About HDEV

About Department of Human Development (HDEV)

The Department of Human Development is interdisciplinary, applied, engaged, and international. The goals of the Department of Human Development (HDEV) are to study maturation and development as lifelong processes, linking theory, methodology, and practice across disciplines, including anthropology, biology, psychology, and sociology, and to provide students with an understanding of development in the context of family, society, and culture. Students learn about the biological, cognitive, social, and emotional development of humans from conception to death, and faculty apply an interdisciplinary focus to both teaching and research. Hallmarks of HDEV include: 1) its international focus, which is integrated in both curricular content and study abroad classroom experience; and 2) the internship capstone course (HDEV 470: Practicum/Seminar), during which students gain real-world work experience through career-related internship placements that serve to scaffold the student’s transition from school to the workplace. CSULB’s Human Development major provides excellent preparation for graduate programs in applied human development, anthropology, counseling, criminal justice, developmental psychology, family studies, gerontology, law, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, school psychology, social work, and theology. A B.A. in Human Development also prepares students to enter directly into the workforce and contribute significantly by applying human development in community-based settings.


A hallmark of HDEV is its interdisciplinary focus. Rather than obtain a degree in a single discipline, students have the advantage of developing a critical understanding of the human experience through multiple lenses, comparing and integrating the key component fields of psychology, sociology and anthropology. As a result, HDEV students learn to think in critical and complex ways about individual and social phenomena, an effort in keeping with a traditional liberal arts education but one that prepares graduates to live and work in a diverse and dynamic global society.

Applied and Engaged

An additional feature of HDEV that sets our graduates apart is the experience they gain by successfully completing the internship capstone course, HDEV 470: Practicum and Seminar. Our internship program is among the best at CSULB. Typically during the final semester of coursework, students enroll in HDEV 470 and select an internship site in line with their professional goals. They meet together weekly with the course instructor and fellow seminar students to discuss shared readings, specify short and long-term professional goals, and address challenges and successes occurring on site. HDEV faculty and staff invest a considerable amount of time and resources in this internship program, because we believe that the ability to apply theory to everyday practice is fundamental to the skill set of our college graduates. Guided internships provide a concrete and practical bridge between school and the workplace and are a valuable resume-builder in a competitive job market. Notably, a significant number of our students are offered paid positions at their former internship site each semester. In response to the department’s commitment to foster and maintain partnerships with community agencies and organizations in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area, HDEV was designated a Service-Learning Engaged Department, pledging to work with the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) to include community-based work in our teaching and research.

International Focus

Another unique feature of HDEV is its international focus in both curricular content and classroom experience. In addition to several of our required courses that foreground issues of development within an international framework, many of our classes contextualize and/or problematize age, development, and maturation as it is conceived and practiced around the world. Importantly, our commitment to internationalization goes well beyond the conventional classroom. HDEV faculty are actively involved in cross-national collaborations to benefit our students by engaging them in a multicultural world. In the summer of 2014, students furthered their international experience by enrolling in the summer study abroad course HDEV 300I: Death and Dying in South Africa taught by Dr. Pamela Roberts in the Cape Town. Students were immersed into township culture through working in programs for orphans and vulnerable children, interacting with hospice and community health workers and visiting historic sites that provide a context for death and dying today in South Africa. Housed in the CSULB College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Human Development offers a B.A. in Human Development and a minor in Human Development.