The Human Development program focuses on individual development, with an emphasis on the beginning of the lifespan and formal schooling years (infancy through young adulthood). The Human Development area’s research seeks to make conceptual/theoretical contributions to the understanding of human behavior that can address practical concerns of educators, parents, and others. Special emphasis is placed on considering how diversity in personal backgrounds, contexts, and experiences contribute to the developing person.
The graduate program provides a breadth and depth of knowledge about human development and educational psychology and encourages more detailed study in specific interest areas. Early in the program, students learn about general theories and issues in human development; specific developmental processes in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; as well as associated statistical methods and research practices. In the latter part of the program, students exercise individual choice in selecting courses in subject matter that will broaden or deepen an understanding of developmental processes. Such coursework may also extend to other programs of the university in which there is a research focus in human development.