Human Development Major

This interdisciplinary major in human development will provide students with a focus on the entire life span and in-depth knowledge about theory, research, and application in human development. Students will participate in field experience to make connections between theory, research, and practice. The major has five separate concentrations, serving the needs of students seeking early childhood education teacher licensure (early childhood education concentration) or elementary education licensure (elementary education concentration), students interested in gerontology or planning other careers working with children and adults (applied concentration and gerontology concentration), and students who wish to pursue graduate study (graduate school concentration).

Upon completion of a degree in Human Development at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the major theories, basic principles, current issues, and emerging concepts in the field. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of biological, cognitive, social, emotional, and contextual aspects of human development and the interrelations among them.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically about human development, including being able to identify similarities, differences, and connections among human development theories and perspectives.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the processes of cognitive development, including the development of logical and abstract thought, memory, mathematical understanding, scientific thinking, and literacy skills, and how those processes change over time.
  • Demonstrate the ability to relate theories and methodologies from human development to problems and issues in other disciplines, such as sociology, education, nutrition and health.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate knowledge of the field of human development both orally and in writing, the latter following the American Psychological Association guidelines.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct independently a comprehensive literature review that critically evaluates an area of research in human development. Students will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply knowledge of research methodology and statistics to the interpretation and evaluation of research.
  • Understand the ways in which culture and society (both national and global) impact development, including the roles of the family, the peer group, school, and the media. Students will also be able to discuss the roles of ethnicity, race, and gender and issues in social relationships such as aggression and cooperation.

Prepare for successful careers in their chosen concentration, as follows:

  • Graduate School concentration: Students take courses in statistics and research methods to help them prepare to enter a graduate program in human development, psychology, or a related field.
  • Applied concentration: Students take courses that are geared toward working with diverse populations of children and families to prepare them for working with social service agencies.
  • Gerontology concentration: Students’ coursework is focused on understanding various issues related to aging to prepare them for careers in the gerontology field.
  • Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education concentrations: Students’ coursework prepares them to work with children as a classroom teacher.

For information regarding careers in Human Development click Careers in human development (PDF 436 KB)