Human Development: A.A., A.S.

Students of Human Development gain an understanding of changes across the lifespan and how the social environments we inhabit influence those changes. The study of Human Development enables students to better understand themselves and others, enhances their ability to work with people in various capacities, and prepares them for more advanced study in fields including, but not limited to, the mental health and health-care professions, law, business, education, and nonprofit agencies.  

Degree programs in Human Development offer students the opportunity to develop individualized degree plans based on their intellectual, professional, and personal interests. General program guidelines can be found on the “Program Details” tab, and students will work with an academic mentor to choose courses that meet the guidelines and address each student’s individual interests. Students can also work with their academic mentors to identify applicable transfer credit, prior college-level learning, and possible course equivalencies. Working with a mentor and using Empire State University’s educational planning process, students can develop a specialized concentration in Human Development by following the general program guidelines as well as any applicable concentration guidelines. Students may also develop their own concentrations.

For more information about general undergraduate degree requirements, please visit Earning an Undergraduate Degree.

For sample degree programs and other degree planning resources, please visit the Department of Psychology and Human Development Degree Planning Resources web page

Associate degrees in Human Development include the following six foundations:  

  1. Lifespan Development 
  2. Biological Bases of Development  
  3. Cognitive Bases of Development 
  4. Social & Emotional Bases of Development
  5. Cultural Diversity  
  6. Methodology & Ethics  

These foundations may be met through transcript credit; college-level knowledge demonstrated through individual prior learning assessment (iPLA), professional learning evaluations (PLE), or credit by examination; or individual courses, a series of courses, or components within individual courses with Empire State University. The student’s degree plan rationale essay should clearly explain how the degree plan meets each of the foundations in the concentration, what will be learned, and how the student will build on these foundations to meet personal, academic, or career goals.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Science (A.S.)

For an associate degree, students must address the lifespan development foundation plus three of the remaining foundations.

Associate Degree in Human Development Concentration – Psychology: Students who are interested in psychology may earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree in Human Development with a concentration in Psychology. For this concentration, Introduction to Psychology is a required course, in addition to the required lifespan development foundation.  Students would still choose three more of the remaining foundations.

Students should consult the B.A. in Psychology to make informed choices about courses in the associate degree in case they continue for the bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Foundation #1:  Lifespan Development

HUDV 1015Human Development: Introductory4
HUDV 3025Human Development: Advanced4

Students may learn about lifespan development through a series of developmental courses that cover the whole lifespan (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and later life) rather than in one lifespan human development course. 

To cover child development the student may take (pick one):

HUDV 1005Child Development: Introductory4
HUDV 3015Child Development: Advanced4
HUDV 1010Child & Adolescent Development: Introductory4
HUDV 3020Child & Adolescent Development: Advanced4

To cover adolescent development, students who have not covered it in one of the combined child and adolescent development courses mentioned above may take (pick one):

HUDV 2005Adolescent Development: Introductory4
HUDV 3080Adolescent Development: Advanced4

To cover adult development the student may take (pick one):

HUDV 2015Adult Development: Introductory4
HUDV 3005Adult Development: Advanced4
HUDV 2020Adult Development & Aging: Introductory4
HUDV 3010Adult Development & Aging: Advanced4

To cover the aging years, students who have not covered it in one of the combined adult development and aging courses listed above may take one of the following (pick one):

HUDV 2010Gerontology4
PSYC 3115Psychology of Aging4

Foundation #2: Biological Bases of Development

HUDV 3055Developmental Neurobiology2
PSYC 2005Brain & Behavior4
PSYC 3040Biological Psychology4
BIOL 1002Human Biology4

Students may use a combination of courses to learn about biological processes and how they change over time by learning about development through the major age phases of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging. 

Foundation #3: Cognitive Bases of Development

HUDV 3057Cognitive Development4
PSYC 2025Educational Psychology: Introductory4
PSYC 3015Educational Psychology: Advanced4
EDST 4005Adults as Learners: Theories & Strategies4
EDST 4010Human Learning: A Developmental Approach4

Students may use a combination of courses to learn about cognitive bases of development and how they change over time by learning about development through the major age phases of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging.

Foundation #4: Social and Emotional Bases of Development

HUDV 2035Attachment in Early Childhood: Introductory4
HUDV 3065Human Exceptionalities4
HUDV 3066Developmental Psychopathology4
HUDV 3035Attachment Across the Lifespan4
ECET 4015Development & Meaning of Play4

Students may use a combination of courses to learn about social and emotional bases of development and how they change over time by learning about development through the major age phases of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging. 

Foundation #5: Cultural Diversity

HUDV 3065Human Exceptionalities4
HUDV 3075Western Civilization & Human Development4
HUDV 4010Development of Gender Identity4
PSYC 3055Cultural Psychology4
PSYC 4030Media Psychology4
PSYC 4035Multicultural Counseling4
ANTH 1010Introduction to Cultural Anthropology4
GSST 1005Introduction to Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies4
GSST 2005Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies4
SOCI 2010Introduction to Race Class & Gender4
ANTH 3020Families in Global Perspective4
ANTH 3030Immigration Today: Gender & Family4
CHFS 3060Multicultural Study of Children & Families4
GSST 3030Sex & Gender in Global Perspective4

Foundation #6: Methodology and Ethics

HUDV 3085Research Methods for Lifespan Development4
SOSC 3025Social Science Research Methods4

*Note: Students interested in attending graduate school are strongly encouraged to add a course in Statistics (such as SOSC 2010: Statistics for the Social Sciences), which is usually required for admission to master-level programs in the behavioral sciences (e.g., Master of Social Work, Master of Mental Health). 

  • Foundation 1: Lifespan Development, Students will be able to describe development (e.g., physical, biological/neural, cognitive, emotional, and social) across the lifespan in relation to theories of human development.
  • Foundation 2: Biological Bases of Development, Students will be able to analyze biological influences on emotional, cognitive, and behavioral change over time.
  • Foundation 3: Cognitive Bases of Development, Students will be able to apply primary theories of cognitive development across the lifespan.
  • Foundation 4: Social and Emotional Bases of Development, Students will be able to analyze intrapersonal and interpersonal processes of normative and non-normative human behavior and development.
  • Foundation 5: Cultural Diversity, Students will be able to analyze human diversity, including the impact of power, privilege, and oppression on individuals who differ in race, ethnicity, gender, class, socioeconomic status, age, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and/or ability.
  • Foundation 6: Methodology and Ethics, Students will be able to develop ethical research skills for gathering, interpreting, analyzing, and drawing evidence-based conclusions about human development and behavior.