Human Development

(Bachelor of Science)

Human Development is a broad-based major that explores human growth and change as a lifelong process which a) involves biological, cognitive, emotional, social and moral development, and b) occurs in multiple contexts. It examines the factors that promote healthy development, as well as variations from the norm. Consistent with the interdisciplinary focus of UW-Green Bay, Human Development is a liberal arts program that works to integrate the contributions of psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and scholars from other fields to improve our understanding of the life cycle. Students have opportunities to apply knowledge and to practice the integration of information and methods from different disciplines.

Students follow an introduction to the major with courses that advance the major’s learning objectives of developing basic skills such as informational literacy, research skills, and learning about diverse contexts. Human Development focuses on the core phases of development and  advanced courses in specific areas of the field (e.g., family and relationships, gender and diversity, and biological and health topics). Students select these upper-level courses based, at least in part, on their particular career goals. Students also take courses from the different disciplines (e.g., biology, public policy, psychology) that contribute to the field of human development.

One particular advantage of the Human Development program is the opportunity for undergraduate students to gain practical experience, and many work with faculty on independent research projects or as research assistants or teaching assistants. Human Development also strives to educate students who are committed to and engaged in their communities. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to seek applied experience through an internship in an approved community agency, part-time employment, or volunteer work. Such experiences are beneficial when entering the job market or seeking admission to graduate and professional schools.

Human Development is a suitable major or minor for students who plan a career that involves working with people and helping to solve human problems. Career possibilities are varied because of the knowledge students gain, along with the communication, critical thinking, research, and application skills they acquire in a liberal arts major. There are many options in human service, business, and educational settings. Alumni have worked in domestic violence shelters, for non-profit advocacy groups, in sales and customer service, and both with young children in preschools and with adults seeking admission to college. They have also pursued graduate studies in diverse fields, including human development and family studies, higher education or student affairs, law, marriage and family therapy, and more. Admission to graduate school is highly selective and requires a student to have very strong academic credentials. Students with these interests should plan their programs carefully with their advisers in order to select courses and experiences that maximize their competitiveness and be as prepared as possible to apply to graduate school.

Although a minor is not required to graduate with a Human Development major, minors or double majors in such areas as Public and Environmental Affairs, Business Administration, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Psychology may be helpful complements in preparing for specific objectives. Faculty advisers can help students tailor their choice of academic plan and electives to their individual career goals. More detailed information about both career and graduate school options for Human Development students can be found on the department website:

Human Development Minor
The Human Development minor adds a broad, interdisciplinary component to traditional social science majors such as Psychology and to other majors such as Human Biology, Design Arts, Arts Management, and Democracy and Justice Studies. For students who major in professional programs such as Education, Social Work, or Business Administration, the minor adds a strong developmental focus to their programs of study.


The following curriculum guides is for a four-year Human Development degree program and is subject to change without notice. Students should consult a Human Development program advisor to ensure that they have the most accurate and up-to-date information available about a particular four-year degree option.

Stacie Christian; Associate Lecturer; M.S., University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Albert Bugaj; Professor; Ph.D., Purdue University

Illene N Cupit; Professor; Ph.D., Temple University

Regan Gurung; Professor; Ph.D., University of Washington - Seattle

Ryan C Martin; Professor; Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi

Dean D VonDras; Professor; Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Georjeanna J Wilson-Doenges; Professor; Ph.D., University of California - Irvine

Kathleen C Burns; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

Jenell L Holstead; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Indiana, chair

Sawa Senzaki; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Alberta

Christine A Smith; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Kristin M Vespia; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Iowa

Jason Cowell; Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Jana Fogaca; Assistant Professor; Ph.D., West Virginia University


HUM DEV 102. Introduction to Human Development. 3 Credits.

Human development from conception through death: physical development, social and emotional development, personality development, the development of language, intellectual development and creativity, and the process of human learning.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 198. First Year Seminar. 3 Credits.

First Year Seminar, topics vary.
Reserved for New Incoming Freshman.

HUM DEV 225. Career Planning. 1 Credit.

Provides students with the knowledge and resources necessary for effective career decision-making in college. The class sessions and assignments focus on self-assessment, learning and applying career development theories, exploring major and career options, and establishing goals for career/life planning.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 299. Travel Course. 1-4 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.

HUM DEV 302. Developmental Research Methods. 4 Credits.

A survey of research methods used by developmental researchers.
P: HUM DEV 102; COMM SCI 205 or MATH 260 or BUS ADM 216
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 314. Family Policy. 3 Credits.

This course positions family at its center and critically examines the process, practice, and impact of policy on family. Policy areas covered include, but are not limited to, early childhood education, health care, juvenile crime, long-term care, sexual orientation and gender identity, and welfare reform. Policies will be understood in their historical context and present realities with an eye toward social justice, inclusivity, and diversity.
P: Junior standing. REC: Social science course

HUM DEV 331. Infancy and Early Childhood. 3 Credits.

Current theories, methods of study and research in the study of human development from conception through the early childhood years, and the interrelationships among biological, social, and psychological aspects of development.
P: HUM DEV 102 or PSYCH 102; REC: HUM DEV 302
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 332. Middle Childhood and Adolescence. 3 Credits.

Individual development from the elementary school years through adolescence: socio-cultural, psychological and physical growth factors in the developmental process of the older child and adolescent. Stresses interpretation of behavior from the perspectives of such theorists as Erikson and Piaget.
P: HUM DEV 102 or PSYCH 102; REC: HUM DEV 331 or equiv.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 336. Gender Development Across the Lifespan. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary analysis of changes in biological, social, and identity development for males and females throughout the life span. The development and variation of sexual orientation and gender expression will be discussed.
P: HUM DEV 102 or DJS 241. REC: COMM SCI 301 or HUM DEV 302
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 342. Cross Cultural Human Development. 3 Credits.

