Human Development Program

[ program | faculty ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website:


For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog, 2016–17, please contact the department for more information.

Lower Division

HDP 1. Introduction to Human Development (4)

This course introduces students to the central issues in the basic areas in human development. The course will explain relationships between biological, cognitive, social, and cultural aspects of development across the life span.

HDP 98. Directed Group Study (1–2)

Directed group study, on a topic or in a field not included in the department curriculum, by arrangement with a faculty member. Topics will vary from quarter to quarter. Pass/Not Pass grades only. Enrollment requires prior consent of the instructor; students must have at least thirty units completed and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Student may enroll for no more than a total of two units in one quarter. Cannot be used towards HDP major credit. Prerequisites: 3.0 GPA and at least thirty units completed.

HDP 99. Independent Study in Human Development (2–4)

Independent study and research under the direction of a human development program, or affiliated, faculty member. Pass/Not Pass only. Cannot be used towards HDP major credit. Prerequisites: lower-division standing, completion of thirty units of UC San Diego undergraduate study, a minimum UC San Diego GPA of 3.0, and a completed and approved Special Studies form: UC San Diego Application for Enrollment Special Studies Courses 97, 98, 99.

Upper Division

HDP 110. Brain and Behavioral Development (4)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with basic mechanisms of brain and behavioral development from embryology through aging. Multiple levels of analysis will be discussed, including the effects of hormones on behavior, developmental events at the level of cells, structures, and neural systems, and the neural basis of cognition, social, perceptual, and language development. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or PSYC 101.

HDP 115. Media and Design of Social Learning Contexts (6)

(Same as COMM 102C) A combined lecture/lab course cross-listed in communication and human development. Students attend lecture, write field notes, and spend three hours per week in specially designed after-school setting working with children and designing new educational media and producing special projects. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or COMM 100A.

HDP 120. Language Development (4)

Examination of children’s acquisition of language from babbling to the formation of sentences. Topics covered include: prelinguistic gestures, relationships between babbling and sound systems, speech perception, linking words with objects, rule overgeneralization, bilingualism, nature vs. nurture, individual differences, cultural differences. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or LIGN 4.

HDP 121. The Developing Mind (4)

(Same as COGS 110.) This course examines changes in thinking and perceiving the physical and social world from birth through childhood. Evidence of significant changes in encoding information, forming mental representations, and solving problems is culled from psychological research, cross-cultural studies, and cognitive science. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or COGS 1.

HDP 122. Social Development (4)

This course covers topics in social development research. Content will address general principles such as the mutual influences of caregivers and children upon each other and the interplay of person and context. Discussion areas will include attachment, parenting styles, gender differences, aggression, social cognition, social components of achievement motivation, and development of conscience. Prerequisites: HDP 1.

HDP 133. Sociocultural Foundations of Human Development (4)

This course will provide students with an understanding of the social and cultural foundations of human development. The topics will be explored with both national and international comparisons from infancy through adolescence. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or PSYC 1.

HDP 135. Practicum in Child Development (6)

(Same as COMM 102D) A combined lecture and laboratory course for students in psychology, communication, and human development. Student backgrounds should include a background in general psychology or communication. Students will be expected to spend four hours a week in a supervised practical after-school setting at one of the community field sites involving children. Additional time will be devoted to readings and class prep, as well as six hours a week transcribing field notes and writing a paper on some aspect of the fieldwork experience as it relates to class lectures and readings. Prerequisites: HDP 1 or COMM 100A or PSYC 101.

HDP 150. Senior Seminar (4)

Seminar for graduating HDP seniors. Readings and discussion of special topics in human development. Provides advanced-level study on subfields of human development. Topics vary quarterly. (May repeat when topics vary.) Prerequisites: Senior standing, plus completion of all other HDP major requirements and HDP 181. Department approval required. (F,W,S)

HDP 160. Special Topics Seminar in Human Development (4)

Special topics in human development are discussed. (May repeat when topics vary.) Prerequisites: department approval.

HDP 171. Diverse Communities in a Life-span Approach to Human Development (4)

HDP 171 provides an introduction to the scholarship and practice in the field of cultural competency. Through relevant readings, associated assignments, and guest speakers from the community, students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for doing substantive research in diverse cultural contexts. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

HDP 181. Experimental Projects in Human Development Research (6)

This laboratory course in human development is designed around a variety of intensive experimental projects. With lectures providing background information on research methods and child development, each assignment will include data collection and/or analysis, and a written laboratory report. Prerequisites: HDP 1, Statistics, and must be a declared HDP major. (F,W,S)

HDP 191. Field Research in Human Development (6)

This course combines lectures on research methodology (three hours/week) with an applied field research experience (four hours/week) conducted at a preapproved study site. Required: completion of a field notebook, review paper, oral presentation, and final paper. Students must submit the pre-enrollment questionnaire one academic year prior to enrollment. See Human Development Program website for details. Prerequisites: HDP 1, HDP 181. Department approval required. (F,W,S)

HDP 193. Advanced Research in Human Development (4)

Specialized research project under the direction of a human development affiliated faculty member. May be taken for one or two quarters of credit. Prerequisites: declared HDP major, overall GPA of 2.8, ninety units completed, three HDP core courses completed, and consent of instructor.

HDP 194A-B-C. Honors Thesis (4-4-4)

Students will take part in a weekly research seminar. In addition, they will plan and carry out a three-quarter research project under the guidance of a faculty member. The project will form the basis for their senior honors thesis. Prerequisites: overall GPA of 3.2, and a 3.5 GPA for courses taken in the human development major; an advanced course in statistics or experimental design, and consent of instructor.

HDP 195. Instructional Apprentice in Human Development (4)

Introduction to teaching within the discipline of human development. Students will attend lecture, be responsible for assisting the instructor with course preparation, and will lead a discussion section of one of the lower-division courses in the human development program. Limited to upper-division students majoring in human development with consent of instructor. Pass/Not Pass only. Prerequisites: declared HDP major, overall GPA of 3.0, 90 units completed, and consent of instructor.

HDP 199. Independent Study in Human Development (4)

Independent study and research under the direction of a faculty member. Pass/Not Pass only. Prerequisites: consent of the instructor, completion of at least ninety undergraduate units with a minimum of 2.5 GPA, and a completed and approved Special Studies form.