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Lynch School of Education

Applied Psychology and Human Development

lynch school of education

Do you want to enrich the lives of children every day? Do you want to improve the communities, schools, and families around you and throughout the world? Are you looking for a practical major that opens up a variety of options in employment, graduate school, and leadership?

If so, then a degree in Applied Psychology and Human Development is your first step. The program prepares students to contribute to society through social and community service, counseling, human development, educational psychology, leadership, and management.

The Applied Psychology and Human Development program in the Lynch School of Education is a top choice among Boston College undergraduates. That’s because our faculty features leading researchers and our focus is always on application and meaningful learning in the classroom and in the local, national, and international communities. 

The program features:

  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty in applied development, educational, and counseling psychology
  • A foundational 10-course sequence in developmental psychology and counseling
  • Three focus areas: Human Services, Organizational Studies-Human Resources, and Community Advocacy and Social Policy

In line with accreditation standards and with our program mission, the following are the expected student learning outcomes upon completion of the program.

  • Understand the processes of human development and learning from infancy into late adolescence or the transition to adulthood.
  • Understand how social and cultural contexts shape developmental and educational processes.
  • Understand how contemporary social problems affect children, families, and communities.
  • Use foundational theories of applied psychology and human development to analyze educational and other real-world settings
  • Articulate a researchable theoretical argument and apply appropriate research techniques to its empirical analysis
  • Articulate personal core values and beliefs, how these are informed by critical engagement with theoretical and empirical knowledge in applied psychology and human development, and how these inform relationships with their families and communities.
  • Develop a specialized understanding of 1 of 3 areas:

    - Human Services: Basic knowledge of psychosocial challenges to typical development and of a range of individual and community-level strategies to prevent mental illness and enhance psychosocial wellbeing and mental health.

    - Organization Studies-Human Resources: Basic knowledge of organizational behavior theories, their applications in human resource management, and the contributions of applied psychology in these contexts.

    - Community, Advocacy and Social Policy: Basic knowledge of theories of community psychology and the applications of psychological knowledge to advocacy and social policy for and with children, youth and their families and communities.

Did you know?

Applied Psychology and Human Development majors have gone on to child advocacy, early intervention, and community programs for children and families, research, counseling, management, and human resource positions with leading companies. In addition, 46% of our students attend graduate training.

Why study psychology in a school of education?

The Applied Psychology and Human Development major in the Lynch School of Education emphasizes state of the art connections between research, theory, and practice. Through practica and community involvement, students gain real-world experience and graduate prepared to apply what they learned in an array of community, education, business, and policy settings.