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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Health and Human Development

Improving human lives through innovative research, teaching and service activities is and always has been the defining goal of the COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. Created in 1987 through the combination of strong programs offered by other Penn State colleges, the College of Health and Human Development was the first in the country to take a combined approach to the health, development, and well being of individuals and families. The college seeks to improve the quality of human life through all three of its missions: conducting research, providing education for students who are planning professional careers in the field, and offering outreach programs for health-services professionals as well as the general public.

The field of health and human development encompasses a wide range of professions. Programs in the college help students prepare for careers in health care, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, athletic training, rehabilitation and therapy, sports medicine, child care, human services, gerontology, speech pathology and audiology, health promotion, fitness and sports, health-care management, hospitality, tourism, recreation and parks, education, research and several others. Many students go on to medical or dental school or other graduate study.

The college has schools and departments offering programs consistently ranked among the top of their kind in the nation; ten highly successful interdisciplinary research centers addressing major societal problems and influencing policies geared toward tackling those problems; twenty-nine laboratories conducting leading edge research providing undergraduate and graduate students world class faculty and facilities to enhance their academic and professional interests; and nine units providing various clinical and other services which have an immediate impact on those they serve. These units span a variety of disciplines with one common goal: improving the health and well being of our society.

The faculty represents some of the most respected leaders in their disciplines, including Fellows, presidents and board/committee members of numerous national academies and organizations. Penn State regularly recognizes the college’s faculty for excellence in teaching, advising, research, and actively engaging students. The accomplishments of the faculty speak volumes about the stimulating intellectual environment that the college has been able to create and sustain since its inception.

RESEARCH--Research in the college focuses on significant areas of human development and human health. Faculty conduct both basic and applied studies and receive funding from the University, state and federal agencies, and other public and private sponsors. Faculty members are especially well known for their research in child development, aging, family relationships, leisure behavior, human physical performance, nutrition, and the genetics of behavior. In addition to the research programs based in each of the academic departments, there are strong interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research programs within the college. The college cooperates with regional, national and international industries, and government agencies in identifying trends and advancing scientific inquiry. The college’s research efforts have resulted in a nearly fivefold increase in external funding during the past decade.

OUTREACH AND CONTINUING EDUCATION -- As part of Pennsylvania’s original land-grant university, the college has a strong commitment to extend the knowledge and expertise of the faculty to health-care professionals, school personnel, human service providers, community leaders, parents, and many others through a wide range of outreach activities including conferences, workshops, clinical services, continuing and distance education programs, youth camps, and service learning opportunities.

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS -- The college and its faculty have many mutually beneficial relationships with universities on all continents. The college works with International Programs to support students who are interested in incorporating study abroad or other international experiences into their academic plans.



All of the majors have four common objectives: 1. Students should earn a broad education in the basic areas of human knowledge (i.e., natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities) and in the processes of human development. 2. A professional component should be included to help students prepare for health and human service careers or for advanced study. 3. Students should spend time applying their classroom knowledge to real-life situations. 4. Students should explore various areas of interest, and with the help of their advisers, plan a program of study that emphasizes the students’ backgrounds, talents, and goals.

Field projects, clinical experiences in various settings, and special laboratory opportunities are an integral part of most majors. These may involve additional expenses, such as travel to community settings, which are paid by the student.

The college offers instruction at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. General requirements for advanced degrees are described in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin.

BASIC INSTRUCTION--An objective of the General Education program of the University is for all students to know how to achieve and maintain good health and to attain a degree of skill in recreational activities. In support of this objective, the Departments of Biobehavioral Health, Kinesiology, and Nutritional Sciences, and the School of Nursing offer courses about health and nutrition issues. The Department of Kinesiology offers courses that provide the opportunity for students to improve cardiovascular fitness, learn physical and recreational skills for lifetime use, and gain knowledge of exercise and sport. Instruction is offered in many activity areas, including dance, sport, aquatics, fitness, and adventure activities. Adapted physical education programs are individually arranged upon recommendation of University Health Services for those students with medical restrictions. Students whose personal or physical circumstances support the need for more individualized programs may petition for independent study or individual assignment. For more information, visit



Bachelor of Science Degree

Students are typically admitted to the College of Health and Human Development and may request admission to a major in their fourth semester of enrollment. One exception is the Professional Golf Management program, which admits first-year students.

During the freshman and sophomore years, all students are expected to take basic courses appropriate to their intended major as well as selected General Education courses. Judicious choice of these courses helps the student select a major at the end of the sophomore year.
Students, in consultation with an adviser and according to their background, interests, and career objectives, select specific courses to meet the requirements of the major and to promote their professional and personal development. Guidelines for selection are established by faculty in charge of each major and include courses both in the College of Health and Human Development and in other colleges.

Specific requirements for each option in a major are available through the college's Student Services Center.
ROTC courses are voluntary and are counted as electives in meeting graduation requirements.

To be eligible for entrance to a major in the college, a degree candidate must be enrolled in, or satisfy requirements for entrance to, the college. In addition, the degree candidate must meet entrance-to-major requirements of the University, the college, and the department. Under certain circumstances, the University may need to limit enrollments in the college or in certain majors because of space limitations.

TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS -- One of the college's degree programs, Kinesiology, offers an option in teacher certification. See Teacher Education Programs for general information and special requirements regarding teacher certification.



Recommended Academic Plans provide, in table form, the courses students might schedule semester by semester as they pursue a specific undergraduate degree. Each college or campus maintains Recommended Academic Plans for its own majors/degree programs. Links to these plans are on the Division of Undergraduate Studies website at: Questions concerning the Recommended Academic Plans should be directed to the college or campus involved or the Division of Undergraduate Studies.  




ANN C. (Nan) CROUTER, Dean
DENNIS SHEA, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Outreach
KATHRYN DRAGER, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education


School of Hospitality Management -- DONNA QUADRI-FELITTI, Director
Department of Biobehavioral Health -- THOMAS J. GOULD, Head
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders -- DIANE L. WILLIAMS, Head
Department of Health Policy and Administration -- MARIANNE HILLEMEIER, Head
Department of Human Development and Family Studies -- DOUGLAS M. TETI, Head
Department of Kinesiology -- NANCY I. WILLIAMS, Head
Department of Nutritional Sciences -- A. CATHARINE ROSS, Interim Head
Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management -- PETER NEWMAN, Head






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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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