Human Development and Family Studies

Human Development and Family Studies

The Human Development and Family Studies program at Penn State was among the first of its kind in the nation, and continues to be one of the most respected.

Human development is best understood by looking at the whole person, rather than from the narrow perspective of a single discipline. At Penn State Brandywine, you will focus on more than laboratory studies of development. Our faculty members teach students how people develop and change within the context they live in, how contexts vary by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sociocultural location, and how interventions in these settings can promote growth and reduce problems in development.

Curriculum Overview

Students learn the most current information for understanding development, as well as the diversity among individuals and families from different communities and cultures. They also learn critical thinking skills for evaluating new information and for moving from theory to application.

Core skills developed while majoring in Human Development and Family Studies include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication Skills
  • Group Process Skills
  • Helping Skills
  • Program Planning Skills
  • Prevention/Intervention Skills
  • Evaluation Skills
  • Research Skills

Complementary Minors and Certificates

Students who minor in one of the following disciplines find the combination compliments their Human Development and Family Studies focus:

Internships, Research and Application

Human Development and Family Studies students have many opportunities to integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience, such as service learning and problem-based projects. Most students complete a full-time internship, in which they gain valuable experience in the type of career they want to pursue after completing their degree. Students who desire to become more than a sophisticated consumer of social/behavioral science, and are interested in a career that will include research can work with faculty on a range of exciting research projects.