Human Development in Context

Human Development in Context

Human Development and Psychological Services

The Human Development in Context (HDC) program, formerly called Human Development and Psychological Services, examines how people throughout the lifespan develop in, are influenced by, and shape the social settings they encounter (e.g., families, communities, educational institutions, and the workplace). HDC courses focus on theories of individual and family development, as well as, the local and global dynamics of learning and cognition, social relations, and policy.  This interdisciplinary program draws from current and actionable theory, research, and practice from areas as diverse as psychology, sociology, intercultural studies, gender studies, economics, and policy science.


Real-World Practical Experience

HDC students acquire knowledge, skills, and flexible ways of thinking and working with people and understanding their development. All HDC students complete a one-quarter practicum internship for academic credit during their junior year, during which they put into practice the skills and knowledge introduced in the classroom. The program is offered year-round in Chicago and during the summer in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

HDC students acquire knowledge and skills, as well as critical and flexible ways of thinking and working with people across diverse contexts. This knowledge can be transferred to many different fields and professions. Frequently, students seek their first jobs in human resources, customer success management, curriculum development, research, teaching/education, social work, crisis intervention, outreach, and community education.

Recent HDC practicum sites have included the following:

Flexible Coursework

Students are challenged to think of human development from multiple perspectives.  In addition to core courses in life span development,research, and statistics, students have the flexibility to tailor the program to their own special interests. Many students choose to have a second major or minor, while maintaining HDC as their primary course of study.

Many undergraduate students also participate in research apprenticeships and independent studies with faculty in the School of Education and Social Policy. Members of the faculty conduct research on a variety of topics, including the psychobiology of stress, educational policy and change, motivation across the lifespan, economics of health and happiness, and community-based participatory engagement.


After SESP

With their strong academic background and real-world experience, HDC students are well prepared for many postgraduate opportunities in fields involving thinking and working with people across diverse contexts. Frequently, students will seek their first jobs in human resources, customer success management, curriculum development, research, teaching/education, social work, crisis intervention, outreach, and community education. Many professions require an advanced degree as careers progress, therefore, approximately 25% of HDC alumni go directly to graduate school following their B.S. from SESP.  Even more pursue graduate work later on.  HDC provides an excellent foundation for graduate work in may areas, including education, psychology, social work, law, medicine, public policy, and counseling.

Jobs

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Capgemini Consulting
  • City Year
  • Epic
  • Kirkland and Ellis
  • LinkedIn
  • Morgan Stanley
  • NorthShore Pediatric Therapy
  • Special Olympics
  • Teach for America

Graduate School and Fellowships

  • Columbia University - Social Work
  • Fulbright Fellowship
  • Loyola University Chicago - School Counseling
  • Northwestern Public Interest Program
  • Northwestern University - Management Studies
  • University of Texas at Austin - Developmental Psychology

Contact Us

Student Affairs Office

School of Education and Social Policy

Walter Annenberg Hall
2120 Campus Drive, Suite 123
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-3790

Email: sespsao@northwestern.edu