Human Development and Social Intervention

Prospective Students

The MA in Human Development and Social Intervention offers a distinct curriculum that emphasizes the practical skills of research design and methods, grant writing and 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.

Why Study Human Development and Social intervention?

The MA program in HDSI addresses how issues such as poverty, race, gender, and culture influence the daily lives of individuals. Hands-on research and grant writing will aid students in 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 nonprofit organizations, schools, health facilities, and community centers and seek to further or change the direction of their careers.

Our Students

Our students come from across the United States and abroad, including Turkey, China, Canada, Pakistan, and Taiwan. Successful applicants have a foundation in psychology and in research methods but haven't necessarily majored in those subjects. Students bring a variety of research and work experience to the program. While some students begin the program immediately after completing their undergraduate degree, others arrive after years of research, work, and volunteer experience. Some examples of previous experiences include:

  • Afterschool Tutor
  • Community Garden Volunteer Leader
  • Life Skills Specialist 
  • School Teacher
  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Conservation Volunteer
  • Mission/Humanitarian Outreach
  • SEEDS
  • Big Brother/Big Sister
  • Counselor Assistant and Mentor
  • NYU Child Study Center
  • Small Group Discussion Leader for High School Girls
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Rape Crisis Center
  • Soccer Coach
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • High School Student Mentor
  • Research Assistant
  • Summer Camp Counselor

What will I learn in the HDSI Program?

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

6. 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.

In what kinds of settings will I work when I graduate?

The degree prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, grant writers, research scientists, and program evaluators in university-based research centers, community agencies, hospitals, school systems, and private industry, including evaluation research firms. In addition, the program prepares students to pursue doctoral study in the social sciences, such as human development, public policy, or social and community psychology.