About the College
Kathryn Drager, Interim Dean, College of Health and Human Development
Improving human lives through innovative research, teaching, and outreach activities is the defining goal of the College of Health and Human Development. Our educational programs emphasize interdisciplinary approaches and engaged experiential learning. We truly are "committed to improving the quality of your life." Our faculty represent some of the most respected scholars in their disciplines, outstanding researchers, teachers, and leaders in numerous national academies and organizations. Their accomplishments speak volumes about the stimulating intellectual environment that the college has created and sustained. The college attracts intelligent, motivated and passionate students. In addition to outstanding courses in the classroom, students engage in internships, study abroad experiences, research projects, and service-learning activities that bring them into direct contact with industry, patients, clients, families, and consumers. These experiences provide students with real-world opportunities to hone their professional skills and expand their education while improving the world in which we live.
Mission and Goals
The College of Health and Human Development is a collaborative community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni that seeks to improve human health, development, and the quality of life for all people through innovative education, interdisciplinary research, and effective outreach with a scope that encompasses “cells to society” and conception through the end of life.
Departments and Schools
Department of Biobehavioral Health
Innovative and interdisciplinary in nature, the Biobehavioral Health graduate program focuses on the unique space where biological, psychological, environmental, and cultural factors converge to affect health and disease across the lifespan.
Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders
Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate students learn how to assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, and hearing disorders while mastering core knowledge of the communication disorders that affect nearly 10 percent of the world’s population.
Department of Health Policy and Administration
The graduate program in Health Policy and Administration provides a solid foundation for students who want to profoundly shape health policy, make vital future changes to global health-related organizations, and successfully navigate our increasingly complex health care environment—including managing the facilities, services, programs, staff, and budgets that providers rely on.
School of Hospitality Management
One of the first programs of its kind in the world, the graduate Hospitality Management program at Penn State is also widely considered one of the best. Our advanced degree programs rigorously prepare top-tier professionals for a wide array of careers in top-level service management, research, and academia through a combination of in-depth, research-based study and hands-on experience working alongside industry-leading practitioners and faculty.
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The innovative doctoral program in Human Development and Family Studies takes a true lifespan approach to examining the complex intersection of human development and societal relationships, offering choices in core research areas, along with a rich variety of dynamic cross-cutting research themes.
Department of Kinesiology
One of the top-ranked programs of its kind, the Kinesiology graduate program has a long and distinguished record of producing leaders in the field. The national and international prominence of the program is due to the excellence of our graduate faculty, the production and dissemination of quality research, and the mentoring and graduation rates of excellent graduate students.
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Through advanced training in research, leadership, education, and community engagement, Nutritional Sciences graduate students, take part in a breadth of experiences that include applied research in clinical and community settings, as well as a robust body of research focusing on cellular and molecular mechanisms of specific nutrients in relation to metabolism and other physiological properties.
Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Thanks to a cutting-edge curriculum—and unique research and hands-on learning opportunities offered through exclusive relationships with industry partners and professional organizations—graduate students will exit the program with a deep understanding of how the social, environmental, psychological, and economic aspects of a broad array of leisure activities and pursuits can truly transform people’s lives and sense of well-being.
HHD Graduate Student Council
The College’s Graduate Student Council is a group of student representatives from each of the academic units that meets on a monthly basis with the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education. The mission of this council is to serve as a vehicle to enhance graduate student representation to the College; to foster inter-departmental collaboration among students and faculty in research areas of mutual interest within the College; and to provide a mechanism for direct communication between department-selected graduate student representatives and College administration.
Office for Diversity and Inclusion
The mission of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion is to promote and enhance the diversity of the college's faculty and student body, and to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. We support the college’s efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students in our majors.
Research and Research Centers
Faculty in the College of Health and Human Development are world renowned for multidisciplinary research on all aspects of human health, developmental sciences, and management in hospitality, healthcare, human services, recreation and other service organizations. Graduate students have opportunities to work with some of the brightest and most well-respected researchers in the world.
Graduates from the College of Health and Human Development work in nearly every segment of the services economy—healthcare, hospitality, recreation, academia, research, management and/or policymaking. The rapidly growing career paths offer meaningful and purposeful work improving the quality of life for people.
Kathryn Drager, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Health and Human Development
329 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802