Overview of the College

Improving human lives through innovative research, teaching, and outreach activities is and always has been the defining goal of the College of Health and Human Development. Our mission is to improve human well-being across the life span through interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service. We truly are "committed to improving the quality of your life."

Henderson Building, University ParkOur faculty represent some of the most respected leaders in their disciplines, including fellows, presidents, and board/committee members of numerous national academies and organizations. Their research on a myriad of topics has enabled the college to increase its portfolio of external funding over 470 percent from $9.7 million in 1991-1992 to over $58 million in 2006-2007. In addition, their peers and Penn State regularly recognize our faculty for their excellence in teaching, advising, research and actively engaging students. Their accomplishments speak volumes about the stimulating intellectual environment that the college has been able to create and sustain since its creation.

Having experienced and dedicated world-class faculty allows the college to attract intelligent, motivated and passionate students. Along with their academic achievements, more than 1,000 of the college’s students participate each semester in service-learning activities that bring them into direct contact with patients, clients, and consumers. These experiences provide students with real-world opportunities to hone their professional skills and to expand their education while allowing them to experience the satisfaction of improving the world in which we live.

Columns at Henderson BuildingThese contributions do not end when students graduate, however. The college’s undergraduate and graduate alumni, now more than 50,000 strong, continue to make substantial contributions to Penn State and to society through their jobs and their community outreach. This ever-growing network also provides internship and job opportunities for our students.

Today, the college's seven departments, along with the School of Hospitality Management, offer programs consistently ranked among the top of their kind in the nation. Its nine highly successful research centers addressing major societal problems and influence policies geared toward tackling those problems.