Human Development and Social Intervention

Program Overview

This 42-credit, two-year, full-time master of arts degree in Human Development and Social Intervention has two interrelated goals:

  • To prepare scholars who understand social, cognitive, emotional, and health development across the lifespan as well as the psychological, cultural, and socioecological factors that influence the contexts and systems in which people develop (e.g., families, schools, and neighborhoods).
  • To prepare students who can use evidence-based research to facilitate the initiation, development, and management of programs related to the prevention and intervention efforts for psychological, social, educational, and health problems.

The MA in Human Development and Social Intervention offers a distinct curriculum that explicitly emphasizes the practical skills of research design and methods, grant writing and grant management, and program development and evaluation from a community psychology perspective. The curriculum is firmly rooted in the traditions and lexicon of community, social, personality, and developmental psychology. You will learn how issues such as poverty, race, gender, and culture influence the daily lives of individuals. Hands-on research and grant writing skills will aid your efforts to apply social interventions to these issues.

The program is designed for college graduates with backgrounds in the social sciences, including psychology, social work, sociology, anthropology, and race, gender or ethnic studies, as well as those who have work or volunteer experiences in non-profit organizations, schools, health facilities, and community centers and seek to further or change the direction of their careers.

All students in this program will receive training in:

  1. Theories of human development;
  2. Theories and techniques of preventive and promotive interventions;
  3. Theories and concepts of the influence of culture and context in various settings;
  4. Conceptualization and analysis of individual and social change;
  5. Research methodology including program management and evaluation and grant preparation and grant management.

In addition to a core of research methodology and psychology courses, students will also pursue one of the following three areas of study:

  • Developmental Psychology: Students will examine classical as well as contemporary literature on developmental changes in emotional, social, and cognitive areas, with specific attention to the roles of culture and context (e.g., family, school, community) in these processes.
  • Health: Students will examine the individual level, socioecological, and sociopolitical factors that shape physical and mental health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
  • Methodology: Students will gain expertise in research design and in the use of various methods of quantitative and qualitative reasoning and analysis of data.

By the end of the MA program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze the social, cognitive, emotional, and health development across the lifespan as well as the psychological, cultural, and socioecological factors that influence the contexts and systems in which people develop (e.g., families, schools, and neighborhoods).
  • Apply evidence-based research to facilitate the initiation, development, and management of programs related to the prevention and intervention efforts for psychological, social, educational, and health problems.
  • Demonstrate the practical skills of research design and methods, grant writing and grant management, and program development and evaluation from a community psychology perspective.
  • Integrate the traditions and lexicon of community, social, personality, and developmental psychology into their work.
  • Describe and analyze how issues such as poverty, race, gender, and culture influence the daily lives of individuals.