Bachelor's Degree Programs

BA in Human Development and Learning

The BA degree in Human Development and Learning (HDL) provides students with a strong grounding in research and theory concerning learning and development from birth to death.  In addition, students learn how to apply this knowledge when working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and in a variety of formal and informal learning contexts and educational environments. Human development and human learning are complex and inter-related phenomena that are embedded within particular social, historical, and cultural contexts that not only shape and direct the course of learning and development, but are linked to an individuals’ overall success, achievement, productivity, and ability to thrive.

This undergraduate program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to design effective and high quality informal learning environments and programs that take into account how diverse individuals learn and how that learning is impacted by developmental changes in key areas such as cognition, identity, and language.  HDL graduates will have a deep understanding of how contextual, institutional, structural and cultural factors affect individuals’ developmental trajectories and the implications of this for working with people in a variety of contexts.  Whether you are interested in working with young children, adolescents, or adults, the BA degree in Human Development and Learning will prepare you for a career that involves working with people to ensure their optimal development and learning.

For more information, sign up for our email list below or email program advisor Whitney Spencer at whitneys@uic.edu.  View the program advising guide.  Or, start the application process.

Degree Requirements

Human Development and Learning Coursework

Advising Guide

Summary of Program Curriculum:

Overall:  120 Credit Hours; Core Program Requirements:   45 – 48 credits; General Education and other university courses:  72 – 75 credits. 

4 year plan for completion of the degree (courses by semester)

Human Development and Learning Core    15 - 16 credits

 

All students must take the following  required courses or approved equivalents:

  • Introduction to Human Development and Learning (EPSY 100) – 3 credit hours
  • Principles of Learning and Instruction Across the Lifespan (EPSY/ED 210) – 3 credit hours
  • Child Development in Contemporary Society (EPSY 255) – 3 credit hours
  • Adolescent and Adult Development in Contemporary Society (EPSY 256) – 3 credit hours
  • Child and Youth Policies in Urban America (ED 135, counts for General Education Requirement:  Individual and Society and US Society.) – 3 credit hours
  • UIC First-Year Dialogue Seminar (CC 120) – 1 credit hour*

*Required for First-Year students only. 

 

Research Core   6 credits

All students must take EPSY 363 (required) and must choose an Assessment and Evaluation selective or its equivalent (advisor approval needed for equivalency)

  • Understanding and Applying  Research in Human Development  (EPSY 363) – 3 credit hours

AND one of the following selectives:

  • Systematic Approaches to Program Quality (EPSY 416) – 3 credit hours
  • Educational Assessment and Evaluation (EPSY 405) – 3 credit hours OR
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Learning Outcomes and Instructional Products (EPSY 450) – 3 credit hours

 

Domains of Development and Learning Across the Lifespan      6 credits

One course from at least two different domains/areas

  • Cognitive Development, Learning, and Instruction
    • Constructivist Approaches to Development: Piaget and Vygotsky (EPSY 429) – 3 credit hours OR
    • Advanced Educational Psychology (ED 421)– 3 credit hours
  • Social Emotional Development and Learning
    • Social Development of Urban Children (EPSY/PSCH 420) – 3 credit hours OR
    • Social and Emotional Learning:  Research, Practice, and Policy (PSCH/ED 424) – 3 credit hours
  • Language Development, Language Acquisition and Learning
    • Language Development and Learning in a Diverse Society (ED 258)  (ED 258, counts for General Education Requirement:  Individual and Society and US Society.)  - 3 credit hours OR
    • Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities (SPED/EPSY 466) – 3 credit hours
  • Self Processes and Identity Development
    • Self and Identity Development Across the Lifespan (EPSY 340) – 3 credit hours

 

Diverse Populations and Learning Contexts    

Diverse Populations - Electives

All students must take a minimum of 3 credits focused on the psycho-social development, learning, health, and/or well-being of diverse individuals and/or families or that focuses on the ways that issues such as race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or culture affect learning and development of individuals.  This course is an elective but must be approved by an advisor.  Courses can be chosen from within the College of Education or across the University.  Examples include but are not limited to:  ED 205: Introduction to Race, Ethnicity, and Education; ED 222: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Education (Both ED 205 and ED 222, count for General Education Requirements:  Individual and Society and US Society) SPED/EPSY 466: Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities; SPED/EPSY 467: Social and Emotional Development and Disabilities.

