The Human Development and Learning (HDL) major, housed in the Department of Educational Psychology, combines academic coursework with fieldwork in Chicago communities. The program allows students to become experts in understanding human well-being and development, with a special focus on individuals from diverse backgrounds and environments.

Whether you are interested in working with young children, adolescents, or adults, the BA in Human Development and Learning will prepare you for a career where you can guide people's growth and education.

Customize your major around your interests

With the help of our faculty and undergraduate advisors, HDL students customize their degree to their professional and personal goals and interests. HDL graduates work for nonprofits, health centers, day care centers, youth development programs, universities, museums, community organizations, and more. Some students focus their studies around a future career like social work, child care, social justice, and/or public health. Others continue their education in graduate programs.

Focus areas in HDL

Every HDL student chooses at least one focus area to guide their course of study. Focus areas can lead to credentials, a university minor, and/or prepare students for specific careers. Learn more on our focus areas and credentials page.

Watch an info session for HDL admitted students

Hosted by Dr. Kathy Sheridan and HDL student advisor Claríbel Gomez on April 25, 2020 for admitted HDL students.

Majoring in HDL was the best academic decision I’ve made! HDL is a great program for people who want to work with people because we explore how humans function cognitively and socioemotionally in diverse contexts from personable professors who are experts in their field and who genuinely care about our own learning and development as students.

Tiffany Besana  |  BA HDL, Class of 2019

The HDL program has honed many of my abilities, making me a better student, leader, researcher, and overall human being. Everyone you meet is a resource for you, and you are a resource for everyone you meet!

Melvin J. Woolfolk III  |  BA HDL, Class of 2019

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HDL Program Contacts