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Pacific Oaks College    
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  May 28, 2023
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development

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Pasadena, Online, San Jose and *Off-campus locations

*The availability of Off-campus locations depends on enrollment.

Program Overview

The BA completion in Human Development offers an upper division program focused on youth, adolescents, adults, older adults and their families and the social contexts in which development and growth takes place. Students gain foundational knowledge and appreciation for the varied arcs of development across the continuum from typical to atypical.  Each domain of study is grounded in respect for the socio-political context, time and space in which development occurs.  Students are immersed in a multi-disciplinary curriculum through coursework aimed to develop a holistic lens of empowerment, equity and social justice.   The attainment of applied experience is critical to students who are committed to and engaged in their communities.

Field Experiences at an approved site are part of the BA completion program in Human Development.

Concentrations are additional areas of focus which are designed to immerse students in a more specific area of the developmental process.  Some concentrations are available only in Pasadena.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Development: Students comprehend and analyze developmental and ecological theories impacting Human Development.

Diversity: Students value diversity, demonstrate commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion. They are able to identify and analyze the dynamics of institutional and individual biases and the use of power.

Communication: Students implement and analyze individual, dyadic and group communications for efficacy, clarity, appropriate audience reception, authenticity, and experience of empowerment for self and others.

Research: Students are able to distinguish between observations and theory in published research.  Students create original research, present their findings, and link their research with existing literature in the field.

Praxis: Students develop a philosophy of learning reflective of developmental theories guided by observation and grounded in a lens of equity and multiculturalism. Students evaluate these actions based on results and their impact on other persons, groups and systems (ethics, values, principles and empowerment).  Students learn to incorporate developmentally and culturally appropriate practice with individuals and systems.  Praxis will involve activities such as practica, fieldwork or student teaching.

Program-Specific requirements

The BA HD program is a 120 credit undergraduate program, comprised of 40 credits in General Education, 30-58 credits in Human Development (including Concentrations), and 50 credits of general electives.  This is a year-round program, including enrollment in summer.  On-ground attendance includes fall and spring 16-week semesters and a 12-week summer semester.  Online attendance includes two 8-week terms in fall and spring, and two 6-week terms in summer. 

A full-time student entering with 0 credits and successfully completing 12 credits per semester would have a time to completion of ten semesters, which is equivalent to 3 1/3 years, or 40 months. 

BA in Human Development Credit Requirements

40 General Education Credits

50 General Elective Credits

18 Upper Division Human Development Program Credits

  • Plus 12 Concentration credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Fieldwork is required for all BA HD students. Fieldwork includes study and learning that consists of practical and applied activities completed outside of the classroom or typical learning environment.  Each student is required to engage in 45 hours of service at an approved fieldwork/internship site during the semester enrolled in the three-credit fieldwork course.

Residence requirement

All credits earned in courses offered by Pacific Oaks College are considered PO residence hours, regardless if the courses are taken on-line, on-ground, at instructional sites or at Off-campus cohort locations. Credits earned from institutions other than Pacific Oaks College are considered non-resident credits. All students must complete a minimum of 30 residence hours to complete the B.A. in Human Development degree.

Course length

Please refer to the program course and delivery section found here: Academic Calendar

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development degree, a student must successfully complete the following:

  • The approved program consisting of at least 30 credits completed in residency at Pacific Oaks; and
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all coursework attempted at the College.

Students are required to submit the Petition for Degree Completion and fee to the Registrar’s Office the semester before they anticipate completing their degree requirements. Students must submit the application, settle all outstanding fees with the Student Finance Office, satisfy any deficiencies, and be in good standing in their program for the bachelor’s degree to be awarded.

Number of Admit Terms per Year

Ground: 3

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer

Online: 6

  • Fall Sessions I & II
  • Spring Sessions I & II
  • Summer Sessions I & II

Application Requirements:

  • Completed Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Official Transcripts from All Institutions Attended
  • Proof of Sufficient Academic History (See Admissions Standards for Acceptable Proof of Academic History)

Program Requirements

Total credits: 120 credits

General Education Requirements


The General Education (GE) program at Pacific Oaks is an important part of the undergraduate education.   A well-planned General Education program of study will provide students with the skills they will need to excel in whatever disciplines they choose to pursue. 

A certain number of GE courses may be shared with a student’s degree program. However, GE courses may only be used to complete one GE category.  GE courses may also be completed by Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or college transfer credit. Please refer to Transfer Credit Policy on PLA and transfer equivalencies.

To complete the General Education program requirements, each student must complete courses in the six categories listed below.  All GE courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better.


Pacific Oaks Culture and Pedagogy (3 credits required)

English Communication (9 credits required)

(at least one course in English Composition and one course in oral communication)

Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits required)

Arts and Humanities (9 credits required)

At least one course from the arts and one course from humanities

Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 credits required)

Three courses from at least two disciplines 

Physical and Biological Sciences (7 credits required)

One physical science course and one biological science or life science course, at least one of which includes a lab

Total Required GE Credits: 40

Academic Advisors in the Center for Academic Advising can assist you with enrolling in GE courses.  They can direct you to suggested GE program options that meet your interests, help you with identifying shared GE courses in your degree program, and assist you in incorporating GE courses in your four-year plan. Faculty Advisors can also help you in selecting the best options to meet your academic goals.

Core Curriculum

Areas of Concentration

Students in the BA Human Development program are required to select a concentration as part of their course of study.  Limited concentrations are available at San Jose, the Off-campus cohorts, and online. All concentrations are offered in Pasadena.

Early Childhood Education and Development

Working with Adults

Active Learning Across the Lifespan

Social Change

Each concentration has its own Specific requirements which are outlined below.

Early Childhood Education and Development Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to increase their understanding of young children and enhance their skills in working with this age group. Courses focus on the Mastery/utilization of child- centered curricula, working with diversity in early childhood classrooms, and understanding the importance of social and cultural context to a child’s development. The program is tailored towards candidates who have taken foundational coursework in Early Childhood Education or a related field or have prior experience working with children.

Working with Adults Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to increase their understanding of adults across the lifespan and enhance their skills in working with this group. Courses focus on the Mastery/utilization of adult- centered curricula, working with diversity in varied adult environments, and understanding the importance of social and cultural context to an adults’ existential experience across the lifespan.


Complete ALL core courses and nine (9) credits from the following ELECTIVES in addition to three (3) credits from any other concentration:

Active Learning Across the Lifespan Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to gain a holistic perspective of human development and identify those factors that influence learning across the lifespan. Coursework focuses on different phases of the lifespan, from birth to the later years, and also addresses issues spanning across multiple life stages. This concentration is designed for students who wish to work in integrated, cross-generational settings, including family and community advocacy, as well as those who would like to work with children, adolescents, adults or the elderly.


Complete ALL core courses and nine (9) credits from the following ELECTIVES in addition to three (3) credits from any other concentration:

Social Change Concentration

This concentration is for individuals who wish to acquire the skills to create large scale social change. The belief explored in this course of study is that one’s own personal growth and the act of evoking positive social change are interconnected processes and particularly so during times of national or global stress. Students in this concentration will learn how to collaboratively design and implement change in an organization, school or community and in society at large by making processes more participatory.
Storytelling, dreaming, the arts, grant- writing, action research, the use of budgets and timelines, and autonomous community building are among the methods and mediums employed.

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