sciences while learning to gather evidence, think critically, evaluate sources, and communicate your findings


Our B.S. degree in Human Development will enable you to explore child and adult learning and development in the context of family, community, and culture. We encourage experiential learning and undergraduate research, working with our three centers to provide a rich and practical student experience that will equip you for your chosen field.

We also offer a Ph.D. program with four concentration options on our main campus in Blacksburg. With dedicated faculty and myriad opportunities to do real-time research through our Child Development Center for Learning and Research, Family Therapy Center, and the Engagement Center for Creative Aging (ECCA; formerly Adult Day Services), our programs will prepare you for careers in social services, health care, government, non-profits, and more.

Graduate Programs in Human Development

We offer four content-focus areas within our Human Development program: Adult Development and Aging (ADA), Child and Adolescent Development (CAD), Family Studies (FS), and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). The focus areas that students choose reflect their general interests, although these areas may overlap. The MFT focus is the most distinct because students in this area engage in clinical practice and supervision, and they also complete an internship during their fourth year.