The Human Development and Family Studies major is a multidisciplinary program that examines the development of individuals and families across the life span. It enables students to prepare for professional, managerial, or scientific roles in health and human services professions, in public and nonprofit agencies, and in business and industry, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study. Students obtain a broad background in individual and family development across the life span. Courses emphasize biological, psychological, social/cultural, and economic aspects of development. Through course work and undergraduate internships or research projects, students develop skills relevant to career objectives, such as counseling, human assessment, program planning and evaluation, and research.
Life Span Human Services Option
Penn State Shenango delivers the Life Span Human Services Option for the major. This option focuses on the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge about development and family functioning across the life span for the purposes of enhancing personal and family development.
- Understanding the biological, psychological, and social development across the life span, and the structuring and functioning of families;
- Understanding basic theoretical and methodological issues;
- The development of applied skills in intervention and evaluation, prevention, and in the formulation of social policy.
An approved field experience in a setting that serves children, youth, adults, or the aged is required for this option.
Typical postgraduate pursuits of students completing this option include graduate study in human development, family studies, psychology, or sociology, or advanced professional training in psychology, law, behavioral health, counseling or social work.