About the College
Craig J. Newschaffer, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean, College of Health and Human Development
The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) prepares students to succeed in careers in clinical healthcare professions, public health, human services, education, law and in the business of hospitality, recreation, tourism, healthcare and related services. Students explore the integration of the life and health sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and organizational management and leadership skills in our academic programs. Experiential education through internships and project-based courses connects students with businesses, organizations and Penn State alumni in the field. Students have direct contact with patients, clients, families and consumers through global and cultural learning opportunities and service-learning programs. Innovative courses and undergraduate research opportunities with outstanding faculty who are respected scholars and leaders in their fields create a stimulating intellectual environment for students. An education in HHD is dedicated to all aspects of human health and wellness, improving the quality of human life, and addressing the challenges and opportunities the future presents. Our students and alumni are truly committed to helping people live their best lives.
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
Biobehavioral Health is an innovative department that explores health in an integrated way by considering how behavioral, biological, social, cultural and environmental factors may influence health. Biobehavioral Health students develop a strong foundation for future work or study in a range of fields, such as public health, health care, epidemiology, psychology, genetics, neuroscience, health promotion, biomedical research, and medicine.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Communication Sciences and Disorders is a leader in preparing professionals who address prevention and rehabilitation of speech, language and hearing problems. The major incorporates linguistics, acoustics, psychology, anatomy, and neurobiology. Students typically pursue graduate study and professional certification and licensure and hold positions in hospitals, clinics, schools, research centers, and other settings.
Department of Health Policy and Administration
The nationally recognized program in Health Policy and Administration (HPA) prepares students to understand the problems of health care access, cost, and quality. HPA prepares students to work in health care management, policy analysis, or to pursue graduate study in business, law, medicine, health administration, health services research, or public health.
School of Hospitality Management
The School of Hospitality Management (SHM) prepares our graduates to make a difference in the global world of hospitality through their skills in management and problem-solving, by combining people-skills along with analytical prowess. Our graduates learn in real-world facilities, research labs solving real-world problems, travel for domestic and international learning experiences, and engage as much with people as with novel technologies. The learning and engagement at SHM reflect today's relevant industry landscape providing experiences that prepare students for the many career opportunities offered in the diverse and exciting segments of the global hospitality industry, and will power their success in any complex, people-centric enterprise. Penn State's Hospitality Management program is amongst the oldest program in the nation, and amongst the most prestigious of its kind in the world.
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) is a social science program that emphasizes engaged learning to prepare students to work in a wide range of applied settings, including aging, family services, youth programs, child care and early childhood education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, human resources, and other human service fields. Our graduates pursue advanced degrees in social work, psychology, counseling, human development, sociology, law, medicine, and public health fields. Coursework emphasizes psychological, social, and biological influences on individuals and families, and provides students with skills and experiences to prepare them to positively impact individuals, families, and communities.
Department of Kinesiology
Kinesiology offers an interdisciplinary program focused on human movement related to health, wellness, and performance. Students apply skills and knowledge in biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor-control, psychology, philosophy/history, and athletic training to real-life problems, preparing them for graduate study in allied health/medical professions and careers in fitness, wellness, teaching, and coaching.
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Nutritional science is a dynamic discipline that applies biology and biochemistry concepts through understanding how the body utilizes nutrients and related substances to optimize health throughout the life span. Students gain an understanding of the interplay of nutrition and lifestyle, food and food systems, food security and access to food, and how these areas relate to current public health issues, as well as to the development and dietary management of diseases. Students in Nutritional Sciences are prepared for careers in a variety of health/medical professions, behavioral nutrition, public health nutrition, industry, food systems management, and dietetics-related careers.
Students may select one or more Options: Behavioral Nutrition and Public Health, Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry, and Nutrition and Dietetics. The Nutrition and Dietetics Option is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Our goal is to educate and inspire students to facilitate recreation, park and tourism activities to transform health and human well-being for individuals and for communities. We integrate topics such as environmental sustainability, human development, health and well-being, social innovation and entrepreneurship, community and economic development, and leadership with an eye toward diversity and inclusion. RPTM students are prepared for graduate study as well as careers in natural resource and park management, sports, tourism (including ecotourism), event planning, resorts, live entertainment events, environmental education and interpretation, community recreation and non-profits, professional golf management and related fields.
