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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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The College of Health and Human Development is a collaborative community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni that seeks to improve human health, development, and the quality of life for all people through innovative education, interdisciplinary research, and effective outreach with a scope that encompasses “cells to society” and conception through the end of life.


The College of Health and Human Development seeks to be a national and international leader in education, research, and outreach focused on improving human health, development, and quality of life across the life course, in Pennsylvania and around the world.

The college seeks to maximize human potential by facilitating human, family and community resilience in the face of challenge and risk. This approach lends itself to a focus on prevention and health promotion—to finding effective, sustainable ways to help all individuals flourish and to strengthen the key relationships and contexts that shape human health and well-being, including families, schools, workplaces, hospitality settings, parks and protected environments, communities, health care systems, and diverse cultures.

Our mission can be best addressed in an interdisciplinary environment that combines the life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and organization and management sciences. We seek to develop innovative solutions to complex problems that can be tackled at different levels and from different disciplinary perspectives. Key substantive themes include a focus on the complex interplay among biological processes, behavior, cognition, emotion, and context; the unfolding health of the developing organism from conception through death; methodological innovation and rigor; and a commitment to inclusiveness and diversity that encourages attention to vulnerable populations, disparities, and disabilities.

No college can accomplish such lofty goals alone; we are highly collaborative. Community or industry partnerships are woven into many of our research, teaching, and outreach activities, and we value and encourage mentoring in all forms: between industry and the academy, between seasoned alumni and students eager to learn about careers, and, at our core, between dedicated faculty members and engaged students.

Covered in the plan:

  • Health and Human Development Today
  • Enhancing Our Health and Well-Being
  • Exploring and Promoting Our Cultures
  • Transforming Education and Access
  • Managing and Stewarding Our Resources
  • Leveraging Our Digital Assets
  • Financial Resources
  • Metrics

Supporting Documents

View the entire College of Health and Human Development Strategic Plan 2014-2019.