About the Human Development Program

The UCSD Human Development Program is interdisciplinary, covering a broad spectrum of issues in biological, psychological, and socio-cultural development. Incorporating the resources of over 12 UCSD Departments, the curriculum concentrates on development from birth through adolescence and into older ages, and is designed to emphasize the idea of development as an essential perspective from which to understand human behavior. The courses cover a broad spectrum of issues in human development - from brain and perceptual development, to reasoning and problem solving, to social interaction and the evolution of cultural systems. The Human Development Program unifies and coordinates the excellent research and teaching resources currently available on campus in this area, and profiles the factors which influence the ways in which humans develop and change.

The program is divided very broadly into three areas, Biological Development, Ontogenetic Development, and Socio-Cultural Development. An important aspect of the program is the emphasis on the integration of information across these different developmental perspectives and the view that understanding of development from any given perspective requires consideration of the contributions of factors operating from other perspectives.

Given this interdisciplinary scope, HDP provides an excellent preparation for students interested in advanced postgraduate study at the frontiers of several social science disciplines, or in careers and professions that require a broad and integrated understanding of human experience and behavior—e.g., mental health, education, social work, health care, or human resource and organizational work in community or corporate settings.

Please see our mission statement and learning objectives for more information.