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Pacific Oaks’ Human Development Program FAQ

Human development is a broad discipline that is applicable to many professional fields. If you are considering pursuing a degree in human development at Pacific Oaks College, the following are some frequently asked questions and answers about our program, which can provide you a good general overview of what to expect.

Is there a part-time option for the human development program?

Yes, with classes taking place in the late afternoon, evenings, and weekends, Pacific Oaks programs are designed to be flexible for the working professional. Both our undergraduate and graduate-level human development programs offer on-ground full-time and part-time options. Students are encouraged to speak with our admissions team in order to gain a better understanding of which option is most suitable to their needs.

Is there an online human development program available?

Yes, there is an online modality available for students in the B.A. and M.A. in Human Development programs.

What concentrations are available in human development?

The human development program offers a variety of concentrations for both B.A. and M.A. students.
B.A. in Human Development

M.A. in Human Development

Will I be required to choose a concentration?

Yes, when students apply to either the B.A. or M.A. in Human Development program, they must choose a concentration. Our admissions team can provide you with more detailed information about the different concentrations.

What is the average class size in the human development program?

Pacific Oaks’ educational style is very interactive and discussion based, with students taking an active role in their educational experience—no big lecture hall classes here! Class sizes for the human development programs are generally between 12-22 students.

What are online class schedules like?

Online courses run in an accelerated format, year-round. All online courses are broken up into two separate sessions; consecutive eight-week sessions in the fall and spring, and six-week sessions in the summer. Online classes provide great flexibility for students. Students are expected to log in three to five times per week, engage with classmates in discussions, and submit assignments as laid out in the course calendar.

What are on-campus class schedules like?

A Pacific Oaks education is geared to the needs of the working professional. We arrange our classes to fit your time schedule, with most classes taking place after 6 p.m. during the week, as well as on Saturday and Sunday. Our library and resource center are open late and on weekends, as well. Human development program classes are scheduled year-round. On-campus classes run for 16 weeks during fall and spring, and 12 weeks in the summer. In-class meetings are augmented by online engagement.

What is the required fieldwork for the human development program?

Fieldwork is required for both the M.A. and B.A. in Human Development programs.
Students learn to apply ethical research practices to collect, document, and report interview and observational data for a class project. This course is taken near the end of the student’s program, preferably before taking thesis courses. Fieldwork can range from classroom observations to related fieldwork projects at a self-identified location or a student’s place of employment that is in a different department and is not related to the student’s paid job functions. The fieldwork location must be approved by the instructor prior to the start of the fieldwork class. Students are expected to complete 45 hours of fieldwork/internship hours to create, implement, and assess their fieldwork project.

Does the online human development program also require fieldwork?

Yes, fieldwork is required for all bachelor’s and master’s programs at Pacific Oaks, including the online human development program.

How does the thesis portion of the human development program work?

Students in the M.A. in Human Development program are required to write a five-chapter thesis. The thesis allows students to demonstrate their theoretical understanding on a topic of interest. Skills gained throughout the master’s program are evidenced in the thesis. These include:

  • Scholarly writing
  • Interviewing
  • Literature review
  • Research design
  • Data collection
  • Analysis

Six units of coursework are dedicated to providing instruction and support in a classroom environment. Students can also take advantage of library support, thesis workshops, and regularly scheduled writing sessions. Students who are unable to complete the thesis by the end of the thesis courses are given extended time through “Thesis Continuation.”

What can you do with a human development degree?

A degree in human development can prepare you for work in various industries, including for-profit, nonprofit, business, education, health care, and global organizations. Some roles within these industries may include:

B.A. graduates

  • Nonprofit management
  • Child care
  • Teaching
  • Community organizing
  • Child welfare
  • Elder care

M.A. graduates (in addition to fields listed above)

  • Organizational consulting
  • Human resources
  • Executive coaching
  • Social services
  • Agency administration
  • Higher education

How do I apply and register for classes?

When you enroll for classes with Pacific Oaks College, you are assigned an academic advisor who is dedicated to working with students in a particular program. Your advisor will help you through the registration process each semester and will be there for assistance throughout your educational journey at Pacific Oaks.
To begin your application, click through to our application portal. You can also request more information about the human development programs at Pacific Oaks by filling out the form below.

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