Majoring in Human Development

Human Development Certificate


Human development is the study of how people grow and change, from conception through the end of life. The changing nature of the American family, childhood and adolescence, the cultural dynamics of globalization, the influence of media on identity, children's rights, social policies, racial identity, coping and resiliency: these are just a few of the issues you explore as a human development major at Connecticut College. Your studies integrate theory, research and practice. Some students do research with professors and co-publish scholarly papers, and three-quarters of our courses have a service-learning component. Coursework will touch on anthropology, biology, economics, education, history, medicine, psychology and other subjects.

Internships and service learning

You work in the local community, putting to use what you've learned. You also learn as you work, and take that new knowledge back to class. The department works closely with the College's Office of Volunteers for Community Service to develop opportunities for you in local schools, community programs and non-profits.

Connecticut College Children's Program

The Children’s Program enrolls 90 infants and young children with a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and special needs. You work with them alongside certified teachers, aides, therapists and administrators. What you learn at the Children's Program builds on the knowledge you gain in the classroom.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Human Development?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Assistant Principal, Andover School System
  • Kindergarten Teacher, Jerome Harrison School
  • Adoption Consultant
  • Speech and Language Pathologist, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
  • Assistant Director of Admissions, Harvard Divinity School
  • Assistant Director of Women's Philanthropy, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
  • Occupational Therapist, Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University
  • Curriculum Facilitator, Peck Place Elementary School
  • Director, Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center Inc.
  • Psychotherapist
  • Administrative Director, Child Care Corp.
  • Seventh Grade English and Language Arts Teacher, Achievement First Charter Schools
  • Child Development Specialist, Children's National Medical Center
  • Clinical Social Worker, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Associate Director of Professional Development, New York City Department of Education
  • Associate Director of Marketing and Sales, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Autism Consultant
  • Mediator
  • Elementary Autism Teacher, Winthrop School


Sunil Bhatia, Professor of Human Development, Chair of Human Development Department

Sunil Bhatia, Professor of Human Development, Chair of Human Development Department
Racial, ethnic and migrant identity in global and transnational cultures • Cultural psychology and narrative theory • Ethnography and qualitative methods

Michelle R. Dunlap, Professor of Human Development, Faculty Ombudsperson 2010-2014

Michelle R. Dunlap, Professor of Human Development, Faculty Ombudsperson 2010-2014
Improving college student coping and skills in community service learning settings • Social and personality development • Contemporary family issues (e.g. single parent families, kinship care families) • Multicultural issues and methods for increasing service provider cultural competency

Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Human Development, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy

Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Human Development, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Human development • Adolescence • Child and family policy • Social policy • Educational psychology

Loren Marulis, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Human Development

Loren Marulis, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Human Development
Human development • Early cognitive development • Metacognitive and self-regulatory processes • Early childhood development and education • Educational psychology

Sara Radlinski, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Human Development, Director Emeritus of the Connecticut College Children's Program

Sara Radlinski, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Human Development, Director Emeritus of the Connecticut College Children's Program
Early childhood special education • Program and staff development in an inclusive early childhood program • Play and development in young children • Supporting families and child care providers of young children

Margaret Sheridan, Martha Bennett '73 Professor Emeritus of Human Development

Margaret Sheridan, Martha Bennett '73 Professor Emeritus of Human Development
Play and development • Developmental disabilities • Public spaces and natural settings • Infant massage and touch therapies

Student profile

Diamond Howell Diamond Howell

Human development

Q: Why human development?
A: After taking an introductory class, I knew that it would be a great fit for me. I like the interactive and interdisciplinary nature of the major – examining issues across the perspectives of race, class, gender, age and culture. I appreciated the close-knit community of professors and students, too.

Q: What kind of research and service learning have you done?
A: I worked with kids from infants through teens in a variety of settings, including a magnet school and a special program for students who having trouble learning. I also helped Professor Carol Akai analyze data on children's experiences of trauma as part of her research.

Q: What are your career plans?
A: I plan to continue my graduate studies in curriculum and instruction with a focus in multicultural education. After completing a doctoral program in the next five or six years, I might become a school administrator, public policy developer or professor.

Selected courses

  • Children's Rights and Public Policy
  • Children and Family Social Policies
  • Children in Learning Environments
  • Social and Personality Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Media, Self and Society
  • Children and Families in a Multicultural Society
  • Social Policy Analysis in Urban America
  • Developmental Research in Language: Ethnography, Socialization and the Construction of Self and Identity


Student research


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