The Department of Human Development is an interdisciplinary entity that uses multiple approaches, methods, and levels of analysis to study human development across the lifespan and integrates basic and translational research to enhance development and well-being in diverse contexts and populations. The department distinguishes itself with an ecological view of development as unfolding in multiple overlapping contexts. The department has consistently been ranked as one of the top human development programs in the country.

Faculty members represent three mutually influential areas of research, including Law and Human Development, Health and Well-being, and Cognition in Context.The areas are characterized by cross-cutting themes of interdisciplinarity, life-span perspective, cultural diversity, multiple approaches, methods, and levels of analysis, and integrative basic and translational research to answer questions of real-world relevance. 

Active research within faculty labs is being conducted in each of the three mutually influential areas of research. The department also brings together researchers from different centers and institutes around emerging themes that cut across the areas and provides consultation and outreach services to collaborative community members.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students may become involved in research with the guidance of a faculty member by applying to join a lab. Via enrollment in HD4010, Empirical Research, (an undergraduate special studies course) with a chosen faculty member, students can earn credit while working on a faculty research project.