Human development is an interdisciplinary field that draws from psychology, biology, anthropology, and similar subject areas to explore the changes in human behavior, intelligence, and personality. Unlike some of its sub-disciplines, the scientific study of human development is not limited to one area of development or life stage. Human development students and professionals study the theories and mechanisms of growth, maturation, loss, and impairment in every stage of life.
An online degree in human development pays special attention to the areas of biopsychosocial development, individual differences, contexts for development, and research methods and analysis. To cover such a broad spectrum of topics and issues in human development, students are required to take a variety of courses in biology, communication, ethnic studies, linguistics, literature, urban studies, and education. Exposure to diverse information and ideas enables students to inquire and think critically about human development in all subject areas. Those who want to narrow their focus may do so with an optional concentration in child development, gender studies, gerontology, psychology, and other specialties.
Graduates of the human development program possess several higher order skills such as observational, critical thinking, comparative analysis, and problem-solving. Those with special interests often continue their education in graduate or professional schools in hopes of pursuing a career in counseling, law, medicine, education, public policy, or social work.