  Learning Contexts - Selectives

In addition, students must take one course (3 – 4 credits) specifically focused on learning and development in context.  Students can choose one of the following or an approved equivalent course:

  • Youth Culture Community Organizing and Education (EDPS 480)
  • Collaborating with Families, Community, and Colleagues (SPED/EPSY 482)
  • Developing Programs for Youth in Urban Contexts (EPSY 414)
  • Adolescence and the Schools (ED 445)

 

HDL Electives          12 hours

  • 12 Credits from Educational Psychology or related disciplines. HDL electives are taken after students have completed at least 12 hours of 100- and 200- level required HDL core coursework or the equivalent.  Courses are chosen in consultation with program advisor.
    • Choose from any Educational Psychology Course offerings at the 300- or 400- level in consultation with advisor.
    • Examples include but are not limited to:  EPSY 380:  Instructional Design and Training; EPSY 414; ED 421; ED 422: Advanced Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes; ED 445; EPSY 446: Characteristics of Early Adolescence; EPSY/SPED 449: Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education: Perspectives, Policies and History

Options and Outcomes

WHAT THE PROGRAM OFFERS YOU

The BA degree in Human Development and Learning provides students with strong grounding in research and theory concerning learning and development from birth to death, and how to apply this knowledge to working with individuals from diverse backgrounds in a variety of formal and informal learning contexts and education environments.

This program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to design effective and high quality informal learning environments and programs that take into account how diverse individuals learn and how that learning is impacted by developmental changes in key areas such as cognition, identity, and language.  HDL graduates will have a deep understanding of how contextual, institutional, structural, and cultural factors affect individuals’ developmental trajectories and the implications of this for working with people in a variety of contexts.  Whether you are interested in working with young children, adolescents, or adults, the HDL degree will prepare you for a career working with people in a variety of settings to ensure their optimal development and learning. Potential career positions include:       

  • Community Service Professional
  • Case Workers
  • Youth Workers
  • Early Childhood Specialist
  • Instructional Designer
  • Not-For-Profit Management

 

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

The Department of Educational Psychology is internationally known for its rigorous degree programs, esteemed faculty, and commitment to urban education and test fairness. Our research is guided by our commitment to understand what it means to be both a teacher and a learner in an urban context such as Chicago. As part of this endeavor, we seek to contribute to basic scientific understanding of cognition and cognitive development. We strive to advance knowledge in research methodology to address our research questions in a fair manner.

Our research and work in Chicago Public Schools and in Chicago communities inform our doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate programs. We prepare university professors, youth development practitioners and leaders, early childhood teachers, community service professionals, and quantitative and assessment specialists, all of whom contribute in our efforts to advance and disseminate knowledge about how to improve the educational experiences of students of different ages.

 

WHY STUDY HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & LEARNING AT UIC?

  • Diversity

We focus on the contextual, institutional, structural, and cultural factors that affect learning across the lifespan.

  • Applied Knowledge

We are committed to teaching students how to apply research and theoretical knowledge in learning and development to provide solutions to complex social and educational issues, problems, and injustices facing our society in the 21st century.

  • Flexibility

We provide a curriculum that allows students room to tailor their elective coursework toward particular types of educational contexts or settings in which they hope to work.

  • Social Justice

We equip graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that learning and education are not only accessible, but also developmentally and culturally appropriate so that all individuals can develop to their fullest potential and thrive.

