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Human Sciences-Developmental Sciences

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The Developmental Sciences master’s program, with a specialization in Human Development in Diverse Contexts, provides students with graduate training in the areas of human development and families across diverse contexts and within educational settings. Students will complete advanced coursework in the areas of child, adolescent, and adult development with an emphasis in multiculturalism, diverse learners, and the development of cultural competence. Given the increasing multiculturalism and diversity of population in the country, this program addresses a critical need in the training of human service professionals and educators in terms of multicultural competence and providing culturally sensitive and responsive services.

For more information about this program, please contact Dr. Aileen Garcia, Program Coordinator, or Dr. Jay Trenhaile, Department Head.

Graduates will be prepared to enter professional roles requiring advanced knowledge of:

  • Major human development domains (e.g., cognitive, social-emotional, physical) across the lifespan;
  • Family systems and family interactions;
  • Providing leadership to appropriate agencies and organizations from a developmental perspective;
  • Assessing resources needed by individuals, families, and their communities and varied corrective action plans needed to improve and/or create resources;
  • Integrating developmental science with practice, prevention, and policy;
  • The needs of diverse individuals, families, and communities across the globe; and
  • The ability to work within an ecological framework with individuals and families;
  • Grant writing;
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating prevention and intervention programs;
  • Applying family theories to assist and support individuals, families, and the community;
  • Conducting and interpreting needs assessments for community agencies and schools;
  • Creating inclusive lesson plans, trainings, and workshops for individuals and families across the lifespan; and
  • Developing inclusive policies for agencies, communities, and schools.

Career Opportunities

  • Positions with family support and intervention programs such as:

    • Social service agencies (e.g., family resource center, family violence centers, health centers, mental health centers, community support programs, volunteer centers, non-profit organizations)

    • Child centers (e.g., before and after school programs, child care centers and preschools)

    • School-based intervention programs

    • Adolescent programs and centers (e.g., juvenile detention centers, group homes, youth programs)

    • Elderly programs

    • Policy analyst

  • Governmental positions with local, state, national, and international agencies such as:

    • Department of Health and Human Services

    • Administration for Children and Families

    • Administration on Aging

    • Department of Education

    • Department of Health

    • Military Services

    • Parks and Recreation

  • Community Development

  • Educator

  • Community Colleges

  • Colleges and Universities

  • University Extension

  • Higher education administrator (e.g., for admissions, student life, housing)

  • Researcher with a public or private agency or institution

  • Program evaluator

Program Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, psychology, or other related field is required. The coursework for this program consists of 36 credits that can be fulfilled in two academic years. As students enter or progress in the program, they can elect to specialize in either of these two areas: Diversity in Education and Human Development in Diverse Context. A master’s thesis is required to complete the degree. For more information, see Plan of Study below.

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