- Athletic Training, B.S.
- Biobehavioral Health, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Communication Sciences and Disorders, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Health Policy and Administration, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Hospitality Management, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Human Development and Family Studies, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Kinesiology, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Nutritional Sciences, B.S.
- Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, B.S. (Health and Human Development)
- Diversity and Inclusion in Health and Human Development, Minor
- Global Health, Minor
- Health Policy and Administration, Minor
- Human Development and Family Studies, Minor
- Information Sciences and Technology in Health Policy and Administration, Minor
- Kinesiology, Minor
- Nutritional Sciences, Minor
- Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Minor
- Sport Studies, Minor
Change of Campus
Students may begin their studies in the College of Health and Human Development at any of the Penn State campuses and are expected to remain at the campus of admission until achieving fifth semester standing (59.1 or greater total credits earned). Students initiate a request for Change of Campus using the Update Campus application in LionPATH.
A Concurrent Majors Program is one in which students take courses to concurrently meet the requirements of at least two majors, with graduation for all majors in the program occurring during the same semester. To add a concurrent major in the College of Health and Human Development, students must initiate the Add Major function in LionPATH located in Update Academics and complete the steps required for gaining approval for a concurrent major. Students should work with academic advisers in both majors before initiating the LionPATH Update Academics request.
A student who fails to earn a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average will be placed on academic warning. A student placed on academic warning will have a hold placed on registration and will be required to meet with an academic adviser in order for this registration hold to be removed. Notifications concerning the hold will be sent to a student’s campus email address. To remove academic warning, the cumulative grade-point average must be 2.00 or higher.
A student in academic warning who fails to maintain a semester grade-point average of 2.00 or higher will be academically suspended. A student who has been academically suspended may not schedule courses at the University for two consecutive semesters. (Note: Summer session is equal to one semester.) If suspended, a student should meet with their adviser to discuss re-enrollment.
The Center for Student Advising and Engagement serves as a central location to support College of Health and Human Development students and their families. The Center assists undergraduate students to explore educational opportunities and develop decision-making skills that will contribute to their academic, career, and life goals.
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. With Student, Faculty, and Staff Engagement, we support the college’s efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students in our majors. Furthermore, we provide direction, resources, and training to advance individual understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion that affirms the collective responsibility of creating belonging.
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. Undergraduates have opportunities to work with some of the brightest and most well-respected researchers in the world.
Resources available through the College of Health and Human Development can identify the best study abroad program for you. We have many faculty-led study abroad programs in the College, and can connect you with other Penn State-approved programs. We are also home to the Global Health minor.
Internship and Career Opportunities
Graduates from the College of Health and Human Development work in nearly every segment of the services economy—healthcare, hospitality, tourism, recreation, parks, sports, education, and all human service fields. The rapidly growing career paths offer meaningful and purposeful work improving the quality of life for people.
College of Health and Human Development Mentoring Program
The College of Health and Human Development Mentoring Program connects HHD students and alumni by matching students who are juniors in their academic department with professionals in their field(s) of interest who can offer advice and information about career options or other issues relevant to particular fields.
The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) awards scholarships on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, school/community activities, leadership positions, and work experience. Students must be enrolled in the College of Health and Human Development or its majors to receive scholarship support . For questions or additional information regarding college scholarships please contact HHDScholarships@psu.edu.
Schreyer Honors College
The Schreyer Honors College, regarded as one of the nation’s top programs of its kind, promotes achieving academic excellence with integrity, building a global perspective, and creating opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Schreyer Scholars, including those admitted after their first or second year of enrollment, are a diverse and motivated group of approximately 2,000 students at University Park and 20 Commonwealth campuses. The College strives to educate students who will have an important and ethical influence in the world, to improve educational practice, and to continue to be recognized as a leading force in honors education nationwide.
Honors in the College of Health and Human Development
The College of Health and Human Development has a vibrant community of more than 100 Schreyer Honors College students. Department faculty advisers work closely with students to connect them with research opportunities, fellowships and scholarships, and internships and clinical experiences.