Washington State University - Pullman

Department of Human Development
Last Updated

The Department of Human Development at Washington State University is a multidisciplinary department devoted to understanding the nature of human development across the lifespan. Through our teaching, research, and outreach programs, we promote the healthy development of children, adults, and their families in the state of Washington and throughout the nation. We offer a B.A. degree in Human Development at the Vancouver and the Pullman campuses, as well as a B.A. in Human Development via distance. A Ph.D in Prevention Science is available on the Pullman, Vancouver and Spokane campuses.  Members of our faculty are involved in a range of research projects involving children and their families and in outreach activities through our youth and family extension programs. We run preschool programs on both the Pullman and Vancouver campuses. All undergraduate human development majors complete an internship to help prepare them for a career in the field or graduate study. Our graduates are employed in a variety of educational and social services settings throughout the U.S.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Laura Griner Hill
Department Emphasis
  • 50% Family Studies
  • 50% Child/Human Development
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Older Adults (Gerontology) - Undergraduate
Department Address

501 Johnson Tower
PO Box 644852
Pullman, WA 99164
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Development, B.A.
  • Adolescent Certificate
  • Early Childhood Education & Care Certificate
  • Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher Certificate
  • Family Studies Certificate
  • Gerontology Certificate
  • Human Services Case Management and Administration
  • Aging Minor
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • Child Development
  • Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development
  • Adult Development
  • Intro to the Field of Human Development
  • Family Interactions
  • Developing Effective Communication and Life Skills
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Family Stress and Coping
  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Gerontology
  • Research Methods
  • Resource Management
  • Principles of Community Development
  • Guidance in Early Childhood Programs
  • Curriculum in Early Childhood Programs
  • Managing Behavior in Early Childhood Settings
  • Family Diversity
  • Death and Dying
  • Perspectives in Human Services
  • Families in Poverty
  • Work and Family
  • Student Teaching for Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Advanced Adolescent Development
  • Public Policy Issues in Human Development
  • Human Development Theories
  • Professional and Grant Writing Skills
  • Peak Experiences in Leadership
  • Practicum in Early Childhood Programs
  • Seminar in Early Childhood Education
  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs
  • Planning and Evaluation in Human Development
  • Instructional Strategies in Human Development
  • Child Assessment and Evaluation
  • Field Placement Preparation
  • Professional Preparation Seminar
  • Participation in Human Development Research
  • Special Topics in Human Development
  • Instructional Practicum
  • Professional Preparation
  • Field Placement
  • Special Problems
  • Study Abroad
Undergrad Comments

Students choosing the General Human Development option may opt to specialize in one of the following areas: Adolescence, Early Childhood Education, FamilyStudies, and Gerontology. The Family and Consumer Sciences option is a teacher certification program involving additional courses in Teaching and Learning and related disciplines. The Human Development B.A. degree can be earned at WSUPullman, WSU-Vancouver, and WSU Online.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Laura Griner
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Theory & Substance in Human Development
  • Research Methods I & II
  • Seminar
  • Adolescence
  • Program Development in Child & Family Studies
  • Effective Intervention Programs
  • Seminar on Family Relationships
  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Seminar in Child Development
  • Special Topics
  • Instructional Practicum
  • Special Projects
  • Thesis Research
Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Ph.D. in Prevention Science
Doctoral Comments

The Prevention Science Graduate Program at Washington State University provides training opportunities at the doctoral level for students interested in developing expertise in the study of individuals and families and in the development and evaluation of prevention programs. The Ph.D in Prevention Science is an interdisciplinary program. Participating faculty are from: Human Development, Communication, Education, Health and Wellness, Kinesiology, and Nursing. This program is available to students who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in a prevention science-related discipline or have significant prevention science experience.

The program emphasizes training in both the generation of research-based knowledge and its translation into effective programs and policies that positively impact the well-being of children, youth, adults, families, and their communities. The field of prevention science is interdisciplinary, and integrates theories and methodology from the disciplines of human development, behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology), economics, communication, health sciences, evaluation, epidemiology, and public policy and administration. Prevention science involves:

  1. Conducting basic research on risk and protective factors;Using the resulting knowledge to develop, evaluate, and disseminate programs that promote the healthy physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of children, youth, adults, and families.

Examples of prevention programs include drug and alcohol prevention programs; broad-based youth development programs; obesity prevention programs; and early child care and learning quality improvement programs.

Students can learn more about the Prevention Science graduate program at http://preventionscience.wsu.edu/

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.