Human Development Major

Students selecting the Human Development Major will study the individual in community and in the world of schooling. The major is designed to help students answer the question, “How do children develop into fully mature, autonomous and self-aware human beings who are capable of both intimate and public communal relationships?”


The major provides:

  • a comprehensive, liberal arts-based preparation for prospective elementary school teachers, and
  • an interdisciplinary program for students who wish to examine human development in the context of theory and practice in education, but who do not wish to seek teacher certification

These studies will facilitate an understanding of the development of children in our multifaceted society within the comprehensive liberal arts foundation of the Washington College experience. The Human Development major provides the opportunity for enlarging our understanding of the development of school-aged youth. 

The academic program includes sequenced study in educational foundations (the history, philosophy, and psychology of education), a developmental progression of study in pedagogical theory and practice, a demonstrated knowledge of content in selected liberal arts disciplines, and multi-disciplinary courses from the departments of Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology.

Field experiences and research are an essential component for the Human Development major.

  • Teacher candidates are required to complete a 100-day internship in a Professional Development School.
  • Non-teacher candidates are required to complete field experiences in schools or other educational and social agencies or organizations.

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