Application Process

Incoming First Year Application Process

Fall Early Action Deadline:  November 1

Fall Application Deadline:  January 15

The BA in Human Development and Learning program has adopted the University’s admissions requirements as listed in the Admissions section of the catalog under First Year Applicant and adheres to the campus policy on transfer students. The entire process is outlined on the Admissions web page

 

Current UIC Undergraduate Students Seeking Inter-College Transfer and Current College of Education Students Seeking to Change Majors

Fall Application Deadline:  May 1

Spring Application Deadline:  December 15

Apply to the College of Education

 

 

 

Non-UIC Students Seeking to Transfer to UIC and the College of Education

Fall Application Deadline:  April 2

Spring Application Deadline:  October 16

Apply to the University of Illinois at Chicago

Program FAQs

What is Human Development and Learning?

Have you ever wondered how you could be so different from your brother or sister, even though you had the same upbringing?  Why you get along great with some teachers and poorly with others?  Why some kids are popular in school and others aren’t?  Or why some people seem to seek out and thrive on risky situations and others prefer the quiet of the library?  If these or other similar questions about people intrigue you, then Human Development and Learning may be the program for you.  The BA degree in Human Development and Learning, offered through the Department of Educational Psychology, provides students with strong grounding in research and theory concerning learning and development across the lifespan, and how to apply this knowledge to working with individuals from diverse backgrounds in a variety of formal and informal learning contexts and education environments. 

 

How long does the program take?

The program is a four-year, full-time program.

 

What is the Core Curriculum?

Grounded in a liberal arts education, the BA degree in Human Development and Learning aims to provide students with strong grounding in research and theory concerning cognitive, social, emotional,  and language development across the lifespan, as well as how to apply this knowledge to working with diverse individuals in a variety of formal and informal learning contexts and educational environments.  The program will achieve these aims by providing students with coursework in five key areas:

  • Human Development and Learning
  • Research
  • Domains of Development and Learning Across the Lifespan
  • Diverse Populations and Learning Contexts
  • Electives

 

What can I do with a degree in Human Development and Learning

The Human Development and Learning degree prepares students for careers working with individuals in a variety of settings including but not limited to early childhood centers, elder care centers, out-of-school programs, not-for-profit and community based organizations, higher education, industry, or adult education. In addition, the degree also provides students with the foundation to pursue graduate coursework in a variety of fields such as education, human development and family studies, social work, sociology, psychology, or anthropology.

 

How do I apply?

First year applicants apply through the UIC Office of Admissions and Records.

 

Can I afford it?

UIC makes every effort to help students pay for the cost of going to college. Our Financial Aid page can help answer your questions.

Review the UIC tuition and fee schedule and find out more about billing and payment options.

 

Can I get housing on campus?

Yes, and it is best to apply as soon as you know you want to live on campus, because applications are prioritized by date of application. Visit campus housing to find out more and submit your application.

 

What support does the COE provide?

The College of Education is a close knit community and committed to the success of its students. If you have concerns or questions you can stop by the Office of Student Services, or make an appointment to see an advisor. The College encourages a strong bond between students and their advisors. The College of Education is also home to the CHANCE Program, which assists students with academic, personal, and professional challenges of academic preparation. You can also find support from your professors and fellow students. UIC offers many support programs and opportunities that encourage academic success. Your advisor can help you connect to UIC resources.

 

What is Summer College?

Summer College at UIC is a free, five-week summer program for newly admitted first year students that provide you with many paths to jump-start your academic success at UIC. You can improve your skills in math, computers, writing, note-taking, and studying. It's a great opportunity to make friends with other new students, make connections with faculty and advisors, and get to know the campus. The College of Education encourages first year students to participate in Summer College. Programs begin in June shortly after the high school year ends.

 

Will my credits from another college or university transfer to the College of Education?

Yes, if the credits earned are from an accredited institution. UIC participates in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI).  To find out which courses will transfer to UIC, visit the transferology site.  You are welcome to make an appointment with a College of Education advisor who will go over your academic records with you.