Current Students


College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

A Bachelor of Science Degree

What are the developmental processes--the social, psychological, emotional, intellectual, and physical changes--that a person experiences over the span of a lifetime? How do human personality traits, values, intellectual skills, relationships, goals, and behaviors develop? What is the interrelationship between an individual's development and the family and the community? If these questions fascinate you, then perhaps a major in human development will also.

Students who major in Human Development at UC Davis complete a group of preparatory courses in anthropology, biological science, genetics, nutrition, physiology, psychology, statistics, and human development. Students in human development design their programs in consultation with a faculty member. Using a basic core of courses, students can study the social and the biological aspects of human development while emphasizing child or adult development. Students who anticipate exploring the biological aspects of Human Development or careers in the health sciences should include the prerequisites for the upper division biological sciences courses as part of the major.

The Human Development major emphasizes practical experience combined with theoretical knowledge. Students can gain field experiences with the age groups they have been studying about in the classrooms by interning in schools, early childhood education centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, probation offices, group foster homes, mental health clinics, convalescent homes, or tutoring disabled and bilingual students. They may also participate in study projects with people from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds who function in a variety of institutional settings. The UC Davis Child and Family Studies Center, for example, is located on campus. It serves as a laboratory facility for students to observe and work with about 70 preschool children, aged 4 months to 6 years. Students working in the center have the opportunity to relate theory and practice, to develop personal competency, and to explore the profession.

The Human Development major provides a study of the biological and environmental influences on the growth and development of humans from birth through adulthood. The emphasis is on cognitive, social, and emotional growth in the context of the family and community. Human Development graduates fill a wide variety of positions in preschools, elementary and special educational settings, as well as governmental jobs related to child care, social policy, social welfare and recreation. Those who emphasize the biological aspect of human development can apply to medical school or prepare for other careers within the health sciences. Human Development prepares students to pursue advanced degrees in the behavioral sciences, education, child guidance, counseling, social welfare, health sciences, or further research in human development

Potential Career Options for Human Development Students


Teaching Credential (K-12) Day Care Director/Administrator
School Planner/Administrator Gifted Educator
Special Educator (emotional / physical disabilities)      Disabilities Specialist    
Speech and Language Therapist Community Educator
College/University Professor Teaching foreign language/ ESL
Learning Disabilities Educator and Specialist


Research in human development  Research in child development
Research in adolescence and/or family Research in adult development/ aging
Research in neuropsychology or 
cognitive neuropsychology

Counseling or Clinical Psychology

Marriage, Family and Child Counselor Child Psychologist
School Psychologist Career Counselor
Guidance Counselor (e.g. High School, College) Genetic Counselor


Senior Activities Planner Nursing Home Administrator
Elder Caretaker

Public Policy     

Legal Advocate (Children, Families, Elders) Public Policy Administrator
(e.g. Headstart, Children's Child Advocacy Organizations)

Public Service/Government/Law

Child Protective Services Child Welfare
Juvenile justice Public Health
Community Child Care Coordinator Social Work
Non-Profit Child/Family Foundations Public Relations
Program Evaluator Social Services
Foster Care Administrator Human Resources
Family Law Practice/ Mediation Counselor  Adoption Agencies

Medical and Health Sciences

Nurse Physical Therapist
Dentist Midwife
Occupational Therapist Physicians Assistant
Physician  Nutritionist
(e.g. Pediatrician, Family Practitioner, Geriatrician)

Need more information?

Contact the Human and Community Development
Advising Office
Undergrad Advisor
(530) 752-2244