HDL Focus Areas, Credentials & Minors

HDL students can customize their studies to address complex, interdisciplinary topics in learning and human development across the lifespan. Choose a focus area based around a UIC minor, a credential, or another area of study that you are passionate about that involves human growth and well-being.

Earn an Illinois Gateways Credential through HDL

Illinois Gateways Credentials are symbols of professional achievement that validate knowledge, skills and experience, as well as an individual achievement that you can be proud of. These credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. They can be used to help with employment decisions in early learning programs, but are not a substitute or an alternative to a teaching license.

IL Early Childhood Education Credential (Level 5)

The Early Childhood Education Credential is offered to HDL students who are interested in working with young children. Students who complete the courses as part of their focus area will be entitled to an Illinois Gateways Level 5 Early Childhood credential. The coursework is a combination of required coursework for the HDL degree as well as additional Educational Psychology (EPSY) courses that are required for the credential.

HDL focus area around a UIC minor

Disability and Human Development Focus Area

Students can choose an area of focus under the framework of Disability Studies by following the minor track in Disability and Human Development.

Law and Society Focus Area

The focus area of Law and Society is a track following the Law and Society minor program. This program is designed to assist students in developing knowledge that would be of value in the pursuit of law school and in careers related to law. The minor gives students interested in law a formal preparatory course of study that provides a helpful degree of direction, discipline and focus.

Courses for Law & Society Focus Area

Social Justice Focus Area

Students can choose an area of focus under the framework of Social Justice by following the minor track in Social Justice. A focus area in Social Justice is designed for students who are interested in gaining experience working with community-based organizations and opportunities to combine their experiences with new skills and strategies for future careers in organizing, non-profits or simply applying a social justice lens to any professional fields.

Focused area based on other UIC minors

HDL students also can choose minors in other UIC programs related to human development and support services, such as:

Other ideas for HDL focus areas

Art Museum Educators

The art museum educator focus area was developed by students interested in working through numerous programs and resources to increase art awareness and appreciation for students of all ages in informal settings.

Pre-Law Focus Area

The Pre-Law focus area could aid a student in developing knowledge in areas that are beneficial to pursuing legal education. In addition to foundational courses, UIC also offers courses and programs that are related to the study of law.

Social Work

The social work focus area can prepare students to enter a MSW program upon completing their undergraduate degree. Social work promotes or restores the relationships between people and their environment in order to improve quality of life for individuals, families, communities or organizations.

Zoo Educator

The zoo educator focus area was developed for students with an interest in teaching visitors about the animals kept at the zoo and promoting conservation efforts. Students will focus on developing knowledge of animals, developing programs and instructional products and working with youth.