Course Requirements 2011 & Prior

Course Requirements 2011 & Prior

The core curriculum is designed to provide integrated training in human development, methods and policy. A core set of classes in these three areas is required of all students and consists of the following courses:


Development Core Curriculum

HDSP 401 - Proseminar in Human Development and Social Policy

  • Conceptual framework for studying human development, socialization and social policy. Theoretical and empirical studies.

HDSP 413 - Theories of Human Development

  • Biological bases and interactions with the social and physical environments as sources of human development. Social, emotional and cognitive aspects of development. Theorists include Bowly, Erikson, Piaget, Vygotsky, Mead and Gardner.

* And two of the following courses, depending on the concentration

HDSP 402 - Child Development

  • Major theories and current empirical research concerning cognitive and social/emotional development of children. Interaction of internal maturational factors with effects of families, peers and schools.

HDSP 403 - Adolescent Development

  • Biological, cognitive and social development during adolescence. Social institutions and policies that affect the well-being of adolescents.

HDSP 404 - Adult Development and Aging

  • Concepts, theories and research on development and adaptation from early adulthood through aging: age periods, transitions, cognitive, moral and faith development; psychosocial and ego development; defense mechanisms; death and dying.

Methods Core Curriculum

HDSP 451-0 - Topics: Quantitative Methods I

  • Descriptive measures; basic probability; sampling and sample size estimation; hypothesis testing; techniques for analyzing categorical data; ANOVA; presenting and describing statistical results.

HDSP 451-0 - Topics: Quantitative Methods II

  • The use of data for descriptive and causal analyses, linear regression, experimental design, panel data methods, hierarchical linear models and instrumental variables.

HDSP 463-0 - Regression Analysis for Human Dev Research

  • Experimental analysis, difference-in-difference, regression discontinuity designs, propensity score matching, event study, interrupted time series, and other regression-based models.

SOCIOL 404 - Designs for Descriptive Causal Research in Field Settings

HDSP 432 - Field Methods and Social Policy

  • The contribution of ethnography to the study of social policy. Strengths and weaknesses of this method for study of governmental programs' impact on clients and participants.

Policy Core Curriculum

HDSP 430 - Economics of Social Policy

  • Economic context for social policy (economic crisis, unemployment, poverty); household economics; labor market theory and studies; economics rationales for social policy.

* And two of the following courses

HDSP 429 - Social-Community Interventions

HDSP 433 - Modern Theories of the State and Social Policy

  • Recent theories of social policy in the context of the welfare state. Analysis of alternative theories and their implications for contemporary problems in social policy.

HDSP 440 - The Politics of Social Policy

  • Framework for understanding the structure and process of development. How existing social policies can be analyzed and new policies developed.

Contact Us

The Graduate Program in Human Development and Social Policy

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-4329

Email: sesp-hdsp@northwestern.edu