Human Development and Human Services Major

Major in Human Development and Human Services

Human development and human services is the study of the physical, mental and social-emotional development of individuals across the lifespan, and the application of this knowledge to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities.

You will examine how environmental factors both impact — and are impacted by — the individual. Various influences, such as relationships close to us (family members, friends and peers) as well as those that are more distant from us (culture, religion, government, and the media) affect individual development. Furthermore, individual characteristics, such as age, race, gender and social class, affect one’s experiences in these different domains.

Examining development from infancy to late adulthood provides a greater understanding of how people change, but also how factors remain stable over time. Because individuals intersect with people of varying ages in their personal and professional lives, such as children, parents, grandparents, teachers and colleagues, it is useful to understand development at all ages.

Get Your Bachelor’s & Master’s in Only 5 Years 

Merrimack offers a direct entry accelerated pathway that allows students to satisfy requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Human Services and Master of Education in School Counseling or Master of Social Work in five years.

Learn More About the School Counseling Dual Degree

Learn More About the Social Work Dual Degree

What You’ll Study

As a student majoring in human development and human services you will:

  • Understand factors that contribute to stability and change across the lifespan.
  • Gain insight into how individuals, families and communities influence one another.
  • Develop skills to be critical consumers of information to guide decisions in your future career.
  • Learn how to apply this knowledge to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Hands-on Learning

You will have opportunities to apply what you are learning in the classroom through a series of field experiences. In fact, 100% of human development and human services majors participate in at least one field experience or practicum. These often include opportunities to shadow professionals in the human development and human services sector.

Career Options

You will be prepared to work in a wide range of human service fields, including mental health counseling, school and guidance counseling, speech and language services, youth services and child advocacy, and social work. Examples include:

  • Community organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club
  • Childcare and education centers and preschools
  • Drug and alcohol treatment centers and hospitals
  • Child and domestic abuse centers
  • Human resources departments of large companies

Before entering the workforce, some of our students choose to pursue graduate studies in areas such as child life, social work, community engagement, counseling, speech and language pathology, K-12 education, higher education, psychology, business and law.

Courses You’ll Take

Human Development and Human Services Major Curriculum

Human Development and Human Services Major Requirements

General Education Requirements

In addition to the major requirements below, you will also need to complete Merrimack’s general education requirements.

To see more details about the major, please visit