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Sonoma State University


Program Office
Stevenson 2054
(707) 664-2312

Human Development Coordinator
Gerryann Olson / Psychology
(707) 664-2265

Students interested in earning a major in Human Development should consult an advisor.

Human Development Advisors:
Karin Enstam / Biological Anthropology (707) 664-2944
Carolyn Epple / Cultural Anthropology (707) 664-2181
Patricia Nourot / Early Childhood Education (707) 664-2628
Gerryann Olson / Psychology (707) 664-2265
*Tom Rosin / Anthropology (707) 664-2912
Richard J. Senghas / Linguistics and Anthropology (707) 664-2307
Heather J. Smith / Social Psychology (707) 664-2587
Art Warmoth / Psychology (707) 664-2687
*Faculty Early Retirement Program/

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development

Human Development (HD) is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program that focuses on human growth and development across the life span, the underlying processes and structures that support that development, and the relationship between the individual and the complex familial, social, and cultural environments in which development is situated.

The Human Development major is designed to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in complementary theoretical approaches to human development across the life span in comparative cross-species, cross-cultural, and multicultural, as well as class and gender perspectives. All students are required to take the core, plus electives, one methodology course, and to complete a senior project. A B.A. in Human Development will help prepare students for professional, managerial, service, and educational careers in human development and human services serving infants, children, adolescents, families, and elders. A B.A. In Human Development will complement students' preparation for graduate studies in traditional fields such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, or human development.

Prerequisites to the Major

  1. Sophomore standing
  2. 2.5 GPA.
  3. Completion of the following required GE categories with a B or better:
    • A2 (ENGL 101)
    • A3 (Critical Thinking)
  4. 4. Completion of or enrollment in the following GE courses:
    • BIOL 115 (An Introduction to Biology) or ANTH 201 (Introduction to Biological Anthropology; prerequisites to ANTH 318)
    • MATH 165 (Elementary Statistics)
    • ANTH 203 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) or SOCI 201 (Introduction to Sociology) (prerequisites to ANTH 342 and SOCI 326)
    • LING 200 (Introduction to Linguistic Studies)

Total units required for the B.A. In Human Development

Degree Requirements Units
General education 51
Major requirements*
includes: 18 units minimum of core requirements; 19 units
minimum of major electives; 2 units minimum of methodology;
1 unit senior project
Electives 29
Total units 120

* This is the minimum number of units; more units may be required for certain course choices.

Major Core Requirements (18-21 units)

ANTH/HD 318 Human Development: Sex and the Life Cycle (GE-E) 3
ANTH 342 Organization of Societies 4
PSY 410 Child Development 3-4
GERN/SOCI 319 Aging and Society or GERN/PSY 421 Psychology of Aging(4) 3-4
HD 391 Seminar in Human Development (must be taken in the junior year) 2
SOCI 326/Psy 326 Social Psychology (SOCI 326=GE D1) 3-4

Major Electives

Choose 19-24 units from among the following groups of courses, taking one or two courses from each category:

Comparative Perspectives:

AMCS 435 Ethnicity and the Life Cycle 3
ANTH 340 Living in a Pluralistic World (GEE) 3
ANTH 346 Schooling in Cultural Context 4
ANTH 362 Transnational California 4
ANTH 365 Ethnographies of Regional Culture(s) 4
ANTH 380 Language, Culture, and Society 4
LING 430 Language Acquisition and Communicative Development 3

Sociological Perspectives:

GERN/SOCI 332 Death and American Culture 4
SOCI 312 Sociology of Gender 4
SOCI 315 Socialization 4
WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality, and Family 3
WGS 375 Gender, Race, and Class (GE-D1) or 3-4
AMCS 420 Sexism and Racism in the United States 3-4

Psychological Perspectives:

EDMS 420 Child Development in Family, School, and Community (GEE) 3
PSY 302 Psychology of the Person (GEE) 3
PSY 411 Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children 3-4
PSY 412 Adolescent Psychology 3-4
PSY 418 The Psychology of the Family 3-4
GERN/PSY 422 Seminar in Living and Dying 3-4
PSY 447 Learning and Behavior 3-4
PSY 448 Cognitive Development 4


Choose one of the following:

ANTH 441 Laboratory in Ethnographic Field Methods 4
ANTH 480 Studies of Language Use 4
PSY 380 Introduction to Psychological Research Methods 4
SOCI 300 Sociological Analysis 4

Portfolio Project:

HD 490 Senior Project 1

Internship Courses (1-2 units) (Strongly Recommended)

Note: classes in foreign languages spoken in California are strongly recommended.

The Human Development Program does not offer a minor.

Human Development Courses (HD)

318 Human Development: Sex and the Life Cycle (3)

An examination of developmental and evolutionary aspects of human reproductive biology and behavior from fetal through adult stages. Sexual selection and life history perspectives on fetal sex differentiation; gender identity; sex role development; puberty and secondary sexual characteristics; and mate choice. Satisfies GE, category E (The Integrated Person). Occasionally cross-listed as ANTH 318. Prerequisite: for ANTH majors: ANTH 201; for non-majors: ANTH 201 or BIOL 115 or consent of instructor.

391 Seminar in Human Development (2)

This seminar introduces majors to the interdisciplinary study of human development. It covers life-span development in comparative cross-species, cross-cultural and multicultural, and class and gender perspectives. Open to human development majors only. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Grade only.

490 Senior Project (1)

A course devoted to senior projects required of human development students.

496 Agency Internships (1-2)

Agency Internship - to allow students in Human Development to do supervised internships in a variety of educational and social service settings.

Course descriptions of the other courses required for the major are listed under their departmental listing.