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Department of Education and Community Studies

Human Development

As a human development major, you’ll gain the education you need to pursue a career in education, human services, or social services.

A truly interdisciplinary program, the curriculum includes courses in education, psychology, liberal arts, and science.

By concentrating in School & Society in the Human Development major, you will:

  • Understand how schools play a key role in a diverse and democratic society  
  • Gain a greater understanding of the human services issues that are impacting our communities
  • Take a diverse set of classes including Introduction to Human Development; Diversity, Social Justice, & Ethics; and Human Biology
  • Build a great launching pad for graduate school

Hands-On Learning

You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on by writing your senior thesis or completing a field experience. It’s your chance to take what you’ve learned at Merrimack and put it into practice while benefiting your community.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the Human Development/School & Society program, you’ll be well equipped to make an impact for the public good in a wide variety of career fields including non-profit, community-based, and after-school programs. Or apply to a fellowship or graduate program to deepen your knowledge. Positions may include:

  • Community involvement coordinator
  • Community services administrator
  • Guidance counselor
  • Learning and development director
  • Non-profit social services liaison
  • Organizational learning specialist
  • Social work case manager 

What You’ll Take

Human Development/School & Society majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 48-credit course requirement for the department out of the total 124 credits required for a diploma. To graduate with a degree in Human Development/School & Society, you must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in your selected courses.

Courses in the School of Education & Social Policy are scheduled to account for instructional time that is commensurate with credits earned.

Required Courses

All Human Development majors must take the following seven courses:

BIO 1106 Human Biology (Fulfills STEM in LS Core)
EDU 2130 Diversity, Social Justice, & Ethics
(Fulfills D and E in LS Core)
EDU 3210 Psychology of Learning & Assessment
(Fulfills X in LS Core)
EDU 4220 Differentiation & Inclusion
EDU 4221 Strategies for Group Management
HDE 1000 Introduction to Human Development
HDE 2000W Research Methods & App. Stats.
(Fulfills W and Q in LS Core) 

Plus, you must take three of the following Developmental Progressions and Processes courses:

EDU 2230 Applied Adolescent Psychology (Fulfills X in LS Core)
EDU 2240 Adult Development
EDU 3200 Language & Social Processes
EDU 4500 Language Acquisition & Literacy Curr. Development
PSY 3310 Development of Intelligence / Thinking (Fulfills SOSC in LS Core)
PSY 3340                Developmental Psychopathology (Fulfills SOSC in LS Core)
PSY 3380 Psychology of Aging (Fulfills SOSC in LS Core)
SOC 3850 Sociology of Aging (Fulfills SOSC in LS Core) 

Then, select your electives and your Capstone Project:

1. Electives: Choose two

Tailor your academic experience by selecting two electives from the following options:

CRM 2000               Youth, Deviance & Crime
(Fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)
EDU 3620 Cultural Diversity in the Schools
(Fulfills D and X in LS Core)
EDU 4260 Counseling & Guidance in Schools
EDU 4480 Critical Ed: Theory, Literacy, & Pedagogy (Fulfills D in LS Core)
PSY 3250 Cultural Psychology
(Fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)
SOC 3330 Racial & Ethnic Minorities
(Fulfills D and SOSC in LS Core)
SOC 3450 Sociology of the Family
(Fulfills SOSC in LS Core) 
WGS 1010 Gender & Society
(Fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core) 
WGS 2010 Intro to Ethnic Studies
(Fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

2. Capstone: Choose one

You can focus on research or choose field experience to build on your academic foundation:

Senior Thesis Senior Thesis - Directed Research
HDE 4850 Field Experience (4 credits)
HDE 4851        Field Experience (8 credits)


More Info  

Deborah Margolis
Associate Professor and Chair,

Education & Community Studies

Director, Human Development 


Karla Pingeton
Assistant to the Dean


Isabelle D. Cherney

Dean and Professor