Cultural differences in perception, cognition, language and thought, child development, child rearing, and personality; relationships between various aspects of culture and psychological functioning within non-Western cultures and American ethnic subcultures.
P: HUM DEV 102 or ANTHRO 100; REC: soc sci cse.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 343. Adulthood and Aging. 3 Credits.

Theory and empirical research concerning developmental processes across the adult life span; psychological, cultural and biological factors which influence development in young adulthood, middle adulthood and old age.
P: HUM DEV 102 or PSYCH 102; REC: HUM DEV 331 and 332.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 344. Dying, Death, and Loss. 3 Credits.

Death, dying, and loss from a multidisciplinary diversity perspective; the development of death concepts across the life span, end of life issues, and cross-cultural death practices and their relation to the American death system.
P: HUM DEV 102.

HUM DEV 345. Human Sexuality. 3 Credits.

Overview of human sexuality from developmental and interpersonal perspectives. Topics include reproductive physiology and health, sexual function and dysfunction, educational and intervention strategies, and sexual orientation and gender expression diversity.
P: HUM DEV 102; REC: HUM BIOL 102.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 346. Culture, Development and Health. 3 Credits.

The course will focus on different cultural groups in the U.S. providing a brief multicultural history with an overview of the major religious worldviews before examining how development and approaches to health and well-being vary across cultures.
P: HUM DEV 102.
Fall Only.

HUM DEV 350. Developmental Psychobiology. 3 Credits.

New brains, young minds, and early behaviors will be explored using animal and human models.
P: HUM DEV 102; and HUM BIOL 102 or Biol 202.
Fall Only.

HUM DEV 353. Family Development. 3 Credits.

An overview of the study of the American family from a developmental perspective, with particular emphasis on family members' life cycle changes.
P: HUM DEV 102 or SOCIOL 202.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 370. Personal Relationships. 3 Credits.

This course will examine research and theory on the development and processes of romantic relationships, including: attraction, commitment, sexuality, relationship maintenance and dissolution. Students will read primary sources on cutting-edge research in the field, such as: the role of biochemistry in attraction, the impact of personal relationships on health, and the effectiveness of relationship education programs.
P: HUM DEV 102 REC: HUM DEV 302 or COMM SCI 301 or PSYCH 300

HUM DEV 424. The Development of Creative and Critical Thinking. 3 Credits.

Explores the definitions and assessment of creative thinking across the lifespan and provides the opportunity to discuss controversial issues in the field and to practice techniques for facilitating thought.
P: HUM DEV 102; and jr st or upper lev Hum Dev/Psych cse.
Fall Only.

HUM DEV 443. Spirituality and Development. 3 Credits.

This course in Human Development will explore how spirituality, religion, and faith may represent important aspects of development across the lifespan. Important questions to address include the following: How may 'spirituality' be defined? Is aging a form of spiritual development? Discussion of theoretical, research, and practice applications.
REC: HUM DEV 102, HUM DEV 343.

HUM DEV 478. Honors in the Major. 3 Credits.

Honors in the Major is designed to recognize student excellence within interdisciplinary and disciplinary academic programs.
P: min 3.50 all cses req for major and min gpa 3.75 all UL cses req for major.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 493. Peer Mentor for First Year Seminars. 3 Credits.

In this course, students will work in First Year Seminar classes as peer mentors for first year students. Peer mentors will help promote the development of skills relevant to student success, will encourage student engagement with the university, and will act as a role model for first year students. Through this work, peer mentors will learn about college student development and effective practices in teaching and learning, will develop professional and interpersonal skills such as communication and leadership, and will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in their work with first year students.
P: Approval of instructor
Fall Only.

HUM DEV 494. Capstone. 3 Credits.

Students will apply and integrate their knowledge from the Human Development major. The topic will vary from semester to semester.
P: Declared major in Human Development; 9 credits taken in Human Development. REC: Senior status
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 495. Teaching Assistantship. 1-6 Credits.

Students will learn the different components related to successful instruction. This will include theoretical perspective, empirical research, and pedagogical techniques relating to teaching that they can apply to a broad array of future teaching and learning experiences.
P: HUM DEV 102, 3.0 GPA in Human Dev and consent of inst; REC: sr st.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 496. Research Assistantship. 1-6 Credits.

Students will assist faculty in conducting research. Responsibilities may include literature reviews, library investigations, questionnaire development, recruitment and interviewing of research participants, data collection, management of research studies, data entry, and some statistical analyses.
P: HUM DEV 102. REC: HUM DEV 302
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 497. Internship. 1-12 Credits.

Supervised practical experience in an organization or activity appropriate to a student's career and educational interests. Internships are supervised by faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings.
P: jr st and gpa > or = 3.00.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 498. Independent Study. 1-4 Credits.

Independent study is offered on an individual basis at the student's request and consists of a program of learning activities planned in consultation with a faculty member. A student wishing to study or conduct research in an area not represented in available scheduled courses should develop a preliminary proposal and seek the sponsorship of a faculty member. The student's advisor can direct him or her to instructors with appropriate interests. A written report or equivalent is required for evaluation, and a short title describing the program must be sent early inthe semester to the registrar for entry on the student's transcript.
P: fr or so st with cum gpa > or = 2.50; or jr or sr st with cum gpa > or = 2.00.
Fall and Spring.

HUM DEV 499. Travel Course. 1-6 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.