Psychology and Human Development
Kathy Luneau Simons MS '79
"Wheelock helped me develop a perspective on child development and learning and establish my values."
- Deepen your understanding of complex social issues
- Engage in positive social change
- Apply theory to practice
- Hands-on experience working with children and families
- Field experience during your first semester
- Opportunities to engage in independent study, research, and community-based service learning
- Versatile major that complements Wheelock's professional majors
Do you wonder how changing social and cultural contexts affect individuals? Are you concerned about the influence of the media on children? Do you want to understand human behavior? The Psychology and Human Development program explores fundamental questions like these by examining human development globally from multiple perspectives.
Our courses in anthropology, psychology and sociology place an emphasis on children and families in relation to culture. Along the way, you'll study how humans relate to one another and how individuals and groups change—and consider how this knowledge informs your future work, practice or advocacy. You'll also delve into topics such as child and adolescent development, cultural dynamics of globalization, children's rights, family policies and racial identity.
- See a full Course List for the Psychology and Human Development major.
- Meet the Psychology and Human Development faculty members.
The major's three focus areas are designed to address the interests and professional needs of our students and graduates:
- Counseling Psychology: Investigate topics related to mental health and counseling, particularly with regard to human development and diversity.
- Developmental Psychology: Study the cognitive, social, motivational and emotional changes that occur in the individual across the lifespan.
- Children, Families and Culture: Analyze the diversity of childhoods and families worldwide within the contexts of anthropology and sociology.
Opportunities for Community-Based Learning
Field experience starts in your first semester. You'll have the opportunity to observe human behavior and development firsthand in settings throughout Greater Boston. Potential field sites include early childhood learning centers, community centers, Head Start programs, hospitals and human service agencies. You can also pursue individual interests through independent study projects and research with faculty.
Through a special partnership between Wheelock and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP), Wheelock students can gain early acceptance into either of two masters programs at MSPP as part of a Pre-Masters Program in Counseling. Beginning sophomore year, Wheelock students may apply for admission to the highly-regarded MSP master's programs in Counseling Psychology or Forensic & Counseling Psychology. If you are accepted and maintain the required GPA at Wheelock, you can enter MSPP after graduation.
Acquiring a Unique Skill Set
Our program stresses a) understanding and interacting with diverse cultures and groups, and b) working effectively with children and families. This dual focus sets us apart in the field. In addition, you'll develop leadership, critical thinking, mediation, research, and other valuable skills.
A Complement to Wheelock's Professional Majors
Psychology and Human Development is an arts and sciences major that you may combine with various professional majors and certificates. You may also choose this as your undergraduate major as part of our dual-degree program leading to a Master's in Child Life.
Preparing for the Future
With its emphasis on development, Psychology and Human Development complements professional preparation for the fields of teaching, social work, child life and more. The major is also recommended for students interested in pursuing graduate study in related areas.