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HD Central Advising Hours

Human Development offers a centralized staff and faculty advising program. Information on this site may answer many of your basic questions or provide background to inform conversations with your faculty advisor and advising staff.

Currently HD Central Advising is offered online only and can best be facilitated via emailing

MVR G215, Email for an appointment
Prof. Felix Thoemmes, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Monday - Thursday: MVR G201 (HD main office), 8 am - 4:15 pm
Friday: 8 am - 3:45 pm 
Mr. Tim Snyder,

Monday - Thursday: MVR G201B (HD main office), 8 am - 4:15 pm
Friday: 8 am - 3:45 pm 
Ms. Marianne Arcangeli,

For authoritative information regarding all academic programs see Cornell's Courses of Study

Course Planning Information

Human Development majors usually take two or three courses in Human Development during their first year, and fill the remainder of their schedules with courses that fulfill College of Human Ecology requirements.

When reading this list for requirements and recommendations, remember that every student’s schedule will look a little different.

Courses in Human Development for First-Year Students

Fall Semester:

  • HD1150 Intro. to Human Development: Infancy & Childhood- required for HD majors

HD majors should take at least 5 HE credits in the fall.

Spring semester:

  • HD1170 Intro. to Human Development:Adolescence & Adulthood-required for HD majors
  • Second semester students often also take an additional 2000 level course in Human Development, if their schedules allow.
    Note: Students must complete 12 Human Ecology credits by the end of their sophomore year. They must take at least 5 of those credits each year (i.e. they cannot enroll in 12 credits one year and no credits in the next).
  • Statistics: HD Advising strongly recommends that students complete the Statistics requirement by the end of the sophomore year because many advanced courses in HD require statistics.
  • Human Development Breadth Requirement: Students should complete this requirement during the sophomore year, if they were not able to do so during their first year.
  • More Courses in Human Development: On average, HD majors take 3-4 Human Development courses in their second year, including the courses mentioned just above. 
    Note: Students must complete 12 Human Ecology credits by the end of their sophomore year. They must take at least 5 of those credits each year (i.e. they cannot enroll in 12 credits one year and no credits in the next).
  • Courses That Fulfill College Graduation Requirements: Students should pay careful attention to the specific college graduation requirements, and work on as many as possible during their sophomore year.
  • Interested in Graduate School or Careers in Research? The Human Development Honors Program may be for you. This year, begin taking courses that are required for the Human Development Honors Program. Students apply during their junior year for the Honors Program. The courses required for this program are also excellent preparation for graduate school.

Generally speaking, HD majors take courses during their junior year that help them meet these important requirements:

  • Be sure you are meeting the requirement for the proper # of credits at the 3000-4000 level in HD.
  • Make sure your distribution requirements (Natural Science, Social Science, Humanities,etc.) are met.
  • If you haven't yet fulfilled the HD Research Methods requirement, be sure to do so.

Explore Careers: Use Electives Wisely 

The junior year is often when students begin taking more courses as electives. Remember that the College requires 43 credits in Human Ecology for graduation. It's a good strategy to choose as many electives as you can from the Human Ecology itself so that you don't run into graduation problems in your senior year.

These off-campus programs are also popular ways to earn elective credits. Students are responsible for making sure that they will be able to fulfill major requirements on time in order to take advantage of these programs:

Interested in Graduate School or a Career in Research?
The HD Undergraduate Honors Program  is an excellent foundation for application to graduate school and for a career in research. The application for the Honors Program is due in the Fall semester of the junior year, preferably by October 15th, and final admission is granted in the spring if all entrance requirements are fulfilled. Students interested in this program should be sure they have completed the entrance requirements by the end of their junior year.


  1. Don’t put off fulfilling college graduation requirements until your last year at Cornell.
  2. Be sure you will have completed at least 120 credits (plus physical education). REMEMBER: 120 credits is the minimum required for graduation. Don't cut it too closely.
  3. Make sure you have earned 43 credits inside Human Ecology. You can do this by choosing your electives wisely.
  4. Make sure that you have earned at least 9 credits in the college outside of the Human Development major

Petitions to allow HD majors with incomplete requirements to graduate on time are granted only under rare and extenuating circumstances.

Transfer students follow the curriculum sheet issued for the year in which they transferred.

Steps for evaluating your transfer credit, so that you can feel better prepared when you come and register for Cornell classes the first time.

  1. The staff in the Registrar’s Office (146 MVR) evaluate how your transfer credits will fulfill College requirements. How these credits are assigned is dependent on the major you choose. If you switch to the Human Development major just before enrolling, during orientation, or immediately after orientation, the credit evaluation changes.
  2. The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in Human Development, working with staff in the Registrar’s Office, evaluates whether any of your transfer credit fulfills requirements in the Human Development major. In order to complete this evaluation, the HD DUS needs to evaluate syllabi from the courses that may fulfill HD requirements. Some of this is done in advance, but in practice much of this evaluation takes place during and after Orientation if you are transferring from outside Cornell University.
  3. Attend orientation and meet with the DUS and the HD Central advising staff. Orientation for transfer students includes individual evaluation of your courses and advice about what classes will fit your schedule and fulfill Human Development major requirements. We also give advice on how transfer credit can be used to fulfill college requirements, but for the most part we refer those decisions to the Registrar’s office. Our goal in this session is to help you get on track and “on time” fulfilling Human Development major requirements. Over the years we have learned that this session needs to be individualized because each transfer student brings in a different set of classes.
  4. The DUS and the HD Central advising staff are available to advise transfer students during drop/add and the first weeks of classes. 

The Health Careers Program at Cornell provides a wide range of services, including advising, programs, information resources, and a Health Careers Evaluation Committee (HCEC). Basic information is published in three guides, available in 103 Barnes Hall. (SEE ALSO: Cornell Health Career Guides)

Beginning with the 2016-2017 curriculum, up to 3 credits of HD 4000, 4010, and 4020, if taken for a letter grade, can be used to help fulfill the 36 credits required in Human Development  courses.  

  • A maximum of three credits of 4000-4020 may count toward the "credit outside the major" category provided that the special study course is in a department outside the student's own major. 
  • A maximum of 12 credits of any 4000, 4010, 4020, or 4030 (Teaching Apprenticeship) in the College of Human Ecology can be used toward the 120 credits needed for graduation. More than 12 credits can be taken, but only 12 can count toward graduation (you must take at least 108 credits that are not special or independent studies). 
  • Independent study courses in departments outside of the College of Human Ecology are also included in this 12-credit limit. Thus, if you take 4 credits of PSYCH 4700 (the psychology department's independent research course), you can use only 8 credits of HD 4000, 4010, 4020, or 4030 toward the needed 120 credits to graduate.

Each professor determines whether to use undergraduate teaching assistants, assigns the tasks that they will be expected to perform, and selects his or her roster of teaching assistants. Consequently, students interested in being an undergraduate teaching assistant should approach the professor teaching the course for which they would like to assist.


  • Junior or Senior class standing.
  • A Cornell GPA of 3.0.
  • Completion of HD 1150, or an equivalent course from another department.
  • Completion of the course in which the student will be a teaching assistant, with a course grade of at least B+.

    For details on counting credits, etc see the Special Studies portion of Requirements & Policies.

All aspiring undergraduate TA's, both within and without Human Ecology, must complete the HE 4030 TA Form. Once completed, the application should be returned to the HD main office where it is evaluated by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.